New guidelines for responding to childhood trauma
ASCA releases Practice Guidelines to improve the lives of survivors of all forms of child abuse, neglect and family violence in Australia
Sydney, 27 September, 2012: Adults Surviving Child Abuse (ASCA) today announces a global first with the launch of new guidelines in Australia for the Treatment of Complex Trauma and Trauma Informed Care and Service Delivery.
Funded by Federal Government Department of Health and Ageing, the guidelines were created by ASCA, the key national organisation focussed on the needs of adult survivors of all forms of childhood trauma.
Professor Warwick Middleton, Psychiatrist and member of ASCA’s Advisory Panel stated: “Society has demonstrated an extreme reluctance to probe into how trauma and abuse fill our mental health units, our drug and alcohol detox services, our prisons and our medical wards. Most of our mental health patients are traumatised, many grievously so.”
The purpose of the guidelines is to inform health professionals, workers and organisations about new ways of responding to trauma, in clinical practice and in health and human service settings. The guidelines aim to influence, advise and educate on treatment of complex trauma and the implementation of trauma informed care and service.
Clinical guidelines for the treatment of complex trauma have not previously existed, and the new guidelines are the world’s first to collate the last 20 years of national and international research.
President of ASCA, Dr Cathy Kezelman, said: “These guidelines address a long outstanding gap in the knowledge and understanding of informed responsiveness to complex trauma and a trauma informed approach to care.
“These Practice Guidelines have received widespread national and international endorsement even prior to release. They will enable new possibilities for recovery for the estimated four to five million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma.[i]”
The Government along with ASCA, and the co-authors of the Guidelines, Dr Cathy Kezelman and Dr Pam Stavropoulos, have been commended for their vision both nationally and internationally. ASCA and Australia are being recognised overseas for its pioneering work by leaders in the complex trauma field. Dr Kezelman and Dr Stavropoulos will present the new practice guidelines at an international workshop at the Annual ISSTD (International Society for Study of Trauma and Dissociation) Conference on 22 October in Longbeach, California.
ASCA is a foundation member of the national Advisory Working Group around Trauma Informed Care and Practice, under the leadership of Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC).
[i] Estimated from a range of key sources placing the figure at 4 – 5 million Australian adult survivors of childhood trauma.
About ASCA: www.asca.og.au
ASCA is a national charity which focuses exclusively on advancing the needs of the estimated four-five million Australian adults who are survivors of childhood trauma. ASCA was formed in 1995 and provides a range of services: professional phone support, a referral database, workshops for survivors and their supporters, education and training programs for health care professionals and workers, newsletters for survivors and health professionals, advocacy, research and health promotion in the areas of complex trauma and trauma informed care and practice. ASCA is also a founding member of the national Trauma Informed Care and Practice Advisory Working Group – advocating for a national agenda around trauma informed care and practice. ASCA is the key Australian organization providing hope, optimism and pathways to recovery for adults with complex needs who have experienced all forms of childhood trauma.
As defined by ASCA, childhood trauma includes sexual, physical and emotional abuse, neglect, witnessing and experiencing the impacts of family and community violence and a range of other adverse events.
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I wrote this because I found myself reminiscing about why we should always blur faces in videos and photographs from protests inside Iran and any similar totalitarian regimes where the slightest sign of dissent – real or imagined – has serious, often life-threatening implications.
Babak (Rajabali) Dashab, arrested in December 2009 and sentenced to 6 years, after being identified from video showing him burning a log during an Ashura protest, has been freed from prison in Iran after serving a reduced 3 year sentence. Three years for making a bonfire. Look at his son. Three years is a lifetime to a child of his age.
We are responsible
Before the “Arab Spring” there was the equally exhilarating “Green Wave”. Social media was our new playground; we were transformed from no-life couch-potato geeks to “citizen journalists”. The buzz of finding and sharing news about massive street protests in an increasingly paranoid…
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Climate Change – Western Australia’s High Emissions Profile
Date: Tue, 25/09/2012
I rise tonight to touch on some fairly alarming statistics that have arisen over the last few weeks in relation to the impacts of climate change. In July 2012, NASA’s climate change department identified that measurements from three satellites showed that on 8 July, about 40 per cent of Greenland’s ice sheet had undergone thawing at or near the surface. In just a few days, the melting had dramatically accelerated, and by 12 July, an estimated 97 per cent of the ice sheet had thawed. What is really amazing is that in no time in any of the 30 years in which records have been kept has this level of ice melt been seen.
This was subsequently followed up by the United States’ National Snow and Ice Data Centre, which has also announced a record decline in Arctic ice cover. The centre said that after five years that saw less ice than previously documented in the 34-year satellite record, this year’s record loss has scientists questioning their models. They also striving to understand the complex cascade of effects, from shifting weather patterns to displaced marine species, that the accelerating retreat could trigger.
This was followed up by the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation and the Australian Fisheries Research and Development Corporation when they released the “Marine Climate Change in Australia” 2012 report card. That report talks about significant and widespread physical changes, including rapid warming of the south-east and increased flow of the east Australia current. Biological impacts include reduced calcification in southern ocean plankton and Great Barrier Reef corals from both warming and acidification.
