Inside Madness

Inside MadnessHow One Woman’s Passionate Drive to Reform the Mental Health System Ended in Tragedy

On 14th October 02, Margaret Tobin, director of S.A. mental health service, was shot four times, execution-style, in her Adelaide office. It was at first considered a random shooting, but rumours soon linked her with a deregistered psychiatrist who had worked with her, who was later charged with her murder.

Graham Williams reviewed Inside Madness for the Sydney Morning Herald, and described it as an absorbing book that tells at least three stories, including an exposure of the failings of the mental health system. It has also been favourably reviewed at Australian Crime Fiction.

For her work on this book and other projects, Melissa was awarded an Ochberg fellowship from the Dart Center for Journalism & Trauma. Read her application statement here.

Buy a copy here.  Inside Madness is also available on audio.

Ten questions you should ask your doctorTen questions you should ask your doctor

How to make better decisions about drugs, tests and treatments.

By Ray Moynihan and Melissa Sweet

Covering everything from tests, to drugs, to lifestyle issues, Ray and Melissa give us all the questions we need to ask when we visit the doctor, the chiropractor or even the naturopath. So no matter whether you have a child with an ear infection, you’ve been told you have high cholesterol, or that you need a CT scan or surgery, here is the guide that will help you make better decisions for you and your families.

Professor Rachelle Buchbinder, Monash University: “Every home should have a copy of this book which provides practical tips about how to receive the best health care.”

Buy a copy here.

The Big Fat ConspiracyThe Big Fat Conspiracy

How to protect your family’s health.

So many aspects of modern life conspire to encourage weight gain. The world is facing an obesity epidemic which presents serious threats to our health, now and into the future.

The Big Fat Conspiracy: How to protect your family’s health gives you and your family the tools you need to resist the big fat conspiracy of modern life: awareness, understanding and plenty of practical advice. It will help families to make healthy changes in their lives, and offers many useful tips for eating well, moving more and promoting children’s health and wellbeing.

It is also packed with suggestions for how schools, health professionals, governments, businesses and community leaders can help create healthier environments for children and families. It promotes understanding and empowerment – not guilt and blame.

Listen to an ABC radio Life Matters interview with Melissa about the book. Melissa received an award from the Australian and New Zealand Obesity Society in 2008 for this book, which was also reviewed in the Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, and the Australian Journal of Medical Science.

You can download a free e-copy here, or buy a copy here.

Smart Health ChoicesSmart Health Choices

Every day we make decisions about our health – some big and some small. What we eat, how we live and even where we live can affect our health. But how can we be sure that the advice we are given about these important matters is right for us? Many treatments and tests – both mainstream and alternative – are not supported by good evidence and some widely used treatments are actually harmful.

Whether you are considering having surgery or taking vitamin supplements, you need to know the effectiveness of the options and their side-effects. This fully revised and updated new edition of Smart Health Choices will provide you with the tools for assessing health advice, whether it comes from a specialist, general practitioner, naturopath, the media, the Internet, or a friend.

It shows you how to take an active role in your health care, and to make the best decisions for you and your loved ones based on personal preferences and the best available evidence.

The authors are: Professor Les Irwig, Professor of Epidemiology at the University of Sydney, and an internationally renowned authority on evidence-based medicine; Judy Irwig brings the perspective of the health care consumer; Dr Lyndal Trevena is Senior Lecturer in the School of Public Health at the University of Sydney, a member of the Sydney Health Decision Group and an experienced General Practitioner; and Melissa Sweet.

Smart Health Choices was first published by Allen & Unwin in 1999. An updated version was published in London by Hammersmith Press in 2008.

You can now download it for free here, or buy a copy here.

Read an interview with Professor Les Irwig by ABC Radio’s Dr Norman Swan.

Some comments about this book:

“Knowledge is power and power is what consumers need in healthcare. This book gives it to them.” – Dr Norman Swan, ABC Radio’s Health Report.

“I wish all my patients would read this book. It encourages a sceptical but positive attitude to medicare care, and encourages patients to be wise consumers. Read it, find a doctor you can work with, and together make the best of your healthcare.” – Dr Paul Glasziou, Professor of Evidence-Based Medicine, University of Oxford, UK.

It was also reviewed by Dr Trisha Greenhalgh in Family Practice journal.