chatbots and suicide prevention

Do chatbots have a role to play in suicide prevention?

By paul | November 4, 2018

Australia’s first suicide prevention chatbot for the family and friends of those in crisis was launched last week by Lifeline, a nonprofit organisation dedicated to crisis support and suicide prevention. The chatbot, developed in partnership with Twitter, is called #BeALifeline Direct Message (DM) Chatbot. It seeks to help the family and friends of those at…

Cocaine Wastewater Study

Wastewater results show highest cocaine use in NSW

By paul | October 13, 2018

The Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission has today released the fifth report of the National Wastewater Drug Monitoring Program, revealing New South Wales reported the highest levels of average cocaine consumption in capital city and regional sites nationwide. Based on wastewater findings, the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission estimates
1,814.6 kilograms of cocaine is consumed in the state…

Muscle dysmorphic disorder or bigorexia is an emerging problem.

What is “Bigorexia” / Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder?

By paul | August 9, 2018

I came across a really interesting, emerging issue this week – Muscle Dysmorphic Disorder (or “Bigorexia”). The Youtube I’ve embedded here explains it in simple terms, and there is also a very useful journal article on muscle dysmorphia.

Viruses – WAY more important than you thought!

By paul | July 22, 2018

Influenza. SARS. Ebola. MERS-CoV. Zika. Polio. Smallpox. We are used to thinking about viruses as human pathogens – many of them deadly. But is there a hidden yet  important part of the viral story that we don’t appreciate? For instance, have you ever thought seriously about where the first virus came from? What a virus…

Learning Games: The Beer Game

By paul | July 18, 2018

I encountered an interesting training activity recently called the beer game. Originally developed in the 1960s, the beer distribution game is an experiential learning activity designed to show the challenges of supply chain management. It’s played by four people on a large table, using a specially-printed underlay (which you can see in a couple of…

World Suicide Prevention Day – September 10th

By paul | July 11, 2018

World Suicide Prevention Day (WSPD) is held on September 10th each year and is an initiative of the International Association for Suicide Prevention. There is also an Australian WSPD site, associated with Suicide Prevention Australia. Other useful resources are the R U OK? website and the Black Dog Institute’s suicide & self-harm section. Created by The Centre For…

Suicide Prevention

By paul | July 3, 2018

I’m doing the Black Dog Institute’s workshop on Advanced Training In Suicide Prevention this weekend, and came across an article written by Thomas Joiner as part of the pre-reading. He has developed a model from his research that shows that several factors in combination need to be present for someone to attempt suicide – the perception that they…

Improving mental health depends on distributing money more fairly.

Why Rates of Mental Illness Aren’t Going Down Despite Higher Spending (CTC)

By paul | June 29, 2018

Successive Australian governments have increased their spending on mental health over the last few decades, which is a good thing. But when the rate of mental illness isn’t going down, we need to step back and ask why. Research shows there is unfairness in how Australia’s mental health care is delivered. Improving mental health will…

EBM and Data Visualisation

By paul | June 24, 2018

EBM and Visualising Data – What’s The Story? This post, and the resources I have collected below, grew out of a group of medical educators (we call ourselves Cohort 1) who attended an RACGP workshop on teaching evidence-based medicine (EBM) in August 2017, run by Paul Glasziou and Iain Chalmers. We have a virtual meeting…

Man Island Project – Promoting Men’s Mental Health

By paul | June 22, 2018

Ever tried to engage one of your male patients in a discussion about their mental health? What strategies have worked well for you? Which ones not so well? Have you ever wished that you had some good evidence to help you – and maybe even a treatment manual to help you engage your male patients…

Transformational Learning

By paul | June 17, 2018

Five years ago I was at the AMEN 2013 conference in Melbourne, and was in the audience for a fantastic keynote presentation by Dr Debbie Paltridge on transformative learning. It made such an impression on me that I came home and collected some information and online resources about her topic (also called transformational learning in the…

New RACGP Exam Attempts Limit from 2019

By paul | June 16, 2018

The RACGP has just announced that they will be introducing a limit on the total number of exam attempts from 2019. In essence, candidates will be allowed six attempts across three years to pass all three components (the AKT, KFP and OSCE). The new exam policy states that this change has been introduced to more closely…