News - 29 February 2012

29 February 2012

For articles from a previous HealthWest E-Bulletin, view our News Archive.

News in Brief

New Department of Human Services structure announced

The next step in the Department of Human Services' major reform to deliver 'more integrated, family-centred services for vulnerable Victorians' has been announced.

The key changes to the new structure are:

  • The department’s regional operations will be organised into 17 local areas, putting more focus on the frontline and providing improved services when and where people need them. The 17 local areas will be based on geographic catchments reflecting trends in population growth and service demand across the State.
  • The department’s central office will be consolidated to remove program silos, reduce duplication and increase efficiency. There will be three central office groups: Policy and Strategy; Service Design and Implementation; and Corporate Services.
  • The creation of two Deputy Secretary roles to respectively oversee a Community and Executive Services portfolio and a Housing, Youth and Women portfolio.

More info: DHS website.


News at HealthWest

New HealthWest Initiative - Western Intake Network Group (WING)

The Western Intake Network Group (WING) is for intake workers from health and community agencies in the western suburbs of Melbourne.  The network comes from the Active Service Model Intake Forum held in November 2011, where it was identified that there is a need for intake workers to be able to network and to share common challenges, information about their services, and to look at common trends and issues such as waitlists and service gaps.

When: Thursday 15th March at 9:30-11:30am
Wyndham Civic Centre, 45 Princes Highway  Werribee
More info
: Download the flyer here for the meeting and register via the HealthWest website. Contact Libby Jewson, phone 9017 5843 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it top

Integrated Health Promotion/Population Health Planning

New report: Drinking cultures and social occasions

VicHealth has released research into alcohol related harm and public holidays in Victoria which shows an influx of hospital admissions, ambulance call outs and arrests for assault on most social occasions throughout the year, as well as the day before.

The research, by Turning Point and VicHealth, provides a conclusive link between warmer weather and unruly drinking behaviour. All emergency services experience a spike in incidents related to alcohol on public holidays during the summer months.

The data also gives valuable guidance for targeting alcohol intervention and prevention initiatives and health education campaigns to minimise harms associated with drinking.

More info: VicHealth website

New Problem Gambling Professionals website

The Problem Gambling Strategy is launching a new fortnightly email bulletin called the Professional's Update.  The bulletin will contain news, resources, research, professional development opportunities and other items of interest to the sector. The bulletin is available to Gambler's Help agencies, Primary Care Partnerships and other key stakeholders who have access to the extranet within the Problem Gambling Professionals website.

If you are not currently accessing the Problem Gambling Professionals website, you can register for a logon and then subscribe to the Professional's Update once you are registered.

More info:  Problem Gambling Professionals website


Integrated Chronic Disease Management

NPS smart phone medicines reminder tool

Safe and effective medicine use is a complex issue.  There are many interventions that aim to help people to take their medicines more appropriately, but not all are successful.

The National Prescribing Service (NPS) has developed a smart phone medicines reminder application.  This application is available from the NPS wesbite.

More info: NPS website

Health Knowledge Network – Resource Bulletin

Funded by the Quality, Safety and Patient Experience Branch, Department of Health, the Centre for Health Communication and Participation disemminates useful resources through its regular Health Knowledge Network Resource Bulletin.  The bulletins are useful for a variety of health practitioners.

More Info: For more information and to sign up to their regular publications visit the La Trobe website or e-mail This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Series of Workshops to Learn More About Evaluation In the Workplace

Roberts Evaluation are delivering a series of short courses relating to evaluation in the workplace.  These workshops are suitable for individuals who are working in or have an interest in evaluation.  The courses are being held throughout regional Victoria and also in metropolitan Melbourne.

Cost: $400 per person per day
More Info:
Download the Flyer here and Registartion form here or email: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New research: Review of the role of health system navigators

PHC RIS reports on a research paper that conducts a systematic review that explores the role of a health system navigator to facilitate effective care transitions for chronically ill older people.

More Info: Download more information about the research paper and more information about PHC RIS here 


Service Coordination

New report: Comorbidity of mental health and physical health problems

The Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) has released a report that investigates the prevalence of mental illness in association with common chronic diseases.

