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Awareness weeks guide

Health Awareness Week

October is Mental Health Month

(including World Mental Health Awareness Day Monday 10th of October 2022)

Mental Health Awareness Month is a national event that aims to improve community awareness and interest in mental health and wellbeing. In 2022, the theme for South Australia’s mental health awareness programming is “Connecting with Community”. Mental Health Coalition of SA



Bipolar Disorder


Personality disorders





Occupational Therapy



Social Work


Holding Hope: Co-producing eating disorders education that integrates the lived experience voice to inform best practice
Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing 30 September 2022
Reframing mental health education towards a more strengths-based, trauma-informed and recovery focused lens has the potential to upskill the health workforce in how to hold hope, space and learn to walk the fight with people living and recovering with an ED.

Associations between violence, self-harm and acute psychiatric service use: Implications for inpatient care Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing 7 September 2022
The novel associations found between enacting violence, self-harm and being the target of violence indicate trauma-informed care is crucial to reduce violent presentations of distress. Implications for practice: System level interventions are crucial to ensure mental health nurses are supported to provide trauma-informed care.

Domestic violence screening in a Public Mental Health Service: A qualitative examination of mental health clinician responses to DFV Journal of psychiatric and mental health nursing 7 September 2022
The novel associations found between enacting violence, self-harm and being the target of violence indicate trauma-informed care is crucial to reduce violent presentations of distress. Implications for practice System level interventions are crucial to ensure mental health nurses are supported to provide trauma-informed care.

Needs, challenges, and coping strategies among primary caregivers of schizophrenia patient: A systematic review & meta-synthesis Archives of psychiatric nursing 9 September 2022
The primary caregivers provide unparalleled service to the health system and for the patient. The healthcare providers need to give undue attention to the unmet needs and challenges of the caregivers, which would benefit the health system by enabling the caregivers in providing long-term care for the schizophrenic.

Promoting mental health recovery by design: Physical, procedural, and relational security in the context of the mental health built environment International journal of mental health nursing 12 September 2022
Building designers should optimize therapeutic environments to facilitate dignified intensive and stabilizing treatments and eliminate vicarious stigma associated with caring for people with mental illness. This study provides valuable insights from a community of users who have experienced receiving and delivering mental health care within a regional and rural mental health unit.

Concept analysis of recovery from substance use International journal of mental health nursing 18 September 2022
In this paper, the authors provide an analysis of the concept of recovery from substance use.


Occupational Therapy
Participant outcomes and facilitator experiences following a community living skills program for adult mental health consumers
Community mental health journal 8 September 2022
Outcomes from participating in a six-week small-group living skills program, periodically implemented over two years with twelve adult mental health consumers, are reported as a case study. Occupational therapy and recovery-oriented approaches underpinned the development and implementation of the program thus it was important that outcome measures aligned with these perspectives. Data were gathered pre and post program using the Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) and the Life Skills Profile-16 (LSP-16) in each iteration of the program. Two occupational therapy program facilitators were interviewed about their experience of running the program and using these measurement tools. COPM occupational performance (p = 0.001) and COPM satisfaction (p = 0.004) scores indicated significant change at post-program whereas the LSP-16 total and subscale scores did not (p = 0.132 for total scores). Facilitator insights into the experience of implementing the living skills program and the perceived alignment of the COPM and LSP-16 with recovery-oriented practice are reported.

Relationship between sensory profile and self-perceived quality of life in people with schizophrenia: An exploratory study Occupational therapy in mental health 23 September 2022
The aim of this study was to explore the relationship between sensory profiles and the quality of life.

Experiences with continuous quality improvement work based on the Occupational Therapy Intervention Process Model Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy 9 September 2022
By using the model, the occupational therapists had established a safe and well-known professional reasoning in which continual quality improvement work had become sustainable.

Clinical reasoning of occupational therapists in selecting activities together with older adults with dementia to postpone further development of cognitive decline Scandinavian journal of occupational therapy 9 September 2022
The study suggests that to pursue enabling active participation in activities among older adults with dementia, and promoting the quality of participation, occupational therapists must consider the identified elements that are important in selecting the activities which might be used to postpone cognitive decline in each individual.


