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2018 Blog

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Improve your Mental Health Raw Fruit & Vegetables

Posted on 23 May, 2018 at 23:40 Comments comments (3)

Raw fruit and vegetables provide better mental health outcomes: Otago, NZ research.

That is the simple message from University of Otago researchers who have discovered raw fruit and vegetables may be better for your mental health than cooked, canned and processed fruit and vegetables.


Lead author Psychology PhD student Kate Brookie, says public health campaigns have historically focused on aspects of quantity for the consumption of fruit and vegetables (such as 5+ a day).


However, the study, conducted by Ms Brookie and co-authors Psychology Senior Lecturer Dr Tamlin Conner and postgraduate honours student Georgia Best, just published in Frontiers in Psychology, found that for mental health in particular, it may also be important to consider the way in which produce was prepared and consumed.

groups and are at high risk for mental health disorders.


The group’s typical consumption of raw versus cooked and processed fruits and vegetables were assessed, alongside their negative and positive mental health, and lifestyle and demographic variables that could affect the association between fruit and vegetable intake and mental health (such as exercise, sleep, unhealthy diet, chronic health conditions, socioeconomic status, ethnicity, and gender).


“Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of mental illness symptomology, such as depression, and improved levels of psychological well-being including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing. These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables.


“This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health,” Dr Conner says.

“Our research has highlighted that the consumption of fruit and vegetables in their ‘unmodified’ state is more strongly associated with better mental health compared to cooked/canned/processed fruit and vegetables,” Ms Brookie says.


#Drug-addled suburbs named.

Posted on 6 January, 2018 at 3:10 Comments comments (0)



Alexandria Utting, Gold Coast Bulletin

January 6, 2018 12:00am


STREETS in Southport, Surfers Paradise, Broadbeach and Mermaid Beach are the most drug-addled on the Coast, according to the latest police data.

Southport’s Queen, Hicks and High streets are among the 2017 hot spots for reported drug offences on the Gold Coast, according to the Queensland Police Service crime map for the district.

The Glitter Strip party precinct’s Cavill and Orchid avenues were the worst on the Coast.

Wairoo St in Burleigh Heads, Peerless Ave in Mermaid Beach and Monaco St in Broadbeach were also some of the worst for reports of drug crime.

The Glitter Strip party precinct’s Cavill and Orchid Avenues were the worst on the Coast, with reports of 91 and 84 drug offences in the period, respectively.

Further north, Dixon Dr and Billinghurst Cres were among the areas frequented by those looking to score.

Southport-based criminal lawyer, Ashkan Tai said it was no surprise streets in Surfers and Southport topped the list as many drug-addicted Gold Coasters resided in the areas.

“Generally they get caught where they hang out,” he said.

“Cavill Ave is absolutely that night spot area, so you’re more likely to find people there who get charged with possession of party drugs like MDMA.

“The fabric of the drug scene and drug possession has changed so drastically in the past 10 years.

“Now, it’s very out in the open and you’ve got people trying to sell in a club.

“In Surfers Paradise or Broadbeach people could be possessing the drugs for themselves or others might openly have 30 or 40 pills in their pocket that they’re intending to sell.”

Mr Tai said the types of drug offences people were charged with differed based on socio-economic status.

Meanwhile, data for the 12 months to December 2017 shows the number of reported drug offences on the Gold Coast was 7,672, down from 9,421 in the previous year. Picture: AFP.


“People in that higher echelon of society are more likely to be charged with possession of drugs like cocaine or restricted drugs like Xanax,” he said.

“But a homeless person in Southport, you’re more likely to see them with ice or a pipe.

“In saying that, the destruction by drugs doesn’t discriminate by postcode.”

Meanwhile, data for the 12 months to December 2017 shows the number of reported drug offences on the Gold Coast was 7,672, down from 9,421 in the previous year.

Queensland Police Service Crime Map showing drug hot spots on the Gold Coast for the 12 months to December 2017.

Drug and alcohol counsellor Kevin Donovan, from Brisbane South Alcohol and Drug Counselling Service, said a decrease in drug offences reported on the Coast indicated government funding was being pushed into policing, rather than health services.

