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Entries in Mental Health (47)

Thursday
Sep212017

Dads and their Babies

With special guest:

  • Dr Dawson Cooke

We will all readily make the assumption that the bond between mothers and their babies is important for the health of the family but what about the dad-baby bond? Our guest today is Dr Dawson Cooke who is able to discuss that relationship based on the findings in his study recently published in Infant Mental Health. Dr Cooke has been working with parents and particularly fathers for the last 15 years both in his practice and as a researcher at Curtin University in WA. In his latest study which involved 451 families he has made some findings that have caught the attention of the media.

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Thursday
Sep142017

Parents Beyond Breakup

With special guest:

  • Pete Nicholls

Who are Parents Beyond Breakup?

If you have not heard already about Parents Beyond Breakup it is very likely that you will soon because the word is getting out from our guest today Pete Nicholls who has been instrumental in raising awareness in the community. Parents Beyond Breakup is a national charity working in many communities around Australia focussing on suicide prevention in one of the demographics most at risk, namely separating parents.

Parents Beyond Breakup is the parent body for the well-known Dads in Distress who have been guests on the program many times previously and provided presenter Phil York for several years. But as our guest today Pete Nicholls explains a demand has grown for helping mothers in times of crisis and so Parents Beyond Breakup now incorporates both Dads in Distress and Mums in Distress as part of its operations.

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Thursday
Jul272017

Sam’s Best Shot

With special guest:

  • Dr James Best

How many Dads will walk away from their jobs for six months, sell their home and then travel to the wilds of Africa in the hope that it will be good for their son?

We like to think most Dads would do it. Today we get to speak to Dr James Best who did exactly that with his 14 year old son Sam. Sam said he went away as a boy and came back as a person summing up what his parents had hoped for when they embarked on this adventure.

Sam has special needs because he has been diagnosed as being on the autism spectrum. Sam is around about the middle of the spectrum not at the extreme end of either those who cannot talk or the savants. Sam can read and write, he is good at maths and music. He comes out with quirky interpretations of what others see and is often described as a charmer. Sam’s greatest difficulty is with social communication, maintaining eye contact and focussing on a task. He is prone to outbursts, even violent outbursts when frustrated.

Behind the thinking of James was that they had tried all the conventional approaches to dealing with autism and yet they still worried whether Sam would be able to form relationships, get a job and to all the other things we regard as normal in Western society. So having done a lot of scientific research on their own and with the support of the experts in the field Sam and his wife Benison decided to take on something different.

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Thursday
Jun152017

Men’s Health Week 2017

With special guest:

  • Prof John Macdonald

Men’s Health Week this year is going to provide a platform to challenge and debate key issues in men’s health and to raise the profile of men, their health outcomes and health needs around the country. The week is not going to be focussed on telling men where they are going wrong which is good news for men and boys.

Our guest today is Professor John Macdonald who tells us about some of the many activities surrounding Men’s Health Week that we can expect and look forward to in June of each year. The theme in 2017 is Healthy Body Healthy Mind: Keeping the Balance. John tells us that they do go hand in hand so if you look after yourself physically you will get the mental advantage as well.

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Thursday
Jun082017

Mates4Mates

With special guest:

  • Simon Sauer AM CSC

Mates is a word Australians have felt comfortable with for a long time. It resonates with young and old, male and female as a description for someone we will be there for, to lend a hand if necessary. So when Mates4Mates began in 2013 as an initiative of the Queensland RSL most Australians knew what their activities would consist of.

Our guest today is Simon Sauer, the CEO of Mates4Mates who prior to this had a distinguished career in the RAAF and now supports his injured Defence Force Mates.

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Thursday
Jun012017

Children in Crisis

With special guest:

  • Dr David Curl

Our distinguished guest in today’s program is very familiar with threatened species in the animal kingdom, having worked with luminaries such as the late Gerald Durrell OBE and Sir David Attenborough. He is now directing his considerable energy and ability to helping our own species in a crisis that is of our own making.

For a child, few crises are bigger than the loss of a loving parent. We often hear about those who had to grow up after the early death of a parent and those who never got over it. Fortunately, this does not happen to many of us. But a parent can be taken away by the Family Court just as effectively. If not handled properly, the separation of the child’ parents from each other can lead to immense personal suffering for their children and increased lifetime risks of physical and mental illness, even suicide. For this to happen to even one child is a catastrophe, but the reality is that tens of thousands of children, in Australia alone, are being forced to experience this trauma, compounded by the loss of other family members, as a direct result of the action or inaction of Australia’s adversarial family court system.