MDMA-assisted psychotherapy for post-traumatic stress disorder: The devil is in the detail
ANZ journal of psychiatry 27 September 2022
Recent years have seen escalating media, public and scientific interest in psychedelic medicine. Australia and New Zealand have been late to this research; however, in the past 2 years, rapid developments suggest that this is changing. Here, the authors argue for the need to critically review existing evidence in this field to guide future directions.

Smoke and mirrors: Support from psychiatrists for nicotine e-cigarette availability in Australia ANZ journal of psychiatry 18 September 2022
The Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ (RANZCP) 2018 position statement supports increased, regulated availability of e-cigarettes (ECs) as a harm-reduction measure and recommends further research into their use. Aligned with this recommendation, we aimed to critically evaluate the RANZCP’s stance on this issue through a literature review focused on the areas identified in the position statement as requiring further investigation: (1) the adverse health effects attributable to ECs; (2) use of ECs for smoking cessation (particularly for people living with severe mental illness); and (3) EC-associated risks for nicotine naïve young people. We identified and summarised evidence of harm attributable to ECs that is particularly relevant to young people through direct adverse health sequelae, onset of nicotine dependence and increased risk of combustible cigarette (CC) use.

Effectiveness of standard sequential bilateral repetitive Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation vs Bilateral Theta Burst Stimulation in older adults with depression: The FOUR-D randomized noninferiority clinical trial JAMA psychiatry 21 September 2022
In older adults with treatment-resistant depression, bilateral theta burst stimulation compared with standard bilateral rTMS achieved noninferior reduction in depression symptoms.

Falls in community-dwelling women with bipolar disorder: a case–control study BMC psychiatry 20 September 2022
Risk of falls was greater among women with BD. Balance training could be a research and clinical focus for falls prevention programs among women with bipolar disorder to prevent the detrimental outcomes associated with falling.

Association of mental health burden with prenatal cannabis exposure from childhood to early adolescence: longitudinal findings from The adolescent brain cognitive development (ABCD) Study JAMA pediatrics 12 September 2022
Prenatal cannabis exposure (PCE) is associated with persisting vulnerability to broad-spectrum psychopathology as children progress through early adolescence. Increased psychopathology may lead to greater risk for psychiatric disorders and problematic substance use as children enter peak periods of vulnerability in later adolescence.

Rates and correlates of cannabis-associated psychotic symptoms in over 230,000 people who use cannabis Translational psychiatry 6 September 2022
Taken together, acute self-limiting psychotic symptoms in the context of cannabis use may occur in about 1 in 200 people who use cannabis (PWUC’s) lifetime. Some individuals could be particularly sensitive to the adverse psychological effects of cannabis, such as young individuals or those with pre-existing mental health vulnerabilities. In light of the movements towards legalization of recreational cannabis, more research should focus on the potential harms related to cannabis use, to educate PWUC and the public about risks related to its use.

Delirium-associated medication in people at risk. A systematic update review, meta-analyses and GRADE-profiles Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica 28 September 2022
The authors  investigated the retrievable body of evidence for delirium-associated medication. The results of this systematic review were then interpreted in conjunction with other evidence-based works and guidelines providing conclusions for clinical decision making.

Treatment efficacy and effectiveness in adults with major depressive disorder and childhood trauma history: a systematic review and meta-analysis The Lancet psychiatry 22 September 2022
Contrary to previous studies, the authors found evidence that the symptoms of patients with major depressive disorder and childhood trauma significantly improve after pharmacological and psychotherapeutic treatments, notwithstanding their higher severity of depressive symptoms. Evidence-based psychotherapy and pharmacotherapy should be offered to patients with major depressive disorder regardless of childhood trauma status.

Cognitive trajectories following onset of psychosis: a meta-analysis British journal of psychiatry 23 September 2022
There is no evidence of continued cognitive decline or improvement in the early years following psychosis onset, with a need for more studies over longer follow-up periods. Practice effects highlight the importance of including control samples in longitudinal and intervention studies. Further data are needed to evaluate the course of social cognition subdomains.

