Our Principal Psychologist has just published a new journal article

New Article March 2015

Our Principal Psychologist has successfully published her work in a University of Cambridge Journal entitled:

Creating a Safe Space: A Case Study of Complex Trauma and a Call for Proactive Comprehensive Psychoeducational Assessments and Reviews.



Babies and their Caregivers

‘There is no such thing as a baby. . . . if you set out to describe a baby, you will find you are describing a baby and someone. A baby cannot exist alone, but is essentially part of a relationship.’

Winnicott (1964, p. 88)

The 12 Core Concepts: Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Stress Responses in Children and Families | National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Child Trauma Home

The 12 Core Concepts: Concepts for Understanding Traumatic Stress Responses in Children and Families | National Child Traumatic Stress Network – Child Trauma Home.

Launch of the Children’s Right’s Report 2014 by Megan Mitchell

Launch of Children’s Right’s Report

A brief overview:
A CREATE Young Consultant, Adam Johnston, with a long out of home care experience was the MC for the launch – he was awesome 🙂 – Improving young people’s help seeking behaviour is the key…
…Welcome to Country was humorously delivered by Elder Uncle Allen Madden from the Gadigal Country of the Eora Nation.
Highlight: A quote Megan Mitchell cited from a young child asked to define resilience: “when you don’t cry about the little things”.
Sad statistics from Tracy Adams, CEO of Boys Town reporting a doubling of contacts with young people seeking help for self-harm with /without a suicide intent….keen to encourage more help seeking behaviours…acknowledging the courage they need to reach out…and how imperative it is for us to respond effectively.
Ministers speech – Senator the Hon Scott Ryan – Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister for Education
–  One of the audience (the Founder of ‘Chilout’ http://www.chilout.org) heckled him re: keeping his speech about Children’s Rights – he did plug Headspace, Mind Matters and Kids matter.
Emeritus Professor Gillian Triggs, the President of the Australian Human Rights Commission, opened the launch.
Message was strong throughout to forge stronger links between research and practice – Professor Philip Hazell is Head, Discipline of Psychiatry and Conjoint Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry with the Sydney Medical School. He is in addition Director of Infant Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services for the Sydney and South Western Sydney Local Health Networks and Director of the Rivendell Child, Adolescent and Family Mental Health Service. He reported that in every classroom 2-3 girls are likely to be self-harming and 1 boy. Spoke about the need for us to look at the factors that prevent self-harm. What should we be providing ? How do we prevent clusters? The fact that Aboriginal and Torres Strait islander children were excessively over represented in suicide and self-harm presentations. One of the issues with research in this field is the barrier provided by Ethics Committees who a resistant to give approval for research in this area.Also need cooperation with different government bodies/ NGO’s providing services to share the data they have.
Megan Mitchell’s address was passionate and can be summarised: “one child under 18 in Australia dies by suicide every week, and 50 to 60 are admitted to hospital every week as a result of a self harm incident. We also found a massive jump in suicidal behaviour between the years 12 and 13, and 14 and 15”
 I also found out that there were these resources for schools: Human Rights Commission released a range of new resources designed to teach children and young people about human rights. Find out about these practical teaching resources linked to the school curriculum for primary and secondary students. https://www.humanrights.gov.au/education/human-rights-school-classroom
….and there was a call for an e safety commissioner especially since a lot of young people prefer to seek help online yet are open to abuse online too.
What was especially fabulous is that a child-friendly version of Australia’s progress in terms of the Rights of the Child is available:
Megan shared: “To celebrate 25 years of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, UNICEF and I got together to produce these child and youth friendly versions of the 2012 concluding comments of the United Nations Committee on Australia’s progress on implementing children’s rights.”
Importance of a special look at the voice of children in Early Years settings and had been working with http://www.earlychildhoodaustralia.org.au
Also the importance of explaining Privacy Laws to children…and the fact that a third of children with gender variance are self-harming – 16% attempt suicide.
– Research – national agenda focusing on:
– improving surveillance and what are the effective interventions and ways of preventing self-harm
– Availability of disaggregated data about suicide and self-harm for children under 18 & on an annual basis.
– Develop consistent recording protocols for suicide related information in police and coronial systems.
– update guidelines for the management of deliberate self-harm in young people
– promote resilience and help – seeking in young people with careful attention to the developmental needs/ brain development of children
For more info twitter.com/MeganM4kids “out of this mettle of danger we must plus the flower of safety” Henry IV Part 1.

Shoebox Living: Children in our Community… the story behind it.

Evie Jagger, our Psychotherapist, Hazel Crawford, our Art Therapist and myself have had the privilege of running workshops in local state, catholic and independent schools in Logan. Principals have very generously approved the provision of art materials and sought permissions from parents and teachers have very generously knocked on the doors of local shoe shops to collect a shoe box for every child in the their class. Cared4 by DJM Psychological Services donated the therapists time…and enthusiasm.

So what did we do? We were inspired by the exhibitions of Shoebox Art around the world but particularly by the art work collected by Kids Company from their therapy sessions with traumatised children living in London. They recruited famous artists such as Damien Hirst to create a shoebox of a room in their home. This work was then auctioned to raise funds for their programs with traumatised children and the work was exhibited at the Saatchi Gallery…

Our Shoebox Art workshop consisted of us exploring with stimulus pictures what community meant to the children. After brainstorming images and key words the children each selected a shoebox and art materials and set to work supported by us to create an expression of what community meant to them…good…bad… indifferent.

We also gave them a cut out doll figure to write a key word or summary of what their shoebox represented. The result was astounding as you can see below and we have exhibited the work at the Logan Exhibition Centre during the Wakakirri Festival and more recently The Butter Factory Museum. The initiative serves to raise awareness and funds for our Champion A Child’s Therapy scheme which encourages local businesses and individuals to sponsor a child’s therapeutic intervention. Why don’t YOU Champion a Child today!

Champion A Child today!

IMG_2520 IMG_2519 IMG_2518 IMG_2517 Shoebox Living 1

Inspiration of the week

This is what I love about Newtown, Sydney....creativity that inspires at every corner....today pavement art captured!

This is what I love about Newtown, Sydney….creativity that inspires at every corner….today pavement art captured!

Happiness is….

What is happiness?

“Happiness is prosperity combined with virtue.”

 Aristotle: Greek philosopher and scientist