Anxiety disorders are the most prevalent of all mental disorders, affecting around 1 in 7 Australians, with approximately 14% of Australians being affected by an anxiety disorder in any 12-month period. The impact and cost associated with anxiety disorders is very high, both for the sufferer, the community and society at large. Although effective psychological and pharmacological treatments are available for anxiety disorders, recent research indicates anxiety disorders remain under-recognised in primary care, with the majority of sufferers not receiving adequate treatment.

The Discipline of Psychiatry's new short course Anxiety Disorders for GP: Managing Anxiety Disorders in Primary Care has been designed specifically for General Practitioners. It is a one-day training course aimed at providing additional skills for the use of medications as well as focus on psychological approaches useful in the treatment of patients with anxiety disorders.

On completion of the course, participants should be able to:

1. Discuss the symptoms, prevalence, and burden of anxiety disorders
2. Develop imaginal and in vivo exposure hierarchies for feared situations
3. Identify and challenge cognitive distortions common to anxiety disorders
4. Design a behavioural experiment to test an anxious cognition
5. Systematically appraise the basis for the selection of particular treatment approaches to anxiety disorders
6. Identify appropriate medications to complement cognitive-behavioural treatments for anxiety disorders

For more information, visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/adgp or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions.

SoCog, created by Dr Pamela Marsh, is a novel remediation program that targets the characteristic social impairments found in schizophrenia.

Social impairments are identified by people with schizophrenia, their carers, and clinicians as one of the greatest unmet treatment needs. These impairments cause great difficulties with communicating and understanding one’s own and other people’s perspectives and they cause severe social isolation for many individuals with schizophrenia.

These social impairments are not improved by medications usually used to treat schizophrenia. 66% of people with schizophrenia cannot fulfill basic social roles such as parenting or work and 83.7% are unemployed due to poor social functioning. These figures could be reduced with better access to treatment but over 80% of Australians with schizophrenia do not receive any rehabilitation. Therefore, the SoCog program is filling an important gap in the treatment of schizophrenia.

SoCog comprises a suite of games and activities presented within a social atmosphere with small groups of participants. The idea is to use the games and activities as a platform via which to encourage participants to engage their own social-cognitive abilities to infer other people’s likely thoughts to explain and predict others’ behaviour. This is achieved by exploring different possible interpretations and inferences in response to ambiguous social situations.

You do not need to be a qualified psychologist to run SoCog. All you need is an understanding of the concepts that underlie social cognition. At its most basic, social cognition is about people understanding other people. You do need a good sense of fun and to be prepared to play because SoCog relies on the facilitators being a part of the group rather than taking on the role as the ‘teacher’ or the ‘therapist’.

Want to learn to administer the SoCog program ? Join us for a full-day training session at the University of Sydney.

For more information, visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/scrs or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions.

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If you are a health professional, student or carer for a person or people with schizophrenia and you are interested in knowing more about the social problems that characterise schizophrenia as well as wanting to learn skills to conduct psychosocial treatments for these problems, the Social Cognitive Remediation for Schizophrenia course is the perfect place to begin. Attendees will learn to conduct social cognitive remediation for schizophrenia with the expert tutorage of award-winning social cognitive remediation expert Dr Pamela Marsh, the creator of the SoCog program.

In this course, you will learn to administer SoCog, a novel remediation program that targets the characteristic social impairments found in schizophrenia. Attendees will be provided with the SoCog training manual as pre-course reading. During the training, a wide range of teaching methods will be used, including didactic presentations and interactive demonstrations of the SoCog training materials.

For more details, please visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/scrs or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions..

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As part of the Schizophrenia Awareness Week, the Discipline of Psychiatry at Westmead Clinical School invites you to join a webinar on social cognitive deficits in schizophrenia. You will be able to ask questions and get feedback during the webinar. Schizophrenia Awareness Week is an annual event held in May. It provides an opportunity to raise community awareness of schizophrenia and mental illness in general.

To join this webinar, please CLICK HERE to register your details and receive your personalised login link via email. Technical support is available on toll free number 1800 113 953 (option 1 and then option 2).

Webinar Presenter: Associate Professor Anthony Harris
Anthony Harrisis an Associate Professor in the Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School at the University of Sydney, a senior staff specialist psychiatrist for the Prevention Early Intervention and Recovery Service in the Western Sydney Area Mental Health Service and the Director of the Clinical Disorders Unit at the Brain Dynamics Centre, Westmead Hospital. After completing training as a psychiatrist in Sydney, Anthony worked as a consultant in the area of psychogeriatrics in the United Kingdom before completing research work at the Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit in Mannheim, Germany in the field of psychophysiology. On return to Australia he has worked in clinical and administrative positions in the Wentworth and Western Area Mental Health Services in Sydney before specialising in the field of early intervention in psychosis. His principle research interests centre on the psychophysiology, neuroimaging and treatment of psychosis and schizophrenia. This work, which he has principally carried out in the Brain Dynamics Centre at Westmead Hospital, has included establishing a large database in the psychophysiology of people with psychosis (first episode psychosis and chronic schizophrenia) and functional magnetic resonance imaging research into the perception of facial emotion in schizophrenia.

