Australia – Government Funds Lifeline, But Vital Phone Services Still Costing Consumers

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Hello and welcome to the latest news update from Pro Bono Australia.

This week the Federal Government is set to make mobile phone calls to Lifeline – the national telephone-based support service for people in crisis – free of charge under an agreement between three major phone carriers.

As well, private sector support for arts and cultural organisations in Australia continues to grow according to the results of the 2011 AbaF survey of private sector support for the arts.

And, Volunteering Victoria produces an information pack to help volunteers and organisations understand and meet their responsibilities under new legislation including important changes to the way sexual harassment law applies to volunteers. Plus much more…

Our news service is updated regularly online, so if you want to know what’s happening before your weekly update arrives in the inbox, just visit www.probonoaustralia.com.au/news

Lina Caneva – Editor, Karen Mahlab – Founder,
Ryan Witcombe – Journalist,

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Government Funds Lifeline, But Vital Services Still Costing Consumers

Mobile phone calls to Lifeline – the national telephone-based support service for people in crisis – are set to become free of charge under an agreement made between three major phone carriers and the Federal Government.

Private Sector Support for Arts Continues to Grow

Private sector support for arts and cultural organisations in Australia continues to grow according to the results of the 2011 AbaF survey of private sector support for the arts.

Sexual Harassment and Volunteers: Information Pack

Volunteering Victoria has produced an information pack to help volunteers and organisations to understand and meet their responsibilities under new legislation which includes important changes to the way sexual harassment law applies to volunteers.

ATO Releases New NFP Guide on Tax Deductibility

The Australian tax Office has released a new version of its GiftPack guide to help Not for Profits understand what to do if they want to receive tax-deductible gifts.


Queensland Flood Aftermath Needs More Than One-Off Donations
One-off donations aren’t enough to get the flood-affected Queensland communities back to their full lives, according to charitable trust managers, Perpetual.

Aged Care Indexation Misses the Mark

Aged and Community Services Australia (ACSA) says it’s disappointed with the Government’s 1.9% indexation of funding for aged care, describing it as a meagre increase given the current rise in inflation.

Social Enterprise: Re-Embedding Markets with Social and Cultural Values

Social enterprise is a way of re-embedding markets with social and cultural values, which have been eroded by neo-liberal economic policies, according to an international expert.

Most NFP Executives Plan to Leave Within Five Years: US Study
Two-thirds of US NFP Executives plan to leave their jobs within the next five years, citing frustration with their organisations’ shaky finances, under-performing boards of directors, and the difficulty of maintaining healthy work-life balance in their demanding roles, according to a US study.


Patchwork Economy Bodes Well for Not for Profits
CBA Finance News | Since the Global Financial Crisis, jobs growth in the residential care services industry has left the mining industry for dust, according to the Commonwealth Bank.

Annual Grantmakers Salary Report Released

The median salary for foundation staff in the United States is $70,000, according to a new benchmarking report from the Council on Foundations.

New Fire Recovery Unit for Victoria

The new Fire Recovery Unit comes into effect from 1 July 2011 to oversee Victoria’s ongoing bushfire recovery effort.

Volunteers and the Equal Pay Claim

Australia’s informal, unpaid or non-professional modes of care work should not be forgotten in the current equal pay claim for community workers.

Perth Radio covering disability issues for people from diverse backgrounds – EthnicAbility Next Week (04/07/2011) – Crime and People With Mental Illness

Message from my friend and colleague Zeliha Iscel

The Ethnic Disability Advocacy Centre (EDAC)presents
‘EthnicAbility’, a program on disability and ethnicity
Mondays From 7:30-8:00 pm (WA time) on 95.3 6EBA FM World Radio.

You can also listen live on the web at www.6eba.com.au and click on
‘Listen now’.

Next week on ‘EthnicAbility’, (4th July 2011), Mike Seward, Executive
Director, Arafmi Mental Health Carers and Friends Association (WA)
Inc., will join us to discuss issues around people with mental illness
in Australia’s judicial system (WA in particular).

How does the judicial system deal with people with mental illness, particularly
those from culturally and linguistically diverse backgrounds? What if
they also have a disability? Does a mental illness relieve a person
from prison sentence if they commit a serious crime? Get an insight
into these and other issues … next week on ‘EthnicAbility’.

We are always open to your comments and suggestions. Feel free to
call us during ‘EthnicAbility’ on 9227 5953 or any time during work
hours on 9388 7455. You can also email your comments to:
ethnicability
We look forward to hearing from you.

To receive emails outlining upcoming programs on ‘EthnicAbility send a
blank enmail email to ethnicability+subscribe

If you would like to be a sponsor of ‘EthnicAbility’, contact Zel on
(08) 9388 7455. By sponsoring ‘EthnicAbility’, you will be helping to
disclose issues that impact on the lives of ethnic people with
disability, their family, community and service providers.

EthnicAbility goes to air every Monday evening from 7:30-8:00 pm on
95.3 6EBA FM.

