Murray PHN eNews #82 | Pledge to stop stigma this Mental Health Week

Edition 82  | Pledge to stop stigma this Mental Health Week


Working towards reducing stigma  #stopstigmapledge
Mental Health Week begins on 8 October and this year's theme is "Mental Health in the Workplace". This October is also Workplace Health and Safety Month and the focus is just as much on the physical health of employees, as it is on their mental health. Did you know?
  • 9 in 10 Australian employees believe mentally healthy workplaces are important.
  • One in five Australian employees report that they have taken time off work due to feeling mentally unwell in the past 12 months.
  • It is estimated that untreated mental health conditions cost Australian workplaces approximately $10.9 billion per year.
We encourage organisations to adopt the right behaviours and practices to build an environment where employees feel supported in the workplace. This includes working to stop mental illness stigma because we know that stigma is a major barrier that stops people from seeking help.

We are asking individuals  and organisations to  take part in our  online social media campaign #stopstigmapledge. Download  one of the pledges we've created  or make your own, take a photo, tag us on Twitter or Facebook and use the hashtag  #stopstigmapledge

The webpage we've created  also hosts a list of regional events that include: occupational violence and aggression in healthcare, Is the work safe? Do I feel safe? A psychosocial journey, and How to engage GPs in return to work, and resources for individuals, health professionals  and workplaces.  Click here for full details.


Eye health initiative to help save Moira residents' sight
The Moira Shire is one of six local government areas in Victoria that will be the focus of a project aimed at saving the sight of residents. Vision 2020 Australia's Vision Initiative was launched this week, and will include working with local health professionals and the community to raise awareness of the need for regular eye tests to reduce avoidable blindness and vision loss, as well as the importance of low vision and rehabilitation services for people who are blind or vision impaired.

According to Vision 2020 Australia, one in five adults in Moira Shire have never had an eye test, while 55 per cent of residents aged over 40 years and seven per cent of the local population with diabetes are at increased risk of eye disease.   This includes conditions such as age-related macular degeneration, cataracts, diabetic retinopathy, glaucoma or refractive error. The good news is around 90 per cent of vision loss is avoidable if detected early.

Pictured left to right at the launch of the Vision Initiative are Anna Feiss - Murray PHN Indigenous Health Lead, Max Lee - Whittlesea Hume PCP, Carla Northam - Vision 2020 Australia CEO, Gabrielle Williams MP - Parliamentary Secretary for Health, Dee Tumino - Vision Initiative Manager, Neville Kurth - City of Whittlesea Manager Health Services. Photograph by Les O'Rourke Photography on behalf of Vision 2020 Australia.

New HealthPathways  
The following pathways have recently been localised to the Murray PHN region. Note that you must be registered and logged into access. Health professionals in our region can get free access here.

Tackling drugs: new website and more Local Drug Action teams    alcohol and other drugs    

The government has announced the next phase of the National Drugs Campaign to help tackle the use of illicit drugs, particularly ice, among young Australians.

The  campaign illustrates the range of risks associated with drug use and provides information on the range of resources, support and treatment options available. Resources are also available for parents, including the Positive Choices Online Portal  and there is  a  new National Alcohol and Other Drug Hotline  1800 250 015 which links to existing services that offer free and confidential support, information, counselling and referral.

The successful teams for the second round  Local Drug Action Teams (LDATs) have  been announced and include the following four in our region:

  • Alpine LGA: Communities That Care Alpine
  • Greater Bendigo LGA:  Regional Victoria LGBTIQ Local Drug Action Team
  • Buloke LGA:  Wycheproof and  Sea Lake LDAT
  • Mildura and Wentworth LGAs:  Northern Mallee Local Drug Action Team
Round three grants will open later this year.

More Supercare Pharmacies to  give round-the-clock care    Mildura and Shepparton    

The final eight of  20 locations  Supercare Pharmacies have been announced and include  Mildura and Shepparton Chemist Warehouses which are set to open by 30 June 2018.

The Supercare Pharmacies are open 24/7 with a nurse on site from 6pm-10pm daily. Community pharmacists across Victoria, including Supercare pharmacists, have played a key role in providing access to vaccinations, advice and treatment for people suffering from flu symptoms. They have also been important during the thunderstorm asthma event last year, and continue to raise awareness of better asthma and hay fever management for the upcoming pollen season.

The free nursing service  also assists with support and advice for minor injury and illness, whooping cough immunisations, health screening, sexual health advice and referrals to other services.

