Attendees at the ‘R U Appy’ launch in Lismore on 2 October 2014.

In advance of Mental Health Week from 5 to 10 October - the latter date marks World Mental Health Day - the launch of a Commonwealth funded training program to help Aboriginal and other health professionals better use apps and internet-based programs with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander clients was held in Lismore. 

R U Appy’, the North Coast Aboriginal e-Social and Emotional Wellbeing Training Program, brings together work done by the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH), the Menzies School of Health Research (NT) and Queensland University of Technology. Additional input was received from the Black Dog Institute, Macquarie University and the Aboriginal Health and Medical Research Council

Joint Medical Educator winners… Northern Rivers Dr Genevieve Yates and Dr Gerard Ingham from Victoria.

Medical Educator and Associate Director of Training for North Coast GP Training (NCGPT), Dr Genevieve Yates has been awarded the prestigious General Practice Education Training (GPET) Australian Medical Educator of the Year Award. 

Ballina based Dr Yates was acknowledged for her work training the next generation of doctors for the Northern Rivers Region.

In addition to her work for NCGPT, she works for MDA National (designing and delivering medico-legal education), the Royal College of General Practitioners (as an educator and examiner) and as a medical writer (columnist, novelist and playwright). She also plays violin, piano, and sings. 

Clinical director David Godden in the superb setting of the Nungkari Treatment Centre.

It is billed as “an integrative holistic residential treatment centre providing specialised support services for individuals struggling with drug and alcohol addiction, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, trauma and co-dependency.”

However, Nungkari (the word means an Indigenous traditional healer) can be described more simply as a touch of paradise in the Byron Bay hinterland where a clinical team can draw on the environment to assist the recovery and sustainable wellbeing of their patients/clients.

Conditions addressed also include Trauma/PTSD, Sex Addiction, and Pain Management.

Although situated in a quiet setting with million-dollar views, the purpose-built treatment centre, whose doors open on 9 October, is not aimed at rich celebrities seeking a luxury detox, according to clinical director David Godden.

Thomas George MP (4th from left) with Bonalbo community members, NNSW LHD staff and Board Chair Dr Brian Pezzutti (3rd from right) at the announcement of funding to build a Multi Purpose Service in the upper Clarence town.

Construction work on the new Bonalbo Multi Purpose Service (MPS) is set to begin in mid-2015, the state Member for Lismore Thomas George announced on 24 September 2014.

Estimated at more than $15 million, the project is funded out of the NSW Government’s Multi Purpose Service stage five program and will fill service gaps that have existed in the inland town for some years.

The announcement follows the recent commencement of GP Dr Sunil Sunil, hailing from India via NZ and Coonamble, NSW who has taken took up residence, and practice, in the town.

Dr Sunil fills the large – and long-lasting – shoes of Dr Trevor Tierney who served the community for some 30 years until retirement in 2011. Locums filled the gap after he left, with Dr Kate Ealing in residence for the past year.

In an age of rising obesity and mounting chronic disease, we believe Australians are becoming less healthy, making the national health budget blow out as fast as people’s waistlines.

But one set of statistics suggests otherwise: in 2012-13, the latest period surveyed, estimated spending per person on health averaged $6,430, some $17 less per person than in the previous year http://www.aihw.gov.au/publication-detail/?id=60129548871

The new report from the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW),