Government Agency Materials in PsycEXTRA®

PsycEXTRA includes materials from many U.S. government agencies - federal, state, and local. But there is also information from a number of our international counterparts.

Materials from many government agencies — federal, state and local — are available in PsycEXTRA®. But did you know you can also find information from our international counterparts?

It will come as no surprise that health policy researchers look at the reports and materials produced by governments around the world. In this issue, we'll take a look at materials from the Australian Government's Department of Health and Ageing.

The Department of Health and Ageing is focused on policy advising and research for a wide variety of issues, such as hospital funding, national drug strategy, blood and organ donor policy, health promotion and more. Their purpose, as stated on their website, is to foster "better health and active ageing for all Australians."

Searching by Australian Government, Department of Health and Ageing as Content Owner, I found materials dating back to 1989, though more than half are from the last 10 years. As of November 2012, every result for this content owner has the full text available!

Taking a closer look at the results, I found many fact sheets and patient handouts, and lots of reports. Several editions of Australia's national standards and guidelines for mental health services and policy are available, allowing the researcher to trace the development of these policies from the present day back to 1992.

One of the more recent reports available looked at models of care for children and young adults with mental health problems. I also spotted an analysis of the 2009 H1N1 influenza outbreak, in which the department explores the country's response to the virus, and makes recommendations for the future.

In looking through the results, it becomes clear that one big focus of the Department has been drug and alcohol abuse. There are a variety of fact sheets available, as well as curricula for working with children and young adults, focusing on education as well as rehabilitation — certainly a gold mine for anyone in the US who is trying to develop a similar program.