Medcast news and blog

A new approach to mental health care

I’m a GP with a special interest in mental health. For the past three years I have been working with Medibank health solutions to support the implementation of a range of programs for people with chronic and complex health conditions.

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Recent articles

Moments of Joy
Moments of Joy
Dr Jan Orman

This year I’ve decided to practice what I preach. I’m starting with something that has evolved from last year’s eye-opening experience with keeping a gratitude diary when, along with other members of my team at work, I participated in the 6-week Mental Fitness Challenge on the BiteBack website. BiteBack is a positive psychology-based website for ad

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On being a GP seeking help
On being a GP seeking help
Dr Jan Orman

I had an interesting experience at my GP recently. I don’t go to the GP very often. Mostly I don’t get sick. Sometimes I treat my own ills or just soldier on. On the few occasions that I have been to see someone about something concerning me, my overwhelming experience has been of being judged and dismissed. I feel that they think that, as a doctor, I should have not only made the diagnosis but also treated myself. In fact, I should have been better way before I thought to come along!

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Let’s talk about self-soothing
Let’s talk about self-soothing
Dr Jan Orman

I talk to a lot of health professionals and it amazes me how often people look at me blankly when I introduce the subject of self-soothing activities. As the conversation progresses I can see most of the blank looks turn to some degree of understanding as they begin to acknowledge the familiarity of the concept in their own lives, but GPs in particular are not generally familiar with the fact that teaching people about emotional management strategies is a core part of therapy, and an intervention that is entirely available to them in general practice.

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Disempowering Pornography
Disempowering Pornography
Dr Jan Orman

At the RACGP annual conference this year (GP19) Dr Anita Elias spoke eloquently and persuasively about the psychological impact of young people’s access to, and use of, online pornography. It is no longer just a speculative idea based on clinical anecdotes. Research evidence confirms that viewing pornography at a young age is having a significant and damaging impact on young people’s sexual attitudes and behaviours and their emotional states.

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The joy of being a headspace GP
The joy of being a headspace GP
Dr Karen Spielman

Parenting is often challenging - particularly for us as mental health-interested GPs - as we know full well how important it is to get it right with attachment. Thank goodness for Winnicott’s “good enough mother” idea to get us through those sleepless nights!

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Photos and memories
Photos and memories
Dr Jan Orman

Like many people with ageing brains I am concerned about the things I might fail to remember. My life is full of new experiences. I like to travel and while I’m away I take photos so I will remember those experiences  better (a bit like people with early dementia learn to write themselves notes) and so that I can share the memories with others.

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The Downside of the Here-and-Now
The Downside of the Here-and-Now
Dr Jan Orman

We have been talking about mindfulness in mental health for some time. It’s sometimes hyped as the universal panacea for all things anxious and depressed. Easy, cheap and with no side effects!

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The Word of the Year Program
The Word of the Year Program
Dr Jan Orman

At the beginning of her book “Simple Self-Care for Therapists” Ashley Davis Bush starts by telling a story about a guest on her online talk radio show who introduced her to something she called her “Word of the Year Program”.

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A letter from Joanna
A letter from Joanna
Dr Jan Orman

Recently I received a letter from a patient of mine. Joanna is a 50 something woman who suffers from recurrent unipolar depression. She has given me her permission to share her letter with you.

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