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January 2011



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 Australia Beach - Mental Health Matters

Article Date: 02 Dec 2009 – 0:00 PST

The mental health of Australians from ‘young minds to grey matters’ will be in the spotlight starting tonight at the 2009 Australasian Society for Psychiatric Research (ASPR) conference at The Australian National University.

The conference will bring in over 300 delegates from Australia and New Zealand researching in a wide range of disciplines, as well as clinicians, carers and the community and public sector. This year’s conference theme, ‘From young minds to grey matters’ will showcase research examining mental health and wellbeing throughout people’s lives, as well as the interaction between mental health research and public policy.

The conference will open tonight with a public lecture on the role of antidepressants in society, and whether their widespread prescription and use makes them a public health ‘friend, or foe’. The lecture will bring together Professor Kathy Griffiths of the Centre for Mental Health Research (CMHR) at ANU, campaigner for mental health research Professor Ian Hickie and the Chair of Healthy Skepticism, Associate Professor Jon Jureidini.

Conference organiser Dr Peter Butterworth of CMHR said the event would bring together some of the region’s leading researchers to discuss a wide range of mental health issues.

“This year’s conference has speakers discussing areas such as employment and mental health, trauma and stress, helping children respond to natural disasters, e-health initiatives, the neurobiology of mental disorders and mental health in an ageing society,” he said. “It will also be the first major forum to present analysis of the recently released 2nd National Survey of Mental Health and Wellbeing dataset.”

The ASPR has a long association with ANU. The society’s first meeting was held in 1978 in Canberra and Professor Scott Henderson of ANU was one of the founders of the society. The conference is being hosted by CMHR. A program with speakers and topics is attached. Interviews with selected speakers can be arranged through the ANU Media Office.

What: Antidepressants: Friend or Foe public lecture / ASPR Conference 2009

When: Lecture – 6pm, Tuesday 1 December, Conference – Wednesday 2 to Friday 4 December

Where: Lecture – The Finkel Lecture Theatre, The John Curtin School of Medical Research, Garran Road. Conference venues as indicated on program.

The Australian National University 


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