Advances in the gut microbiome and mood disorders Current opinion in psychiatry 22 September 2022
Gut microbiome modulations allow new treatment strategies including the use of psychobiotics for the treatment and prevention of mood disorders. Well designed clinical trials aiming for personalized medicine are needed to investigate the efficacy and safety of psychobiotic interventions.

What is the global prevalence of depression among men who have sex with men? A systematic review and meta-analysis Annals of general psychiatry 12 September 2022
The pooled prevalence of depression among men who have sex with men (MSM) was almost three times higher than the general male population. Therefore, particular and therapeutic interventions such as screening, and harm reduction programs for mental disorders, especially depression, are suggested to be considered in service packages.


Effect of compassion-focused therapy on self-criticism and self-soothing: A meta-analysis
British journal of clinical psychology 29 September 2022
CFT has proven to be an effective intervention for reducing self-criticism. However, given that the number of studies is small and that only half of them are controlled trials, the results must be interpreted cautiously. More randomized controlled trials comparing CFT with other therapies are needed to determine the effect of this intervention on self-criticism with more scientific evidence.

Formal mindfulness practice predicts reductions in PTSD symptom severity following a mindfulness-based intervention for women with co-occurring PTSD and substance use disorder Addiction science and clinical practice 16 September 2022
This research highlights the potential role of formal mindfulness practice in sustaining reductions in PTSD symptoms over time among women with co-occurring PTSD-SUD. Further study of strategies to promote ongoing formal mindfulness practice in this population following a MBI are warranted.

Neuropsychological functioning and suicidal behaviours in patients with first-episode psychosis: A systematic review  Acta psychiatrica Scandinavica 25 September 2022
Comprehensive general neuropsychology and assessment of social cognition, together with routine clinical record keeping, may help to identify FEP patients at a greater risk of attempting suicide.

Mindfulness-oriented recovery enhancement for addictive behavior, psychiatric distress, and chronic pain: A multilevel meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials Mindfulness 15 September 2022
Study findings provide empirical evidence of MORE’s efficacy for a wide diversity of individuals, and as such, MORE should now be disseminated broadly throughout the healthcare system.

Exploring the effect of group schema therapy and comorbidity on the treatment course of personality disorders Current opinion in psychiatry 28 September 2022
Key points:

  • Short-term schema group therapy is effective for patients with personality disorders, with or without comorbid depressive or anxiety psychopathology.
  • For those patients with comorbidity in combination with high psychological distress at the start of treatment, a longer treatment duration may be more appropriate.
  • Patients with severe personality disorders seem to need longer and/or more intensive treatment dosages to recover.
  • High-quality randomization control trials are needed to compare short-term and long-term schema therapy in order to identify which treatment dosage is necessary for whom.

Patients’ perspectives of the effects of a group-based therapeutic patient education program for bipolar disorder: a qualitative analysis BMC psychiatry 23 September 2022
This study provides support for the beneficial impact of group therapeutic education programs on the personal recovery of people with bipolar disorder. These programs improve all dimensions of recovery according to the CHIME model, with connectedness, hope and empowerment being the main dimensions impacted. Our results indicate that therapeutic group education programs can be beneficial for people with bipolar disorder at any point during their experience of the disorder, with the potential exception of periods of thymic decompensation.

Bodies out of control: Relapse and worsening of eating disorders in pregnancy Frontiers on psychology 29 September 2022
Pregnancy is a vulnerable period for women with a history of eating disorders. A great variation in personal psychological dynamics seems to interact with perceived triggers in worsening or relapse of eating disorder. These findings have important implications in understanding mechanisms of relapse in pregnancy, preventing relapse and help tailoring adequate intervention.