Event Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au

The Statewide Outreach Perinatal Service for Mental Health (SwOPS-mh), NSW Ministry of Health, has partnered with the Discipline of Psychiatry, Sydney Medical School, to present a series of free webinars on emerging perinatal mental health issues from 2 April 2014 to 16 April 2014.

The SwOPS-mh, funded by the Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Office (MHDAO), is a tertiary level state wide outreach perinatal psychiatry service, caring for women who are living in rural areas and who are suffering from moderate to severe mental health problems during pregnancy and/or in the first postnatal year.

In this series, perinatal mental health experts from the University of Sydney and NSW Health will give you the latest information about counselling, psychosis, attachment practice and medication.
Webinar timetable

Please click the relevant links below to register to attend the webinars. Registration is free, but each webinar has a limit of 100 participants, so please secure your place early to avoid disappointment. You will receive your personalised login link upon registration.

Pre-Conception Counselling & Perinatal Depression and Anxiety
Wed 2 Apr 2014 11am - 12pm
Professor Philip Boyce and Dr Amanda Bray
Register now: http://bit.ly/1i6Zg37

Perinatal Psychosis
Fri 4 Apr 2014 2pm - 2.30pm
Professor Philip Boyce
Register now: http://bit.ly/2Wt83

Attachment Theory and Practice
Fri 11 Apr 2014 12pm - 12.30pm
Dr Ian Thorburn
Register now: http://bit.ly/1fcs0ci

Perinatal Depression and Fathers & Medication in Pregnancy and Breast Feeding
Wed 16 Apr 2014 2pm - 3pm
Joanne Robinson and Professor Philip Boyce
Register now: http://bit.ly/1hakR

Technical support: If you experience technical difficulties during any webinar sessions, please call toll free number 1800 105 054 (option 2 and then option 1) for technical support.

Acknowledgement: This webinar series is funded by the Statewide Outreach Perinatal Service for Mental Health (SwOPS-mh), NSW Ministry of Health.

Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager - Mental Health Education
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au

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Interpersonal Psychotherapy is an empirically validated treatment for a variety of psychiatric disorders. The evidence for IPT supports its use for a variety of affective disorders, anxiety disorders, and eating disorders, and for a wide range of patients from children and adolescents to the elderly.

IPT is recognised as an efficacious psychotherapy by the American Psychiatric Association, the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence in the UK, and the International Cochrane Collaboration. It is also recognised by the Australian healthcare system. There are now over 250 empirical studies supporting the efficacy and effectiveness of IPT.

IPT is a time-limited psychotherapy that focuses on interpersonal issues, which are understood to be a factor in the genesis and maintenance of psychological distress. Interpersonal foci include grief and loss, interpersonal disputes, and role transitions, making IPT suitable for a wide range of problems. The targets of IPT are symptom resolution, improved interpersonal functioning, and increased social support. Typical courses of IPT range from 6-20 sessions with provision for maintenance treatment as necessary.

Watch an interview with internationally acclaimed IPT expert Professor Scott Stuart on a global look at interpersonal psychotherapy at the WorldCanvass 2013:

Want to learn more about Interpersonal Psychotherapy? Join us for a 2-day introductory training session at the University of Sydney on 6-7 March 2014 and learn how to conduct a course of IPT.

For more information, visit http://cce.sydney.edu.au/course/ipta or call +61 2 8999 9608.

Contact course coordinator Richard He if you have any questions.

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Mood disorders carry with them considerable distress and disability; they are one of major contributors to global disability. Epidemiological studies have demonstrated that many persons suffering from depression do not have the disorder recognised or have treatment. The introduction of effective, safe and easy to prescribe antidepressants in the 1990s, along with brief, manualised psychological treatments encouraged approaches to meet the ‘unmet need’ Public health approaches have been used to increase the recognition of depression and allow depressed persons to be able to access treatments. The DSM diagnostic criteria (with its low threshold for diagnosis) and the use of screening questionnaires have contributed to a new problem of ‘overdiagnosing’ depression often referred to as ‘pathologising’ sadness. The early recognition of bipolar disorder is another major issue as there is often a delay of 5-7 years from the mood episode (usually depression) before a diagnosis of bipolar disorder is made. Over diagnosis is also a problem with bipolar disorder, especially bipolar II disorder, with online screening tools contributing to this problem.

Join us for a webinar presented by Professor Philip Boyce and learn more about the problem of mood disorders.

Time: Wed, 25 Sep 2013 3:30 PM - 4:00 PM AEST (UCT+10)

Registration: Registration is free. Please click here to secure your spot. Instructions on how to join the webinar will be sent to you upon registration. Technical support is available on 1800 194 319.

Contact:
Richard He | Program Manager - Mental Health Education
T +61 2 9845 7798
E richard.he@sydney.edu.au

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