If you miss ‘EthnicAbility’, you can hear it on-demand at
www.edac.org.au.
Click on ‘Radio Program’ and choose the show you want to listen to.

EthnicAbility explores issues affecting people with a disability from
an ethnic background. In so doing, we will be speaking to people with
a disability from an ethnic background themselves, their parents/
family, friends, community members and service providers. And we may
Even talk to you!

So don’t forget to switch on your radio or join us through the
internet every Monday at 7:30 pm.
For further information, phone edac on 9388 7455 to be redirected to
Zel or Sanja, or send an email to ethnicability.

Greens Western Australia on Refugees and Mental Health – Detention policies run risk of creating mentally ill future Australians-Greens

Detention policies run risk of creating mentally ill future Australians-Greens

29 June 2011

Last night in Parliament, Greens MLC Alison Xamon warned that the current policy position of locking up asylum seekers was running a serious risk of creating a future cohort of Australians with serious mental health issues. The comments came after recent research released in NSW indicated that asylum seekers who had been left in prolonged detention were emerging with more serious mental health issues than when they arrived.

“When Vietnamese refugees arrived in the 70’s, the Government policy strategy was to promote calm and to focus on swift resettlement. These people were, like many current refugees, extremely traumatised, having escaped terrible fear and persecution. Yet because of the way their resettlement was handled their prospects for maintaining positive mental health were found to have remained high, despite having experienced great trauma,” Ms Xamon Greens WA Spokesperson for Mental Health said.

A young Vietnamese refugee in a camp in Malaysia

Image via Wikipedia

Ms Xamon’s comments were made in response to research from Professor Derrick Silove from the School of Psychiatry in NSW who has been heading up studies looking at the long-term impacts of detention on refugees and their mental health.

“40 years later, instead of treating our refugees with compassion, we’re locking them away for long periods in detention centres. This is mainly due to the disgusting and shameless way in which the whole issue has been allowed to be politicised.

“Studies show that prolonged detention has a huge impact on detainees’ mental health, especially the children. Depression, post-traumatic stress, separation anxiety, oppositional defiant disorder, suicidal ideation and self-harm, to name a few , were all dramatically increased in children as a direct result of prolonged detention.

“How on earth do we justify doing this to children? Or to their parents? Or to any human being? We should be focussing on helping these people to get over their horrific experiences, not adding to their trauma.

“There is accruing scientific evidence of the harm that detention is having on refugees. These are vulnerable people, leaving unimaginable circumstances. They risk their lives to come here, only to be detained indefinitely once they arrive. It’s no wonder there are unprecedented levels of suicide and self harm occurring in our detention centres.

“We need to release these people into community accommodation, as they do elsewhere in the world, and start showing them a bit of compassion before the situation deteriorates any further,” added Ms Xamon.

For further comment contact Alison 9272 1718

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services, Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

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West Australian Govt – hard hearts, soft minds – #mentalhealth – “Mentally ill being evicted from homes in Buswell’s anti-social tenant crackdown”


Mentally ill being evicted from homes in Buswell’s anti-social tenant crackdown

29 June 2011

Mentally ill Homeswest tenants are being evicted from their homes and facing homelessness as part of the government’s crackdown on “anti-social” tenants.

“Once again the government is charging ahead with a one-size-fits-all populist, but ill thought out, policy which is having adverse effects on tenants who are living with serious mental illness,” Alison Xamon, WA Greens Spokesperson on Mental Illness said.

The comments come after Ms Xamon raised the issue in Parliament last night.

“The Disruptive Behaviour Management Strategy has no provisions to deal with mentally ill tenants and that’s leading to people with medical conditions being evicted from their homes for behaviours arising from their illness. Surely it would not have been that difficult for the Government to have foreseen a scenario where a mentally ill person might get caught up in this so-called “reform” and to have made the necessary amendments to deal with that. Or is it that Minister Buswell just doesn’t care about those living with a mental illness?

“This is just the latest in the growing number of government initiatives that appear to have been written on the back of a napkin over lunch, with no finesse or real thought as to the possible real-life ramifications.

“I urge the Minister for Housing and the Minister for Mental Illness to start talking about the ramifications of these policies and to begin making the detailed and difficult decisions that are needed to deal with our society’s growing and complex mental health problems. Complex problems can not be dealt with by simplistic solutions.

“Evicting the mentally ill from their homes and making them homeless as a result is scandalous and is in no way the sign of a civilized society. These people need our support, not to be left at great risk and further disadvantage. Minister Buswell has got this policy very wrong and now he needs to make it right,” added Ms Xamon.

