Monday, 17 November 2014

Family focus - talking together about parental depression & anxiety

Children of Parents with a Mental Illness (COPMI) and Beyondblue, DVD

Family focus is a DVD divided into two sections: adults and children. The children’s section has a video featuring two young women who have parents living with mental illness and helpful resources including the Koolta help music video.

For adults, there are two short films to view, the first one is entitled Karl’s story and the second Christina’s story. Both look at the impact of a parent’s mental illness on families and on children.

Karl’s Story shows how prevalent depression is for men in a rural setting. An important message is to identify and encourage people to get help and not dismiss what they are experiencing.  This film is valuable because it shows families as a unit and the benefit of supporting parents for the health and wellbeing of children.

The second film Christina’s story, is about anxiety. Christina, a mother of two primary school children Ella and Jason, is overwhelmed living with anxiety. What this film makes clear, is that children need to be included in discussions and understandings about their parent’s mental illness and know it is not their fault.

The Children’s section features Amy and Jess, who are young women who have parents with a mental illness. They emphasise facts about mental illness and messages such as, we all have days when we are sad but when people are so sad it is “hard to do everyday things, this kind of worry is called anxiety”.  Kids need to know that when parents live with anxiety or depression, it is not their fault. The “most important thing to do is to keep on being a kid” with time to do enjoyable things. It is tough for the person who is unwell but also for their children. Talking about it as a family can be really helpful.  Also in the children’s section of the DVD is Koolta’s rapping about parent’s mental health to help kids remember key messages.  This V-Clip can be viewed on youtube.

Find more fun youtube clips with key messages on what kids need to know on the COPMI website, under the kids, teens and young adults page. Plenty of other useful resources for families and health professionals are found on the COPMI website, including participation strategies on how to involve both youth and adults in mental health.

The AWCH library also holds books for health professionals such as Children caring for parents with mental illness: perspectives of young carers, parents and professionals and Children of parents with mental illness edited by Vicki Cowling.

Review by: Jillian Rattray
AWCH Librarian -
November 2014

Thursday, 6 November 2014

D is for Diabetes

Australians can’t afford to ignore diabetes. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare (AIHW) reports, in 2011-2012 there were about 1 million Australians with diabetes. In the report How common is diabetes, you will see statistics on the different types of diabetes and prevalence in states/territories around Australia and a table including prevalence of Type 1 diabetes in children.

Resources available from AWCH Child Health Library
Awareness about diabetes is raised this week through Walk to Work Day WTW, organized by Diabetes Australia. This fundraising event promotes a healthy lifestyle for Australians building walking into their daily routine.

Another recent walking event held was the Walk to Cure for type 1 diabetes, T1D, hosted by JDFR (Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation Australia). Find on JDFR website, information about type 1 diabetes, T1D is the fastest growing chronic disease amongst Australian children. Information for parents and carers includes JDRF’s role supporting families, meeting other kids with T1D, there’s a kid’s online community and  peer support program for parents.  Information resources for health professionals, school resources, JDFR research initiatives and more can be found on the website. JDFR was voted by Australian Charity Awards, Charity of the Year 2014.

Diabetes Australia is Australia’s leading Diabetes organization and is located around Australia. Diabetes NSW hosts a website for teens and kids with type 1 diabetes, from here find multilingual resources and resources for kids such as Professor Bumblebee's guide to type 1 diabetes, D-Zone for teens and parents and teachers will also find useful links.

Many people will find helpful, basic information to increase understanding, such as the difference between type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes. Here’s two information sheets with a child and family focus.
 Find essential information about type 2 diabetes including what is, the differences between type 1 and type 2 diabetes, risk factors for type 2 diabetes, how it develops, diagnosis and management. With clear and easy descriptions adults and young adults will find the medical and educational information is reliable, reviewed by the Health Care and Education Committee of Diabetes Australia. From this starting point there are links to State/Territory Diabetes Australia organizations websites.
This is a brief overview of information and includes the symptoms and causes of type 1 diabetes. Causes or triggers of diabetes are explained as well as lifelong management and the diabetes team. Type 1 diabetes is not related to lifestyle or caused by eating too many sweets. Some people carry the genes which make them more likely to get type 1 diabetes.

There are many other diabetes information sheets on medical and educational topics the category of information is listed with topics such as healthy eating, going to hospital/day surgery, taking control, medications, mental health etc. They are available for download or can be purchased in bulk.

Diabetes Australia has an extensive links page to authoritative sources such as Health direct from Australian government partners. Link through to myDr and Diabetes: tips for children or Diabetes: tips for teenagers.  On myDr, Type 2 diabetes,  find out how type 2 diabetes was often known as adult-onset diabetes or non-insulin diabetes, more  younger people are being affected and so terminology has changed.

Key organisations, such as Diabetes Australia point to this manual for parents, Caring for diabetes in children and adolescents, a parent’s manual, edited by Geoffrey Ambler and Fergus Cameron (3 MB). The AWCH Child Health Library holds a copy of the earlier edition, it is exciting to see the third edition is now online and so easily accessible (joint project of the Children's Hospital at Westmead and the Royal Children's Hospital). This comprehensive parent manual comes with illustrations and clear text covering a wide range of topics from medical to educational and social and emotional aspects of living with diabetes.

For a helpful overview of diabetes in adolescents including transition, visit Women and Children’s health network page, parenting and child health, SA.

Health professionals will refer to Clinical practice guidelines: Type 1 diabetes in children and adolescents, prepared by the Australasian Paediatric Endocrine Group for the Department of Health and Ageing, March 2005.

The AWCH Child Health Library has DVD’s and books on diabetes available for loan, such as

Jillian Rattray
AWCH librarian
November 2014