Featured

Student Careers Night

Are you a public health student?
Wanting to explore career options in Health promotion?
Not sure where to start?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) South Australian Branches are holding a student careers night with a focus on health promotion over Zoom on Monday 2nd November 2020.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the field of health promotion, hear from industry experts and submit questions for the guest speakers – Liana Bellifemini and Sally Modystach.

Liana Bellifemini
Liana is a Senior Community Development Officer at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, SA Office. Liana’s day-to-day work is assisting South Australian Local Drug Action Teams (LDAT) to develop and implement activities that prevent and minimise harms from alcohol and other drugs. It involves community/stakeholder engagement, partnerships building and assisting in the development of Community Action Plans that follow Health Promotion planning and evaluation best-practice. Liana is extremely passionate about health promotion and prevention and has been an active member of AHPA SA Branch in various capacities since 2013. She graduated in a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and Education in 2013 and went on to complete her Master of Public Health (Coursework) in mid-2017; both at Flinders University. She has also held various positions with SA Health, DCSI (now DHS) and, as a Casual Academic Tutor in undergraduate health promotion topics.

Sally Modystach
As Healthy Environs’ Director, Sally Modystach, has extensive experience in the community wellbeing and environmental sustainability sectors. She has a particular interest in promoting healthy communities through collaborative action at the local level. More recently she has developed wellbeing education for integration into workplace safety programs. Sally holds a Masters in Public Health. Her masters research assessed regional community health partnership models. She has wide ranging skills in policy development, community consultation, project management and risk assessment. Sally is committed to working with project stakeholders to clearly scope and deliver projects to suit client needs

Event Details:
Monday 2nd November 2020
6.30pm to 7.30pm
Via Zoom

PHAA or AHPA Member Registration – FREE
Non-Member Registration—$5.00 per person

Registrations are Open Now! Further details available on the Event Details Website.

Featured

October Mental Health Month

In Australia, suicide rates have continued to rise over the last decade. The challenge to bend this curve is immense, especially in the context of COVID-19 and the recent bushfire season. These events have disrupted our lives and impacted the psychological health of almost every Australian in some way or another.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Pexels.com

Those individuals with pre-existing mental health conditions, along with people facing greater socioeconomic vulnerability and uncertainty or other significant challenges are at particular risk for mental health issues at this time and into the future. Highlighting the need for urgent policy action.

The former Australian of the Year Professor Patrick McGorry outlines in the PHAA Intouch Blog Post, immediate reforms are needed to the national mental health strategy. Professor McGorry is also calling for ‘a substantial but targeted mental health rescue package to be announced to underpin our nation’s COVID survival and recovery’ in next week’s federal budget. The need for evidence-based solutions to mental health has never been more important.

Photo by MS Australia on msaustralia.org.au

The white paper ‘What can be done to decrease suicidal behaviour in Australia?’ released in October 2020 from the Black Dog Institute aims to inform those involved in research, policy and service provision in ways to reduce the number of Australian lives lost to suicide. Taking a major step towards addressing this critical research gap.

First published on Intouch Public Health blog, by Jeremy Lasek, 28th September 2020

Featured

Call for Abstracts – 2020 SA State Population Conference

Submissions Close – Sunday 18th October 2020 ** Deadline Extended

The SA State Population Health Conference is the premier developmental opportunity for emerging public health researchers and practitioners to present their work to a local audience. 

In 2020, public health has been in the spotlight on both a global and local level. Events including the summer bushfires and the Coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the importance, and improved understanding, of public health within communities, the state, and on national and international levels.

The 2020 SA State Population Conference will be held in a virtual format this year. By focusing on developing links between research, advocacy, practice and policy, we aim to learn from others in our field and support the work we all do to contribute to improved public health in South Australia and across Australia more broadly.

We invite abstract submissions on any topic in public health, from anyone involved in supporting health. You don’t have to be a researcher to submit. 

Photo by Andrea Piacquadio on Pexels.com

Why should you submit your work to the State Population Health Conference? 

  • It’s a friendly and supportive environment to share your project or research 
  • We welcome abstracts for projects or research regardless of the stage of the project or thesis 
  • Your abstracts are peer-reviewed 
  • You can let us know your preference for
    (a) an oral presentation
    (b) a poster with rapid-fire presentation
    (c) a poster without rapid-fire presentation
  • Prizes are awarded for presentations

Things to know about the abstract submission process 

You can submit abstracts for either oral or poster (with or without rapid fire presentation) format, but the peer reviewers may offer you an alternate choice, depending on the number of abstracts received and the places available on the program. 

Presenters must register for the conference once they are notified of their abstract being accepted. For more details relating to the 2020 SA State Population Conference, visit the Conference Web Page.

