Mental Health Awareness Week - 19th Sep 2014

                                    Mental Health Awareness Week
                   Mental Health Awareness Week is from 6th to 12th October.                                   

                     In Dunedin there will be a number of activities on including:

  • Events on at the Apartment (A PACT service) on Dowling Street. Check with Ray Leckie on 453 5555 (home) or at the Apartment on 477 7638 for what’s on and when.
  • The Southern District Health Board Mental Health Services will be running a Mental Health information stall at the Dunedin Public Hospital from Monday 6th to Friday 10th October. Mental Health organisations are welcome to have their information at the stall and help man the stall if they wish. For further information contact Johnnie Potiki (Consumer Advisor) of Maryse Stanton (Family Advisor). Ask to be put through to them by phoning the Public Hospital on 474 0999.
  • Wednesday 8th October there will be a number of bands playing at the McMillan Stage in the Octagon with the theme “Music Moves your Mood.” There will also be a free sausage sizzle run by Supporting Families Otago. A number of mental health organisations will also have stalls promoting their services. If your organisation would like to have a stall in the Octagon, please phone Ray Leckie on 453 5555 (home) or at the Apartment on 477 7638 by Monday 22nd September at the latest.
  • Wednesday 8th October from 4.30 to 7pm The Artsenta will be running an Artypants event. Called Artsenta goes POP! Includes music, games and fun. There is also a design an album cover competition. For details, ring the Artsenta on 477 9566.
  •  On Wednesday 8th October Koputai cottage is having an Open day from 11am to 4pm. Mosaic creations and other works will be exhibited in the garden. Koputai is located at 68 George Street in Port Chalmers.
  •  On Sunday 12th Tapestry Clubhouse in conjunction with the Otago University Students Association (OUSA) will be holding a Mental Health Awareness Week Wellness Walk and Health and Well-being Expo with the theme of “5 Ways to Wellbeing.” For further information or if you are interested in being a stallholder on the day, please contact: Bernie Aitken (Team Leader at Tapestry Clubhouse) on (03) 455 1873
We have tried to ensure event details are correct at this time but please contact the above people and organisations closer to Mental Health Awareness Week in case there are any changes to events
Nationally the Theme is “Keep Learning.” You can find out more about this AND ORDER FREE POSTCARDS and POSTERS NOW at the Mental Health Foundation website www.mentalhealth.

Youth Mental Health presentation from SPARX - 19th Sep 2014

Supporting Families Otago
Are hosting a FREE PUBLIC Information Evening
With Guest Speaker
Dr Mathijs Lucassen
From the University of Auckland

“Youth Mental Health”
SPARX– is a free online computer program that helps young people with mild to moderate depression. It can also help if they are feeling anxious or stressed. It can be accessed from any computer that is connected to the internet. Find out more about this therapy tool & how to support young people to access it.
Youth 2000—hear about the research that has been done in New Zealand about young people’s mental health and what it tells us.

Tuesday 14th October 2014
Time: 7 to 9.00 pm
Venue: Waipori Room

Waipori Room is located at Work and Income Central Dunedin, 162 Castle St (Cnr Castle and St Andrew Streets)

RSVP to Sf Otago on 03 4555973 or

Legal Highs to be banned - at last - 28th Apr 2014

Government to ban all legal highs within two weeks
4:29 PM Sunday Apr 27, 2014

The Government will ban all synthetic drugs within two weeks until they can be proven to be low-risk, Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne has revealed.

The move comes as Labour plans to announce its own policy on psychoactive substances tomorrow, and follows increasing protest from local communities against legal highs.

Mr Dunne told the Herald this afternoon: "Last Tuesday, Cabinet agreed on a proposal from me to introduce legislation under urgency when Parliament resumes to remove the remaining 41 products from the shelves until such time as their low-level of risk can be proven."

What do you think of the Government's move? Contact the Herald with your experiences of legal highs here.

He said he would have made the announcement earlier but he did not want to encourage stock-piling of the drugs.

The emergency legislation will be introduced when Parliament resumed on May 6, and will be passed under urgency.

"I'm expecting it to be passed that particular week and to take effect pretty much immediately afterwards," Mr Dunne said.

This meant there would be no psychoactive substances for sale in New Zealand for "some considerable amount of time".

There are currently 150 outlets selling legal highs nationwide.

The Psychoactive Substances Act required synthetic drug manufacturers to prove their drugs were low-risk before they could be sold.

But a Ministry of Health testing regime and several other regulations were not yet in place.

In the interim, drugs which had temporary approval from an expert committee were permitted to be sold.

Forty-one products are on shelves at present, compared to around 300 before the bill was passed.

"I think that the reason we didn't include those 41 products initially was that they hadn't been identified as problematic," Mr Dunne said.

"The public concern of recent weeks has led me to revisit that question and I've been working on the legislation for some time now.

"In effect what this will mean is that there will be no products until such time as the new regime takes effect and they've been able to be tested."

The ministry's testing regime is expected to be similar to pharmaceutical drugs and could cost manufacturers more than $1 million per product to get drugs approved.

Labour leader David Cunliffe was expected to announce in Mangere tomorrow that Labour would pull all products from shelves if elected.

This policy would be made redundant by Mr Dunne's emergency bill.

Labour would also ban the use of animal testing to prove products were low-risk, which would make it even more difficult to get products approved.

- NZ Herald


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