May 23-29, 2019 Dubbo Photo News
WHAT KIDS SAY
Help sought as demand increases for youth mental health service By LYDIA PEDRANA
Indi Smith Age: I’m four and Leo is my friend. Favourite song? I think I like ‘Incy Wincy Spider’ and that one is the river. Favourite colour? I think I just like rainbow! Favourite game? Dinosaur rock and I like the lollipop game Who is your best friend? Leon! What makes you laugh? When I do funny stuff, just funny stuff! What makes you sad? When crocodiles eat me What are you afraid of? Dinosaurs! If you could change your name, what would it be? Indi! What are you really good at? Doing backﬂips and handstands What is your favourite thing to eat for lunch? Donuts! What is your favourite fruit? Olive fruit. Ooh yeah... and strawberries What do you want to be when you grow up? Lily How old is grown up? This big! (Lifts hand over head) like you! (points to photographer)
AS the demand for youth mental health services increases, Headspace Dubbo is encouraging local businesses to get behind the organisation. While they can’t pinpoint why the demand has increased, one likely reason is the drought which has taken a major toll on the community and surrounding areas, according to Community and Youth Engagement Coordinator, Amy Mines. “Obviously, the drought has affected a lot of families and we’ve seen more young people affected by drought and what it’s doing to their families, so the demand has increased,” she said. “And while Headspace is a Dubbo centre, because we are on the doorstep to rural and remote areas, we do see families bringing their young people in from all around.” Providing free, confidential and non-judgmental support to young people aged between
12 and 25 years, Headspace was established in Dubbo in 2015. Ms Mines said Headspace Dubbo has run primarily on government funding over the past four years, but is now turning to the community for support. But Headspace isn’t just another charity looking for spare change. “If a business is looking to support us, I guess their first question is how? Is it just money that they want? And it’s certainly not just money that we are after, quite often we can benefit from in-kind supports rather than a monetary contribution,” Ms Mines told Dubbo Photo News. “Just one example is that there could be an accountant or financial advisory firm out there that would be happy to offer free tax returns for young people, but that’s just one of many different ways a business could be involved.” And the organisation isn’t just looking to take, but rather
hopes to build an ongoing relationship, beneficial to both parties. “We certainly don’t want it to be a one-sided relationship with local businesses. Headsapce could see what support a business has in place for their staff in a mental health perspective, and if we could give them some mental health education or put them in touch with someone who could offer mental health first aid training – we are looking for that kind of two-way relationship,” Ms Mines said. “In the long run, we end up with a much more mental health ready and aware community.” Ms Mines also outlined the extensive range of services that Headspace offers to our young citizens. “We are just one of 113 centres across Australia but basically the ethos of the Headspace brand is to be a one-stop shop for young people” she said. “We have a GP that is here
RURAL HEALTH MATTERS
once a week, we have a sexual health nurse, we have Centrelink coming in and offering advice on queries around what people might be entitled to, and we have financial counsellors who can help youth set up a budget or maybe look at problem gambling.” They also hold mental health awareness workshops in local schools and offer oneon-one online and telephone counselling to young peo-
The balancing act of antibiotic use Ged Hawthorn, Senior Clinical Pharmacist Antibiotics are a precious resource and play a vital role in treating life threatening bacterial infections. However, our society has become very dependent on using antibiotics, sometimes unnecessarily, which will mean that some antibiotics will no longer work when we really need them. The World Health Organisation has labelled antimicrobial resistance as one of the greatest threats to global health. A post antibiotic era, where common infections caused by multi-resistant organisms do not respond to antibiotics that may have worked in the past, is a reality. Using antibiotics when they are not needed has two unintentional side eﬀects. Firstly, it can weaken your own bodies natural defence, which makes you more likely to get infections from other germs, but it also contributes to promoting antimicrobial resistance which threatens the health of our whole society.
What can we do to reduce antimicrobial resistance? Each year your family will probably have colds, sore throats and viruses. We all would like our children to get better as quickly as possible, but we shouldn’t put pressure on our GP to prescribe antibiotics. A cold should resolve in 7-10 days and an ear ache usually resolves on its own within 2 days. When symptoms persist longer than this your doctor will do some additional investigation to work out whether antibiotics are required.
You may be surprised to hear that antibiotics should only be taken for as long as needed. Shortening the duration minimises the development of resistance. Unless treating deep seated infections, repeats for antibiotics are often not necessary. The number of tablets in a box may exceed the duration that is needed. For example, for a woman with a urinary tract infection, three days of antibiotics is often suﬃcient, but the box usually has seven days supply. Remember to ask your doctor how long you need to take your antibiotics. Your family can help prevent the spread of infections by regularly washing your hands and keeping up to date with vaccinations.
Taking antibiotics? Improve your gut health to minimise short term side eﬀects If you are taking antibiotics these may cause inﬂammation in the gut. You can help healthy bacteria grow by limiting alcohol, processed foods and sugar in your diet which can irritate your digestive system. You can also increase your intake of prebiotic and probiotic foods as well. Prebiotics are plant ﬁbre rich foods that act as a fertiliser for the good bacteria in your gut. These can be found most commonly in almonds, apples, bananas, garlic, onions, leeks and Jerusalem artichokes, however increasing the number of fruits, vegetables, legumes (beans, chickpeas and lentils), nuts, seeds, and whole grains will help overall.
Probiotics are live bacteria that can be found in yogurt and other fermented foods such as sauerkraut or kombucha and they add to the population of healthy microbes in your gut. Whilst it is important to avoid unnecessary use of antibiotics, they are also life-saving medications that should be used when needed. If you or someone in your family is unwell, in pain, have high fever or your symptoms last for more than week, you should see your family GP who will recommend the best course of action.
Where can I get more information? For more information on the use of antibiotics visit the Australian Parenting Network website (raisingchildren.net.au) or the Health Direct website (healthdirect.gov.au/antibiotic-resistance)
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Common colds and ﬂu are viral infections, taking antibiotics will not help these conditions. Bugs in your stomach can remain resistant to antibiotics for up to one year after taking a course. There is developing research linking overuse of antibiotics to longer term side eﬀects such as obesity, diabetes, depression, asthma, allergies and some auto-immune diseases.
Ged Hawthorn Senior Clinical Pharmacist
Ged Hawthorn is a clinical pharmacist with a keen interest in rural health. Raised on a property near Forbes, Ged completed his education in country NSW. Since graduating, he has worked in rural and remote regions of NSW and has been active in developing the next generation of rural health leaders. Ged has a keen interest in antimicrobial stewardship and heads up the antimicrobial stewardship program at Orange Health Service. Outside of his work at Orange Base Hospital, Ged is a guest lecturer for The University of Sydney School of Rural Health at their campus’ in Orange and is a keen furniture maker. Ged is working towards the goal of being able to have a balance of the best of both the worlds of farming and pharmacy in the future.
Dubbo Photo News May 23-29, 2019