The report shows that in 2007: 12% of Australians aged 16-85 had a mental disorder and a physical condition at the same time; the most common comorbidity was anxiety disorder combined with a physical condition, affecting around 1.4 million (9%) Australian adults; people living in the most disadvantaged areas of Australia were 65% more likely to have comorbidity than those living in the least disadvantaged areas.

More info: AIHW website  

Building Family Skills Together – new service at Mind Australia

Mind Australia has recently expanded services to families and carers in the west. Building Family Skills Together (Mind) is an evidence-based family service supporting the recovery of people experiencing mental health difficulties.

Families who live in the cities of Hobsons Bay, Wyndham, Brimbank or Melton who have an adult family member who experiences mental health difficulties can access the program. Referrals can be made by medical practitioners, mental health services, clinics, workers, families or clients.

More info: Contact a Family Worker at Building Family Skills Together (Mind) on 9384 6544 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

New report: Barriers to of utilisation of mental health services by young people of refugee background

Foundation House has released a report on the barriers and faciltiators of mental health service utilisation by young people of a refugee background.

The study that informed this report canvassed the views of more than 100 practitioners in mental health services or in contact with mental health services about what works and what does not work in engaging young people from refugee backgrounds with mental health services. It was conducted by Dr Erminia Colucci (Centre for International Mental Health) as a collaborative project between Foundation House and Associate Professor Harry Minas (Centre for International Mental Health), Dr Georgia Paxton (Royal Children’s Hospital) and Carmel Guerra (Centre for Multicultural Youth Issues).

More info: For a copy of full report visit Foundation House website


For Your Diary


Cervical Cancer Prevention Project

PapScreen Victoria recognises that local community health organisations are usually best placed to encourage local women to participate in cervical screening.

Victorian community health organisations are invited to apply for a non-recurrent grant of up to $2,000 (including GST) to plan, implement and evaluate a cervical cancer prevention project that targets marginalised women in the community.

Applications open on Tuesday 13 March 2012 and close on Friday 23 March 2012

Eligible services are: Community Health Services; Aboriginal Health Services; Women’s health focused organisations

More info: Visit the Pap Screen website

Call for Papers

Submissions: Inquiry into the prevention and treatment of problem gambling

The Joint Select Committee on Gambling Reform is currently undertaking an inquiry into problem gambling, intervention measures and treatments. The Committee would like to hear from individuals about their experience with prevention strategies, intervention and treatment programs. It is also seeking written submissions from interested individuals and organisations until 30 March 2012.

More info: Senate committee website


Homelessness Research Conference

The Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute (AHURI) and RMIT University will co-host the inaugural Homelessness Research Conference.  This conference will provide the opportunity to hear from many of Australia’s leading researchers and will showcase current homelessness research and facilitate discussion to apply this evidence to contemporary policy and practice.

It will also provide an opportunity to discuss and debate the future directions of research on homelessness. The conference will be an ideal setting for homelessness professionals and interested parties to further their understanding, exchange ideas and develop professional networks.

When: 9.15am-5pm, 19 & 20 April  2012
Jasper Hotel, 489 Elizabeth Street, Melbourne
More info:
Visit the AHURI website or contact Kristina Conley at 03 9660 2308 or at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Evidence informed public health

The Cochrane Public Health Group is coordinating a 2-day short-course.  This course will address through informal presentations, practical workshops, discussions and case studies:

  • Evidence in public health – background
  • Asking answerable questions
  • Searching for research evidence
  • Assessing trustworthiness
  • Applying evidence to policy and practice, including applicability & transferability; using evidence
  • Evaluation – generating evidence about our practice
  • Workshop: Working in an evidence-informed way

When: 21 & 22 March 2012
Graduate House, Leicester St, Carlton
More info:
Cochran Public Health website  or contact Tahna Pettman This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or phone (03) 9667 1309

Cancer Council Victoria: Workshops for community health professionals in 2012

Cancer Council Victoria offers a number of short courses to assist health professionals in educating their clients on the risk factors, symptoms and early detection strategies of common cancers such as bowel, prostate, breast and cervical. Registration is now open for the following courses:

BreastHealth Workshop
Discusses strategies to reduce risk of breast cancer and early detection strategies including breast awareness and screening.