Healthier smiles for Aboriginal kids in the Loddon Mallee region    Indigenous health    
Aboriginal children in the Loddon Mallee region will receive free fluoride varnish as part of a new state government outreach program to prevent tooth decay.  The program will be implemented by the Bendigo and District Aboriginal Cooperative (BDAC) who will coordinate the delivery of fluoride varnish applications and oral health promotion with tooth packs to Aboriginal preschool children at their local early childhood services and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations.

Many Aboriginal children have higher levels of tooth decay in their baby teeth compared to non-Aboriginal children. Tooth decay is one of the most prevalent diseases in Victoria and the highest cause of preventable hospitalisations for Victorian children under 10. For more information click here.

Collection of family histories of breast and ovarian cancers    cancer screening    

BreastScreen Victoria (BSV)  is now collecting information on family histories of breast and ovarian cancer when they have a breast screen through the service. This information informs an analysis for predicting an increased risk of breast cancer which determines if tailored screening is required.

This analysis is done using the BSV Family History Tool ,developed in conjunction with experts and based on the Cancer Australia Familial Risk Assessment Tool for Breast and Ovarian Cancer (FRA-BOC), the eviQ Clinical Guidelines from the Cancer Institute NSW and the NICE Guidelines from the United Kingdom. The information is analysed and  and allocates participants   to one of three groups based on their calculated risk (relative to the general population) of developing breast cancer. Click here for more information.

If you have any questions or queries, you can e:  BreastScreen Victoria  or t:  03 9660 6861.

Advance care planning in general practice    advance care planning        

Advance is a free toolkit of screening and assessment tools and a training package, specifically designed to support nurses in Australian general practices to work with general practitioners initiate advance care planning (ACP) and palliative care in everyday general practice.

The Advance Toolkit consists of six screening and assessment tools and a guide, which indicates how to implement the screening tools in a systematic way in general practice. The toolkit was informed by a literature review of the best available evidence about tools to support palliative care and ACP in general practice, as well as input from an expert advisory group and feedback from general practice nurses, general practitioners and Carers Australia. For more information click here.

Preparing for the end of OTC codeine  alcohol and other drugs    

From 1  February 2018 all pharmacy products containing codeine will no longer be available over-the-counter. To assist the community and health workforce to understand and be prepared for the changes, national advocacy group Scriptwise has produced a website containing resources for community members, pharmacists and doctors.

The information includes: understanding the risks associated with codeine-containing products, managing pain â€" alternative and more effective strategies, what to do if there is a possible dependency on codeine, how to discuss concerns with your patient and referring for further help.

Murray PHN events
Network meetings
CPD events
For the full Murray PHN CPD events calendar click here.

Murray PHN Scholarships

Regional news

Government news



External CPD events and education

  • Click here  to access a list of  CPD and education events delivered by other organisations  locally and nationally.

Training and courses


Grants and funding

My Health Record

Are you registered but not using the My Health Record system?

1. Confirm that your clinical software supports digital health: the majority of the leading clinical software vendors have incorporated the My Health Record system functionality. If you are receiving the ePIP, your software will have it.

2. Discover how the digital health system works: we recommend you and your staff access the tutorials on how the key features work in a number of software products. Go to for software demonstrations, videos and checklists to help you remember the steps as you start to use the system.

3. Practice makes perfect: you can practice on our training environment and experience how easy it is to use. It allows you to create and demonstrate certain clinical simulations using any of the supported software packages â€" for example, a scenario involving the uploading of a Shared Health Summary, using simulated clinical data for a fictitious patient, and a simulation of the My Health Record system.

4. Have a go! We recommend starting with the patients who will benefit the most (chronic disease, young families, aged care, travellers, rural patients, etc). If you don’t know how to help your patient register, have a look at the process of Assisted Registration.

5. Make use of the opportunity and clean up your clinical data: It is important to have up-to-date health summary data to ensure accurate clinical information is shared. Advice and tips on maintaining quality health records are on the website too.


Copyright © 2017 Murray PHN, All rights reserved.
Every effort has been made to ensure that the information in this newsletter is accurate. Information in this  newsletter  may be duplicated in other media with due  acknowledgement  of the originating sources. Murray PHN does not  necessarily  endorse products and/or  services  advertised in this publication.

Murray PHN gratefully acknowledges the financial and other support from the Australian Government Department of Health.
Murray PHN ABN  92 156 423 755

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