Urgent Action Needed To Treat Depression In Cancer Patients 1

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25th October 2010, 05:00am - Views: 444





  As a national body, the ANF Federal Office acknowledges the traditional owners and Elders past and present across Australia, with particular acknowledgment to the Greater Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the lands where the Melbourne Office is located, and the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land where the Canberra Office is located.

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The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is the professional body representing mental health nurses in Australia.



The Australian Nursing Federation is the industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia


Canberra Office 


Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia 

PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

(T)  + 61 2 6232 6533   (F)  + 61 2 6232 6610 

anfcanberra@anf.org.au

Melbourne Office 


Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000  Australia

(T )  + 61 3 9602 8500   (F)  + 61 3 9602 8567 

anfmelbourne@anf.org.au 

ANF Journals


Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

anj@anf.org.au   ajan@anf.org.au

ABN 41 816 898 298


25 October 2010


MEDIA RELEASE 


Urgent action needed to treat depression in cancer patients


The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses and the Australian Nursing

Federation are concerned that systematic failures are leading to a lack of

depression diagnosis for women with breast cancer.



Cancer is up to 25% more lethal when the patient also suffers from depression. 


ANF assistant federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon said patients with cancer

continue to slip through the net in terms of mental health care. “These patients

are in constant contact with health professionals so this is totally an unnecessary

gap in the system,” she said.


“Depression jeopardises recovery,” said breast cancer survivor and CEO of the

Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, Kim Ryan. “Cancer patients require

optimum mental health in order to improve their physical health and recover

faster.”


“However in many cases patients are left to experience both the pain of physical

and mental illness.”  


On Pink Ribbon Day, nurses urge an increase in awareness and action to help

women diagnosed with breast cancer who are also experiencing depression.

Furthermore nurses urge these patients to talk about, and seek help for, their

emotional distress.


Depression is a disabling illness that affects about 15% to 25% of cancer

patients. Death rates are a staggering 25% higher in cancer patients who

experience depression and 39% higher in cancer patients who received a

diagnosis of depression.


ANF assistant federal secretary Yvonne Chaperon said it is alarming that some

breast cancer patients suffering a mental illness only had their physical

condition cared for while debilitation depression and anxiety often went

untreated. “We need a holistic approach to healthcare. As it stands families of

patients are often left to fill the gap. They feel helpless as their loved one

experiences depression while also trying to cope with their physical illness.”






  As a national body, the ANF Federal Office acknowledges the traditional owners and Elders past and present across Australia, with particular acknowledgment to the Greater Kulin Nation, the traditional owners of the lands where the Melbourne Office is located, and the Ngunnawal people, the traditional owners of the land where the Canberra Office is located.

Misc Miscellaneous Anf 4 image

  




   

 


The Australian College of Mental Health Nurses is the professional body representing mental health nurses in Australia.

Ph: 02 6285 1078       Fax: 02 6285 2166        Email: executive@acmhn.org        www.acmhn.org


The Australian Nursing Federation is the industrial and professional organisation for nurses and midwives in Australia


Canberra Office 


Unit 3, 28 Eyre Street  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia 

PO Box 4239  Kingston  ACT  2604  Australia

(T)  + 61 2 6232 6533   (F)  + 61 2 6232 6610 

anfcanberra@anf.org.au

Melbourne Office 


Level 1, 365 Queen Street  Melbourne  VIC  3000  Australia

(T )  + 61 3 9602 8500   (F)  + 61 3 9602 8567 

anfmelbourne@anf.org.au 

ANF Journals


Australian Nursing Journal 

Australian Journal of Advanced Nursing

anj@anf.org.au   ajan@anf.org.au

ABN 41 816 898 298



Ms Chaperon said this lapse was unnecessary as nurses could provide that care.

“Nurses are the back bone of the health system and are uniquely placed to

intervene and, if necessary, refer that patient on.” 


Ms Ryan said that all nurses need to have the skills to identify mental health

issues in their patients.


‘I was lucky that I had access to emotional support from family and friends as

well as professional support from my fellow mental health nurses.  We must

make certain that no one is left to slip through the system without adequate

care,’ Ms Ryan said.  


“Better training and education will ensure that nurses have the skills to

recognise the symptoms of depression and other common mental health issues

and assist with treatment and referral,” Ms Chaperon said.



Media contact:  

Kim Ryan, CEO Australian College of Mental Health Nurses, 0417 289 189

Eleni Hale, media, Australian Nursing Federation, 0458 892 999














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