Men's Cancers Workshop
Highlights the most common cancers for men with a focus on prostate and bowel cancer.

Cancer prevention in mental health Workshop
For mental health professionals who want to update their skills and knowledge about cancer risk factors and early detection strategies.

When & where: Workshops are being held in various dates and locations in Victoria.
Cost: Free
More info: Visit the Cancer Council website or contact Rachel Mulqueeney, phone 9635 5424 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Trauma-focussed Therapy - Working with Adults

The Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) is offering this interactive and skills-based workshop for experienced mental health practitioners. Participants will have the opportunity to learn about and practice core skills involved in providing effective interventions for posttraumatic mental health problems arising from single and repeated trauma and disaster. A comprehensive package of practitioner tools and client handouts is provided. The training is APS endorsed and meets requirements for ‘active’ CPD points.

When: 9:30am-4pm, 7-8 June 2012
ACPMH, Level 1 , 340 Albert St, East Melbourne
More info:  Visit the ACPMH website Contact Maria Humphries, phone 9936 5141 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

Grants Boot Camp

The Grants Boot Camp is designed for staff and volunteers from community organisations of all sizes and types who want to improve their grant-seeking skills, knowledge and connections (though grassroots groups have the most to gain).

The Grants Bootcamp will help:

  • Strip back and rebuild your grantseeking approach – practical, instantly implementable advice from Our Community Grants Guru Patrick Moriarty
  • Get the lowdown on who’s most likely to fund your group through our Who’s Who in the Zoo panel session
  • Practice your pitch – get one-on-one feedback from one of our 20 grants coaches
  • Meet the grantmakers, one-on-one – more than 30 real live grantmakers from organisations including the Myer Foundation, the Potter Foundation, the Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR), the Telstra Foundation, ANZ Trustees, local councils, community foundations, and state/federal government community grantmaking outfits will take part in our speed dating session.

When: 9.30am-4.30pm, Sunday, 27 May 2011
Moonee Valley Racing Club, Moonee Ponds
More info: 

Developing a Comprehensive Language Services Response

Developing a Comprehensive Language Services Response is a professional development workshop facilitated by the Centre for Culture, Ethnicity and Health. A comprehensive approach to language services is vital for providing high quality care to migrants and refugees with low English language proficiency. This workshop covers various elements involved in language services planning and delivery: staff training, dedicated resources, quality measures, policies and procedures, and promoting language services.

When: Wednesday 21 March, 9am – 2pm
$150 (includes morning tea and lunch)
81-85 Barry Street, Carlton
More info
: For further information and to register visit the CEH website


Gender Equity Statements Launch – International Women’s Day

Maribyrnong City Council working closely with the community has developed a range of statements to help spread the word and raise awareness about gender equity.

These statements will be launched as part of International Women’s Day and will be displayed around the City in key locations.

Come along, help us celebrate and spread the word that the City of Maribyrnong supports gender equity.

There will be Live Music by Urban Voices, MASSIVE & Houlette plus a free sausage sizzle.

Where: Maddern Square, Chambers St Footscray
Friday 9 March, 11.30am – 1pm
More info:  Download the flyer here

Mental Health First Aid Training

Doutta Galla Community Health are opening up their Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Training for external participants. The MHFA course teaches how to assist someone who is developing a mental health problem or in a mental health crisis.

This is a 12-hour course (4 modules, each 3 hours) and participants are expected to commit to 12-hours over two days and complete the evaluation form.

Course participants receive a copy of the MHFA Manual to keep and a Certificate of Completion.

When: Wednesday 28 March and Wednesday 4 April 2012
$93.50 inc GST
More info:
Download registration form here and return via fax. 9328 5744. Contact Hodan Abi, phone 8327 1762 or email This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


E-Bulletin Archive

For articles, information or links from previous issues of HealthWest's Weekly E-Bulletin view our news archive.