The CSIRO’s climate adaptation flagship report, dated September 2012 and titled “Implications for policymakers: Climate change, biodiversity conservation and the National Reserve System”, shows that the climate change impacts on biodiversity will be significant by 2030, and that by 2070, the impacts will be widespread and extreme. That has come from our own CSIRO this very month.
The consequences of extreme weather events are only too evident in our own backyard. Perth has had tornado damage, and we have had one-in-ten-year storms this year, two days apart. We had a record number of heat waves last summer, and two consecutive years of Perth’s highest ever average temperatures.
In our regional neighbourhood, we are obviously bearing witness to the rising sea-level threat to the daily existence of hundreds of millions of people in Bangladesh and Polynesia, and to the food bowl of South East Asia in the Mekong Delta. Yet knowing these things, and having access to this research and data from around the world, it seems to prompt little, if any, action from this state government to protect our community and ecosystems from the impacts of climate change. This government seems to be abrogating any responsibility for these impacts and is saying it is the federal government’s responsibility. But unfortunately, in my view, it is everybody’s responsibility. We cannot shirk our mutual responsibility for the expanding and alarming increase in the impacts of climate change that I have just outlined.
As members know, my office has undertaken research that shows that Western Australia is now producing in the region of 85 million tonnes of CO2 per annum. This makes Western Australia’s emissions profiles one of the highest per capita footprints of any developed country. That is not a positive position to be in and one that we should not be proud of. This data is freely available—congratulations!—on my website. The most worrying finding of this research is that although we have almost doubled our CO2 emissions to date, in talking to industry and getting their data, we can see that we will double, if not triple, that data into the future. Projections are that we will emit between 83 million tonnes and 124 million tonnes of CO2 within the next few years on top of our already doubled figures. The issues are that when many of our developments come on stream—Pluto, Gorgon, Wheatstone and Browse, and the redevelopments of Muja A and B—our emissions profile will go through the roof. It would appear to me that this government intends to do absolutely nothing to ensure that the emissions of Western Australian industry do not contribute disproportionately to climate change.
Climate change is real. It is here, and it is now. The rest of the world seems to be able to put these sorts of reports—our own reports—on the front page of their national newspapers. Yet in Western Australia, we do not see that. Indeed, we seem to be almost oblivious—blind—of the reality that is going on in the world around us. I would urge this government—I seriously would urge this government—to take a long, hard look at its role and its responsibility in this area. The government cannot say it is a federal responsibility. It is all of humanity’s responsibility. As members of that humanity, we must take action.
All the best
Robin Chapple MLC
Member for the Mining and Pastoral Region
PO Box 94, West Perth WA 6872
41 Havelock Street, West Perth. WA 6005
Our office provides a facility for members of the public to ask their own Parliamentary Questions through my website at http://www.robinchapple.com/ask-question. Questions on Notice are preferred, instructions and templates are provided.
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With more than 102,000 Australians seeking homelessness help in just three months – decisive action is needed
Australian Greens housing spokesperson Senator for Western Australia Scott Ludlam. 25 September 2012.
The Australian Greens today renewed their call for decisive action on homelessness with new figures showing more than 102,000 Australians sought help from homelessness agencies in just three months.
Greens housing spokesperson Senator Scott Ludlam said a report released today by the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare also showed almost 20,000 people needed emergency accommodation in the first three months of 2012.
“We need decisive action to tackle homelessness now. Kevin Rudd’s White Paper on homelessness promised to halve it by 2020, but we need more than fine words. The sector has no certainty about funding from next year when the National Partnership on Homelessness expires – part of the National Affordable Housing Agreement that needs to be renegotiated.
"Homelessness Australia said the homelessness sector needs at least $1.2 billion just to continue providing existing programs and services beyond 2013. We give away at least double this amount every year to property investors who already own at least one house through negative gearing. The Government spends more on tax shelters than on real shelters.”
Senator Ludlam said action to increase the supply of affordable housing would reduce homelessness over the medium to long term.
“We need, for example, to see the announcement of another 50,000 National Rental Affordability Scheme incentives for new affordable rental dwellings. NRAS was launched in July 2008 and provided $1 billion of incentives over four years for 50,000 affordable rental properties. A further 50,000 incentives were promised from 2012 if demand was strong. It’s time to hold the Federal Government to this promise.”
Senator Ludlam said a ‘Convert To Rent’ programme would also help alleviate the crisis.
“For the past two years the Australian Greens have submitted our Convert to Rent housing initiative to Treasury for consideration. It involves grants of up to $21,000 to help landlords convert empty commercial space, shop-top rooms, and run-down homes into affordable rental housing. Recent figures showed one in ten residential properties in the Perth metropolitan area are empty. We made the case for $350 million, which would have resulted in 15,000 new affordable rental dwellings, but it was rejected.”
During the months of January, February and March this year, about 102,400 people were assisted by homelessness agencies nation-wide, and on any given night almost 18,600 clients were accommodated.
Media contact: Giovanni Torre – 0417 174 302