ACTAS WELLBEING SERVICE
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Available Publications

Publications available from the Wellbeing Service

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Taking Care of Yourself and Your Family
A resource book for good mental health

Written by bestselling author, Dr John Ashfield, this is the most popular mental health publication in Australia. 

The book deals with a broad range of mental health issues (such as stress, anxiety, depression, grief, trauma, insomnia, and alcohol misuse), and provides simple and effective ideas and strategies for people to use to help themselves. 

The book has also been very popular with psychologists, psychotherapists, psychiatrists, mental health professionals and counsellors, who have used it in their work with patients and clients.


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Straight Talk about Self-care for Human Service Workers

People who work in human service roles and organisations never have been the best at taking care of themselves. This book argues that needs to change, because the idea that we can care for others while neglecting ourselves is highly questionable; the two stand or fall together.

Whether your role is in health, mental health, police, welfare, emergency services, aged or disability care, pastoral care, or some other domain of human service, you’ll find this book an invaluable resource to support and sustain you in your important work. 


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Supporting Men in Distress 
A Resource for Women

All too often I have had a woman in my consulting room distressed and at a loss as she struggles to support the man she cares about in a time of crisis. Until now there has been little in the way of a ready resource that could be offered, something that gives tested advice for the most commonly encountered problems that is both easy to understand and to put into action. 

In this practical ‘go to’ guide for women supporting men in distress, John Ashfield has distilled the insights gained from decades of working with men on the edge and in raising awareness of the all too tragic outcome of male suicide. A possibly lifesaving book to have within reach for all those who work with women in such difficult circumstances. Dr Mark Johnson, General Practitioner, Hamilton, Victoria


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Teenagers and Self Harm
What every Parent and Teacher needs to know

Written for parents, teachers, and health professionals, this resource is intended to provide crucial up-to-date information for understanding and responding appropriately to teenagers who self-harm. 

There are many misconceptions surrounding self-harm which can all too often affect the way concerned parents or professionals respond to teenagers using this behaviour. 

It is not uncommon for teenagers to report that they had a ‘bad experience’ when they’ve tried to seek help, and came away feeling judged and demeaned, instead of understood and supported, making it less likely that they will seek help again. 

It is needful that we begin talking openly and frankly about the issue of self-harm; neglecting to do so will only ensure it remains a taboo subject, leaving a growing number of teenagers with few avenues of support and likely to be left to suffer in silence.


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Preventing Male Suicide
Become Part of the Solution

In Australia, suicide is now the number one killer of men under 44 years of age. And, though by far the majority of suicides are male, little attention is given to suicide as a predominantly male behaviour, and a behaviour that can only be understood from the gender specific perspective of male experience and male psychology.

Not only is there a need for greater understanding of factors influencing male suicide but, if it is to be adequately addressed, each of us must become part of the solution: watchful and preventative ‘eyes and ears’ in our communities.

Male suicide is about the lonely and tragic death of much loved fathers, sons, husbands, brothers, uncles, grandfathers, and friends. And let’s not forget its awful aftermath: the intense suffering experienced by those left to grieve and to deal with often unanswerable questions for years.

Suicide is not just an issue for health and mental health services, but one that must be owned by our community. And we need to do more than merely talk about it; each of us can play an important role in suicide prevention.

Suggestions and background information presented here come from the experience of many years of working in male suicide prevention, available research in this field, and having trained over 2000 key men in communities across Australia, through the Menswatch Peer Support Training program


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Health for Gents

Vital Topics of Men’s Health

Changes to lifestyle and making some healthy choices don’t have to be a ‘bitter pill’, nor do they require that simple pleasures be relinquished. In this brief volume, there is abundant information to support men in choosing not only an improved health outlook and quality of life, but also a future much less likely to be bedevilled by sickness, diminished capacity, and dependence. And to be purely practical, as they say, if you don’t take care of your body where else are you going to live?


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Mental Health for Men

Common Problems – Practical Solutions

There is no getting away from the fact that a significant number of men will experience mental health difficulties. For any man for whom this is true, ignorance is not bliss, it can lead to misery or even tragedy. But we have a lot of work to do as a society around this issue. We use unnecessary illness labels and wonder why there is stigma. We talk of the need for mental health literacy, yet we use mystifying language. We complain about a lack of male help-seeking, yet we don’t make help available in a way that respects male experience or appreciates that they are not women.