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Thursday
May252017

How You Can STOP MALE SUICIDE in 7 simple steps

With special guest:

  • Glen Poole

Step one if we are going to stop male suicide is to know the facts. This is when it hits home just how appalling the current situation is in Australia and around the world. Eight people a day die by suicide in Australia and six of them are men and boys.

Our guest today is Glen Poole who presented at the National Men’s Health Gatherings in Brisbane (2013) and the Central Coast of NSW (2015) before travelling around Australia presenting seminars and finding out first-hand what is driving men and boys to this level of despair.

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Thursday
May112017

SMS4dads

With special guest:

  • Dr Chris May

Who ya gonna call?

Our guest today is Dr Chris May from the University of Newcastle and he has a simple message for new Dads with mobile phones. Sign up for SMS4 dads and you will get the advice you need to deal with the new challenges we face as a Dad. This is not limited to young Dads. The age range of Dads already accessing the service extends to the over 50 year olds.

A really good aspect of this service is that it is available to Dads in remote locations that find it particularly hard to access help. The NBN is opening up the most remote areas to better communication and this will make access easy.

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Thursday
Apr272017

Private Bill: In Love and War

With special guest:

  • Barrie Cassidy

It makes for a rare occasion when Barrie Cassidy goes to the other side of the microphone. Barrie is one of Australia’s most respected and experienced political journalists and we welcome him to Dads on the Air.

But we are not going to discuss politics in this program. We are going to find out more about Barrie’s father Bill who is the main subject in Barrie’s book Private Bill: In Love and War.

After saying nothing about his war experiences for many years Bill Cassidy finally agreed to tell his children in great detail what he was doing in 1941, how he got seriously injured and finished up as a POW without being captured. He was transported in cattle trucks, put into isolation and had two unsuccessful escapes from the German Stalags. This period was when Bill faced the first of several major tests that he had to get through as he made his way through a long life.

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Thursday
Apr202017

From Bullied to Brilliant

With special guest:

  • Karen Clarke

Have you been bullied? Has anyone in your family been bullied?

In her book From Bullied to Brilliant: How to artfully avoid fitting in, our guest sets out how to understand and deal with bullies. In the program today we get to hear directly from Karen Clarke how to bounce back and turn pain into gain when confronted by bullies.

We learn that bullying can be experienced by anyone at any stage in life and it is nothing to be ashamed of if you are the victim. It is one of the myths of bullying that the victim has shown some weakness that the bully seizes on but in fact bullies are often attracted to people who possess the very qualities they secretly or unknowingly admire.

A topical issue that we discuss is the prevalence of cyber bullying, a new phenomenon in the history of bullying that has sometimes led to tragic consequences.

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Thursday
Feb022017

SAMSN (Survivors & Mates Support Network)

With special guest:

  • Mark Griffiths

The Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse is increasing our awareness of the harm done to the vulnerable children in our midst. But while we wait for a government response to the revelations, one group is out there now healing the distress for victims.

SAMSN was established in 2010 by two survivors of childhood sexual abuse when they discovered that there were no support groups to help them. SAMSN is a not-for-profit organisation that is not affiliated with any religious organisation.

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Thursday
Jan262017

National Emergency – Suicide Rates for Our Men

With special guest:

  • Anthony Smith

1901 male deaths by suicide were recorded in 2012 along with another 634 females meaning a total of 2,535 Australians lost their lives in this way. There has been no significant improvement in the period since these figures became available.

Our guest today, Anthony Smith, argues that these figures are conservative and the belief of the people working in this area is that the figure for men should be some 500 higher. Reasons for this conservatism include the shortfall in the number of Coronial enquiries and the general reluctance of Coroners to brand a sudden death as suicide because this only makes it harder for the surviving family members to deal with the tragedy.

Yet even on the numbers we have available it is hard to understand how we could allow so many men to die from this cause without there being headlines in the newspapers. There is more coverage when a whale beaches on an isolated sandy shore.

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Thursday
Dec012016

Not All Superheroes Wear Capes

With special guest:

  • Quentin Kenihan

Quentin crashes Dads on the Air?

Our guest today is Quentin Kenihan who first came to public attention over thirty years ago when he was interviewed by Mike Willesee for national TV. All these years later we hear again from Quentin about a series of extraordinary experiences, superhero adventures and also trips to the other end of the spectrum when it all seemed very bleak.

