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Children with autism in WA 'languishing' in mental health wards, youth advocates say

Children with autism are languishing in mental health wards for "months", leaving others stuck on emergency departments for days waiting for an admission, according to Western Australia's chief mental health advocate. Key points: Ms Colvin has written to the State Government calling for urgent action She says one child had to wait up to five days to access urgent mental health care The Government says hospital discharge delays are due to the transition to the NDIS Debora Colvin penned a letter to three Government ministers in November after becoming increasingly concerned about the number of young people waiting days in hospital emergency departments for admission to one of the state's two youth mental health units, while adolescents with autism were...

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National hope for intergenerational playgroups as Queensland program enjoys success

Key points: An intergenerational playgroup in Queensland has received pilot funding for what is proving a successful program Participants have described the joy they feel when they get to spend a few hours with young children One woman said the simple sight of watching a four-year-old eat spaghetti made her laugh after a long period of bereavement A pilot program aimed at improving the mental and physical health of the elderly by encouraging "intergenerational friendships" with very young students could be a model copied across the country with the support of Federal funding. A Sunshine Coast early learning centre is the first to receive funding by the Federal Department of Health for a program called Moving Moments, which brings together ten seniors...

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Helping your child avoid toilet 'accidents' when starting school this year

At this time of year, the National Continence Helpline receives many frantic calls from parents with this very question. While incontinence can be extremely distressing – for both child and parent – a proper assessment by a health professional can sometimes point to simple causes and a resolution in sight. In the meantime, we’ve outlined helpful steps so your child can settle into school life. We expect children to be fully bladder and bowel toilet trained by four years of age and by six to seven for bedwetting. If your child is still experiencing issues after this time, it is important to speak to a health professional. Sometimes people will tell you that your child will just ‘grow out of it’. In reality, we do not know...

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School student comes up with idea to help kids with anxiety

A 12-year-old has come up with a great idea to help kids with anxiety after suffering from it himself for two years. Nikolas wishes he had a toy like Bubbles when he had anxiety. The 12-year-old from Sydney came up with the perfect idea to help kids like him combat the mental illness. Bubbles is a therapy toy puppy that has touch sensors on its back so that when a child touches it, it can detect their level of anxiety. It also has ears made of thermoplastic that act as a rubber stress ball so the child can squeeze the dog’s ears to relax. “I had anxiety for two years and I know a few friends that suffer from anxiety,”...

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