How to submit an abstract 

  • Choose the abstract template best suited to your work, either Academic or Practitioner 
  • Complete the template using the standard headings, with a maximum of 300 words 
  • Font should be Ariel Narrow 12pt, with single spacing 
  • All text should be aligned to the left-hand margin 
  • Choose your preferred presentation method, either oral or poster (with or without rapid-fire presentation)
  • Email your completed template as a Microsoft Word document to phaa.events@gmail.com

Abstract closing date will be the 18th October 2020 at 11.59PM (ACDST)

Photo by bongkarn thanyakij on Pexels.com

Enquiries

PHAA SA Branch – Danielle Borroughs
E: phaa.events@gmail.com

Featured

‘Public Health in the Spotlight’ Virtual Conference

Photo by Julia M Cameron on Pexels.com

Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) South Australian Branch – 2020 Conference

Over the past 12 months, Public Health has more than ever been in the spotlight on both a global and local level. Events including the summer bushfires and the Coronavirus pandemic have highlighted the importance and an improved understanding of public health within communities, the state and on national and international levels.


The PHAA SA 2020 State Population Conference will be held in a virtual format this year. By focusing on developing links between research, advocacy, practice and policy, we aim to learn from others in our field and support the work we all do to contribute to improved public health in South Australia.

Event Details

Date: Wednesday 25 November – Thursday 26 November 2020
Time: Wednesday (9:30am – 11:30am) & Thursday (2:30pm – 4:30pm)

Registration

For more information visit the registration page. Please note payment is required at the end of the registration process by Credit Card. A confirmation email with a tax invoice and receipt will be sent through once the registration has been completed.

Enquiries

PHAA SA Branch – Danielle Borroughs
E: phaa.events@gmail.com

Featured

A Two Way Street

Mental Health & Physical Activity

Not to be confused with exercise, the World Health Organization (WHO) defines, “physical activity as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that requires energy expenditure”. These activities include working, carrying out daily household chores, playing and engaging in recreational pursuits (WHO, 2018).

In 2017-2018, less than 55% of adult Australians met the daily physical activity recommended guidelines, a key risk factor contributing to disease burden in Australia (Australian Institute of Health and Welfare, 2019). By being physically active and limiting an individual’s sedentary behaviour on a daily basis is essential for physical health and improved psychological wellbeing (Department of Health, 2019).

A study in Australia conducted over ten years, concluding in 2011 confirmed the associations between sedentary behaviour, the lack of physical activity and depressive symptoms. Results highlight women who sat for more than 7 hours per day and did no physical activity were more likely to have depressive symptoms than women who sat for less than 4 hours per day and who met physical activity guidelines (Van Uffelen et al., 2013). The relationship between depression and sedentary behaviour can be a two-way street. Depression symptoms sap an individual’s energy and motivation levels to be physically active, and sedentary behaviours may make the depression symptoms worse (Wasmer Andrews, 2014).

Photo by MS Australia on msaustralia.org.au

Participation in regular physical activity or exercise may be as beneficial as medications or psychological therapies for an individual’s clinically diagnosed with mental illness. Guidelines for exercise and those diagnosed with depression include participation between three to four times per week for 30 to 40 minutes over a minimum 9-week duration (Exercise is Medicine Australia, 2014). Three 10-minute walks at low to medium intensity maybe as equally useful as one 30-minute walk (Sharma, Madaan, & Petty, 2006). The outcomes of this exercise program may produce a lower risk of (developing) depression by reducing symptoms of depression for people experiencing other mental disorders.

Furthermore, exercise is an effective strategy to manage the risk factors associated with depression including weight gain, diabetes risk and cardiovascular disease (Exercise is Medicine Australia, 2014; Sharma et al., 2006). Again, highlighting a two way street between chronic diseases and physical activity (Wasmer Andrews, 2014).

Photo by Madison Inouye on Pexels.com

Lifestyle modifications can assume great importance for those individuals with serious mental illness. Leading a sedentary lifestyle has been proven to be a causative factor for people who are experiencing depression and anxiety. Physical activity can be utilised as a preventative and treatment measure for mental health illness. However, the physical activity guidelines are not being achieved by the broader population; it can be associated with the increase of mental health illness in Australia.

The holistic approach of physical, social, emotional and mental health are interconnected and becoming more recognised by healthcare professionals, health researchers, patients and the wider public. This approach highlights that if one area of health is weak, the other areas will be affected. Health professionals and researchers can provide effective, evidence-based physical activity interventions for those individuals suffering from clinically diagnosed mental illness. Highlighting the idea of leading an active lifestyle not only benefits the mind and body but can also improve social health and wellbeing.