Standard CBT versus integrative and multimodal CBT assisted by virtual-reality for generalized anxiety disorder Frontiers on psychology 28 September 2022
This research emphasized the effectiveness of CBT interventions for treating adults with moderate Generalized Anxiety Disorder (GAD) symptomatology. Specifically, both interventions were efficient for reducing anxiety symptomatology present at individuals with GAD. However, regarding cognitive dysfunctions like worries, the standard CBT protocol performed better, as compared to the IM-VRCBT. In addition, we conclude that VR could be integrated within CBT interventions in a single protocol for GAD treatment.

Social support and posttraumatic growth: A meta-analysis Journal of affective disorders 29 September 2022
The study suggests that to pursue enabling active participation in activities among older adults with dementia, and promoting the quality of participation, occupational therapists must consider the identified elements that are important in selecting the activities which might be used to postpone cognitive decline in each individual.

Effectiveness of mindfulness-based cognitive therapy against suicidal ideation in patients with depression Journal of affective disorders 25 September 2022
Mindfulness-based cognitive therapy is an effective intervention for reducing depressive symptoms and suicidal ideation in depressed patients.


Social Work
Mental health service users’ perspectives on psychiatric advance directives: A systematic review
Psychiatric Services 21 September 2022
Users of mental health services are highly interested in psychiatric advance directives (PADs) and regard them as tools to improve their involvement in care. They generally prefer legally binding PADs that can be revoked only when users are competent to consent. Barriers reported by service users were mainly related to the creation and application of PADs, and support in PAD creation was the most important facilitator identified. The involvement of mental health professionals in creating PADs appears essential to realize the benefits of PADs and to reduce barriers to their use.

Experiences and challenges faced by community mental health workers when providing care to people with mental illness: a qualitative study BMC psychiatry 21 September 2022 
Although China has made great efforts on the road to improving the quality of Community Mental Health Workers (CMHS), several salient issues regarding CMHWs must be addressed to optimize the quality of services provided by CMHWs. Community mental health institutions should help CMHWs overcome these difficulties, by maximizing its value and promoting the development of CMHS.

Unemployment and insecure housing are linked to less successful treatment for depression BMJ 16 September 2022
The study found that, three to four months after treatment started:

  • People who were unemployed had worse treatment outcomes than people in employment (depression symptom scores were 28% higher)
  • People living with family or friends, in hostels, or homeless had worse treatment outcomes than home owners (depression symptom scores were 18% higher)
  • People who were experiencing financial difficulties and had no qualifications beyond school appeared to have a poorer recovery, but the link was less strong when other factors were taken into account.

Understanding the relationship between social support and mental health of humanitarian migrants resettled in Australia BMC public health 31 August 2022
Findings demonstrate the importance of emotional/instrumental support and informational support for the medium and long-term mental health of humanitarian migrants. This study also highlights the important of extending current social support provisions and tailoring programs to enhance support received by humanitarian migrant subgroups years after resettlement to improve mental health.

Barriers and facilitators when implementing family involvement for persons with psychotic disorders in community mental health centres – a nested qualitative study BMC health services 12 September 2022
Implementing family involvement in health care services for persons with psychotic disorders is possible through a whole-ward and multi-level approach, ensured by organisational- and leadership commitment. Providing training in family psychoeducation to all staff, establishing routines to offer a basic level of family involvement to all patients, and ensuring that clinicians get experience with family involvement, reduce or dissolve core barriers. Having access to external implementation support appears decisive to initiate, promote and evaluate implementation. Our findings also point to future policy, practice and implementation developments to offer adequate treatment and support to all patients with severe mental illness and their families.

The public health impact of loneliness during the COVID-19 pandemic BMC public health 31 August 2022
This study established an association between loneliness and self-reported worsening health during the pandemic, and identified factors increasing the risk of loneliness. The effect that social control measures have on loneliness should influence the design of future public health policy.

Predictors of employment status and stability in Bipolar Disorder: Findings from an 8-year longitudinal study Journal of affective disorders 23 September 2022
These findings highlight that different aspects of BD are important for being employed versus maintaining stable employment. These findings indicate the need for more effective treatment strategies beyond symptom management.

Hoarding: ownership gone awry Psychiatric news 22 August 2022
People who have hoarding disorder are attached to most of the same things as other people—the difference is in the amount.



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