Hon Alison Xamon MLC

Member for the East Metropolitan Region

Office: 62 Eighth Ave Maylands WA 6051

Postal Address: PO Box 104 Maylands WA 6931

Phone: (08) 9272 1718

Fax: (08) 9272 1719

Portfolios: Water, Urban Bushland, Mental Health, Education, Training, Industrial Relations, Employment, Occupational Health & Safety, Disabilities, Women, Children & Youth, Public Service, Community Services,Electoral Affairs, Consumer Protection, Vet Affairs, Volunteering

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#MentalHealth Join the search for the Top 40 misleading, dangerous or just plain stupid things ever said or written about ADHD.

Top 40 misleading, dangerous or just plain stupid claims ever made about ADHD

http://speedupsitstill.com/top-40-misleading-dangerous-plain-stupid-claims-adhd

Methylphenidate (Ritalin) 10mg Pill (Ciba/Nova...

Image via Wikipedia

Join the search for the Top 40 misleading, dangerous or just plain stupid things ever said or written about ADHD.

The catalyst for this search is that in last week’s blog (21 June 2011) I invited Sydney paediatrician Professor Michael Kohn to justify his recent claim that ‘stimulant medication, like Ritalin, helped brain growth’ in ADHD children. (http://speedupsitstill.com/evidence-support-adhd-expert-prof-kohns-claim-amphetamines-aid-brain-development) Unfortunately Professor Kohn has not yet taken up the opportunity to provide evidence to support his astonishing claim.

Subsequently readers have asked me in light of the longstanding evidence that drugs like dexamphetamine and Ritalin impair brain development, is Prof Kohn’s claim is among the most misleading and dangerous assertions about ADHD I have heard? Possibly, but I think it is only fair to give Professor Kohn a little more time to justify his claim.

To date the most outrageous totally discredited statements I have heard or read include;

1- “This [dexamphetamine] is not addictive stuff. In fact, I wish it was a little more addictive so that my younger patients would remember to take it rather than having to be reminded by their long-suffering parents.” Perth psychiatrist Dr Roger Patterson1

2- “Fidgeting and foot movements (known in our research setting as ‘Wender’s sign’) are very common signs of hyperactivity in adult ADHD patients – so much so that such patients can usually be diagnosed in the waiting room by a knowledgeable receptionist.”Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Utah School of Medicine, Paul Wender.2

3- “A lot of people discovered they had ADHD by accident. For example, truckies who needed uppers to keep them awake while they were driving across the Nullarbor suddenly found that they were driving a whole lot better…when they were taking dexies.”3Michelle Toner then Executive Officer of the pharmaceutical company ADHD support group the Learning and Attentional Disorders Society of WA (LADS).4

And another cracker from Michelle Toner in the same TV interview

4- “In order to get a high equivalent to what people are taking [as] street speed, you would have to take close to 200 tablets [of dexamphetamine]. Children take 1 or 6 tablets a day and it is not addictive at all.’’5

These are just the tip of the iceberg. There are many even more outrageous statements out there (including the American Psychiatric Association 18 ADHD diagnostic criteria see http://speedupsitstill.com/dodgy-diagnosis).

Please join the on-going search for the Top 40, most incorrect, inaccurate, misleading, dishonest, dangerous or just plain stupid things every said or written about ADHD. Send details of statements you nominate to martinwhitely Please include as much detail as necessary to verify the authenticity of the statement. Your name will not be made public.

Martin Whitely MLA

www.speedupsitstill.com

Huge news on Australian Forest conservation, and an urgent call to action from GetUp – BREAKING: forest agreement reached

Hellyer Gorge, Tasmania

Image via Wikipedia

In the early hours of this morning, the Tasmanian logging industry and environmental groups signed off on a final agreement to protect 570,000 hectares of ancient high conservation value forests, with the majority of it being protected immediately. The conflict between these two groups has been a part of the political landscape for a generation of Australians – but last night’s agreement can end it.

This turning point will mean nothing if the agreement does not have the full commitment and financial support of State and Federal Governments. Environmentalists, unionists and loggers have over a year negotiating this agreement – now is when you come in. Our voices can help pressure the Federal and Tasmanian Government to implement this historic agreement.

Can you send an email to your local MP or Senator and ask them to commit to implementing this agreement by creating Australia’s newest national parks for Australia’s oldest trees:

http://www.getup.org.au/campaigns/save-our-forests/forestry-agreement/email-your-mp-or-senator

Ending the 30 year deadlock hasn’t been easy. Both sides have agreed to significant compromises. Long-held positions were challenged and set aside in order to come to an agreement that can deliver real environmental protection and a sustainable timber industry that is competitive in the 21st century marketplace.

The agreement opens the way for the government to immediately save almost half a million hectares of Tasmania’s ancient native forests. Like the Daintree rainforests and Kakadu, Tasmania’s forests are a key part of our national identity.

We need to show the government that is it not just the representatives of the timber industry and environment groups who support an end to the conflict over Tasmania’s forests. Send your message here.

Thanks for all you do,
The GetUp team.

PS – The newly released agreement is a complex one. It addresses some issues up front and leaves others to be resolved through ongoing processes. To read the full agreement and discuss what it means, check out this blog post.