“You look at the funding for the justice system, jails, courts and policing and that is a big lot of money compared to the health funding for someone who has a drug and alcohol problem who needs treatment,” he said.

“It’s hard to know whether you can say an area is to blame because where there are high concentrations of people, that’s where drugs will be will be sold,” says Kevin Donovan. Generic picture of the drug ice: iStock.

“Older people are taking up drug use in less numbers, but what they are using is stronger.

“So, figures might show there might be less people taking it up, but the ones who are may be more addicted.

“It’s hard to know whether you can say an area is to blame because where there are high concentrations of people, that’s where drugs will be will be sold.”




Posted on 20 November, 2017 at 5:35 Comments comments (0)

“Hurt people, hurt people.”

5 Ways To Bust the Blues

Posted on 8 October, 2017 at 5:40 Comments comments (0)


5 Ways to Bust the Blues


Movement releases those natural ‘feel good’ chemicals called endorphins and serotonin.

Exercising gets you out of isolation. If you join an exercise group you get to meet others.

Feelings of anxiety can be relieved through getting out and exercising.

All the above can lead to an improvement in mood therefore, you sleep better.

You don’t have to spend hours and hours exercising as a good 30 minutes of moderate exercise most days will improve your mind, body and soul.

Drugs & Alcohol

If I had a dollar for all the people who come to me with a drug or alcohol addiction and tell me they are suffering from anxiety and/or depression, I would be a very wealthy man.

Alcohol is a depressant. Moderate to heavy drinking can lead to depression. Cannabis is a depressant too. People I see, say they use cannabis to get ‘high’ and/or have ‘fun.’ Then it silently takes over their lives and they become depressed without realising it. As is with any other drug that is abused.


The vital ingredient to a healthy mind, body and soul. We have all experiences disrupted sleep in some stages of our lives and know its impact. Disturbed sleep over a long period of time can disrupt the chemicals in your brain which may lead to depression. Sleep apnoea, is linked to depression as well. It is important to seek help if you are having prolonged insomnia.



It is now recognised that having a pet helps people who suffer from anxiety or depression. Patting a pet can ease stress and reduce blood pressure. Having a dog is a great motivator to get outside and enjoy the outdoors.

Healthy Foods

We are learning more and more about which foods provide us with the best nutrition to keep our mind, body and soul in peak condition.

Numerous studies have shown diets high in junk foods, processed meats, and sugary, refined foods can play an important part in the onset of depression and anxiety, and its severity and duration.

For instance, our brains need an adequate intake of nutrients, such as omega-3’s, amino acids, B vitamins, especially B12 folate, vitamin D and minerals like zinc, magnesium and iron.

Magnesium is great for busting anxiety and can be found in leafy greens, pumpkin seeds, almonds and natural yoghurt.



Know the Signs of Depression

Posted on 8 October, 2017 at 5:30 Comments comments (0)


Crisis Support

Call 000 (triple zero) for immediate assistance

Crisis Assessment Team – Call your local hospital

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Lifeline: 13 11 14




Crisis Support

Call 000 (triple zero) for immediate assistance

Crisis Assessment Team – Call your local hospital

Suicide Call Back Service 1300 659 467

Lifeline: 13 11 14




We can all experience a low mood at times, but for some people it persists for weeks, months or even years 

COMMON SYPMTONS                               

Feeing extremely sad

or tearful.

Feeling emotionally flat

A change to your usual sleeping patterns.

Loss of interest. Lack of motivation.

Feeling worthless or guilty.

Loss of pleasure.


Change in weight or appetite.

Loss of sexual interest.

Physical aches and pains.

Unable to concentrate or think clearly.


Depression that temporarily lifts in response to good news or positive events

Increased appetite

Increased desire to sleep

Heavy, sluggish feeling inarms or legs that lasts an hour or more in a day.

Sensitivity to rejection or criticism

Unable to sleep

Binge eating, bulimia

Poor body image



 If you have experienced some or all the symptoms above it is advised that your see your GP.