By Danielle Borroughs
05 August 2020


References

Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. (2019). Insufficient Physical Activity. Retrieved from https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports/risk-factors/insufficient-physical-activity/contents/physical-inactivity

Department of Health. (2019). Nutrition and Physical Activity. Retrieved April 11, 2020, from Australian Government website: https://www1.health.gov.au/internet/main/publishing.nsf/Content/Nutrition+and+Physical+Activity-1

Exercise is Medicine Australia. (2014). Depression and Exercise. Retrieved April 10, 2020, from Factsheet website: http://exerciseismedicine.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/2014-Depression-BRIEF.pdf

Sharma, A., Madaan, V., & Petty, F. D. (2006). Exercise for mental health. Primary Care Companion to the Journal of Clinical Psychiatry, 8(2), 106. https://doi.org/10.4088/pcc.v08n0208a

Van Uffelen, J. G. Z., Van Gellecum, Y. R., Burton, N. W., Peeters, G., Heesch, K. C., & Brown, W. J. (2013). Sitting-time, physical activity, and depressive symptoms in mid-aged women. American Journal of Preventive Medicine, 45(3), 276–281. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.amepre.2013.04.009

Wasmer Andrews, L. (2014, March 20). What Sitting Does to Your Psyche. Psychology Today Australia. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/au/blog/minding-the-body/201403/what-sitting-does-your-psyche

World Health Organization. (2018). Physical activity. Retrieved April 11, 2020, from Factsheet website: https://www.who.int/news-room/fact-sheets/detail/physical-activity

Student Careers Night

Are you a public health student?
Wanting to explore career options in Health promotion?
Not sure where to start?

Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

The Public Health Association of Australia (PHAA) and Australian Health Promotion Association (AHPA) South Australian Branches are holding a student careers night with a focus on health promotion over Zoom on Monday 2nd November 2020.

You’ll have the opportunity to learn more about the field of health promotion, hear from industry experts and submit questions for the guest speakers – Liana Bellifemini and Sally Modystach.

Liana Bellifemini
Liana is a Senior Community Development Officer at the Alcohol and Drug Foundation, SA Office. Liana’s day-to-day work is assisting South Australian Local Drug Action Teams (LDAT) to develop and implement activities that prevent and minimise harms from alcohol and other drugs. It involves community/stakeholder engagement, partnerships building and assisting in the development of Community Action Plans that follow Health Promotion planning and evaluation best-practice. Liana is extremely passionate about health promotion and prevention and has been an active member of AHPA SA Branch in various capacities since 2013. She graduated in a Bachelor of Health Sciences majoring in Health Promotion and Education in 2013 and went on to complete her Master of Public Health (Coursework) in mid-2017; both at Flinders University. She has also held various positions with SA Health, DCSI (now DHS) and, as a Casual Academic Tutor in undergraduate health promotion topics.

Sally Modystach
As Healthy Environs’ Director, Sally Modystach, has extensive experience in the community wellbeing and environmental sustainability sectors. She has a particular interest in promoting healthy communities through collaborative action at the local level. More recently she has developed wellbeing education for integration into workplace safety programs. Sally holds a Masters in Public Health. Her masters research assessed regional community health partnership models. She has wide ranging skills in policy development, community consultation, project management and risk assessment. Sally is committed to working with project stakeholders to clearly scope and deliver projects to suit client needs

Event Details:
Monday 2nd November 2020
6.30pm to 7.30pm
Via Zoom

PHAA or AHPA Member Registration – FREE
Non-Member Registration—$5.00 per person

Registrations are Open Now! Further details available on the Event Details Website.

More than a Higher Education

Photo by Engin Akyurt on Pexels.com

More than a Higher Education

The opportunity to study at Torrens University Australia has provided me with more than higher education; I have finished with increased cultural awareness on both a personal and academic level.

At Torrens University, by removing the traditional university learning format of the overcrowded auditorium in favour of small classes, of up to 20 students, the classes at Torrens provide individualised learning and provide a feeling of community and warm welcoming.

Many of my classmates were international students, hailing from all over the globe, including India, Kenya, Zimbabwe and South Africa. It was also exciting to have lecturers who have immigrated from Brazil, India and Malaysian backgrounds to provide examples of social normalities from ‘home’. These cultural differences provide a dynamic collision of ideas and backgrounds that enriched the in-class learning experience.

Photo by Christina Morillo on Pexels.com

During many of my classes, there were various opportunities to listen, observe and openly discuss social norms from other cultures, by providing me with a broader understanding and increased awareness of the differences between myself and those from different cultural backgrounds.

From this unique experience, I have learnt that people around me will hold different views and social understandings. When dealing with a cultural challenge, I will try and find common ground, steer away from confrontation and toward harmony through empathy and unity. The opportunity to study at Torrens University has diversified my circle of friends and colleagues, personal and professional interests and introduced me to a range of food experiences.

Over the past three years, the influence of students, lecturers and university staff have strengthened my beliefs and understanding of the diverse Australian culture. Cultural awareness allows our community the leverage of diversity and to discover new ideas, enrich our lives and grow in the process.

By Danielle Borroughs
02 August 2020