At times Quentin has battled depression, loneliness, fear, anxiety and pain. But Quentin has never let disappointment keep him low for long. Before you know it he has his zest for life back again and he is off chasing another goal from his bucket list that is constantly being updated.

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Thursday
Nov102016

Stop Men Dying Too Young

With special guest:

  • Sam Gledhill

Movember is a classic example of someone having a great idea.

In 2003 a few blokes came up with the idea of combining fundraising with a fashion statement for men and 13 years later that idea has led to over $700m being raised to benefit men’s health in some areas that are not fashionable.

Our guest today is Sam Gledhill who is the Men’s Health Program Manager at Movember. We had a fantastic interview with Sam last year in Movember and this year there is a lot to talk about as the movement keeps expanding.

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Thursday
Nov032016

Life in Limbo: My battle with depression, infertility and mental illness

With special guest:

  • Matt Barwick

In his book Life in Limbo Matt Barwick says that men in their desire to be alpha-male typically hide behind an impenetrable wall of machismo. So if anyone asks “How ya going?” the response is most likely going to be a stoic “Yeah everything’s fine.” No-one must see any sign of weakness or fragility, particularly male friends. The result is that most men avoid open and honest communication about physical or mental health.

This book changes that expectation in a big way. Matt writes openly, candidly and even dispenses some laid back humour along the way in describing his own extreme personal experiences.

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Thursday
Oct132016

Fathers Reaching Out

With special guest:

  • Mark Williams

Our guest in today’s program is Mark Williams who has been awarded “Inspirational Father of the Year” at the Pride of Britain awards. This is impressive enough but it also shows how far he has come since the birth of his son Ethan in 2004.

Both Mark and his wife Michelle suffered crippling anxiety after the birth and Mark hit rock bottom when he began to experience suicidal thoughts. And yet the reason for the torrent of negative emotions and spiralling depression had less to do with their son than the mental health issues that were confronting them. In hindsight Mark recognises that he had experienced a condition long recognised in mothers, that of post-natal depression.

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Thursday
Oct062016

Parental Alienation Awareness Day Australia

With special guest:

  • Amanda Sillars

Sometimes good can come from the most horrific events in a person’s life.

Amanda Sillars is our guest in this program and Amanda has experienced extreme parental alienation both as a child and a targeted parent. Her reaction has been to become an energetic campaigner against parental alienation which affects so many children and parents in our community.

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Thursday
Sep222016

Connect, Communicate, Care

With special guest:

  • Kim Borrowdale

The World Health Organisation estimates that over 800,000 people die by suicide every year - that’s one every 40 seconds. In Australia the latest figures show that 2,684 Australians took their own life in 2014. And what is worse is that the official figures are undoubtedly conservative because of the method of reporting and the desire by survivors to avoid the stigma of having a family member dying in that way.

Against this desire to keep the facts quiet, communication is a primary way of raising awareness in the community. Communication is the driver of R U OK?, an Australian group doing great work to help reduce suicide. We also hear how the Connect Communicate Care messages of World Suicide Prevention Day are important ways of responding to the unacceptably high suicide rate in Australia.

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Thursday
Sep152016

The Prostate Cancer Challenge

With special guest:

  • Peter Dornan AM

Our guest is not squeamish about many things. He opens up to us today about what it is like to face a condition that we still do not like talking about, urinary incontinence. Incontinence affects men and women; it has been described as the most widespread yet least known and understood affliction in society today. This problem can seriously impact on your lifestyle, job, emotional wellbeing, exercise activity and most importantly, your sex life.

Peter Dornan has been a leading Physiotherapist for over fifty years and during that time he has helped patients with all sorts of complaints. Yet twenty years ago he did not know what a prostate was when he was told that he had prostate cancer and if he did not take any action it would kill him.

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Thursday
Jul142016

Are Fathers Important for Adolescents?

With special guest:

  • Dr William (Bill) Fabricius

Most studies in the area of children and families concentrate on the influence of mothers. Fathers are understudied in this area. For this reason we welcome the results of a soon to be published paper on the role of fathers and we have the opportunity today to speak with one of its lead authors, Associate Professor Dr William Fabricius who joins us from New York. The title of the paper is Effects of the Inter-Parental Relationship on Adolescents’ Emotional Security and Adjustment: The Important Role of Fathers.

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