News and Events

News Flash March 2017

Kidspace Principal Psychologist Mr Brad Marshall providing some expert advice to the readers of the Daily Telegraph.

Are you concerned about your toddlers reaction when you take away that precious tablet?

Read the article, Toddler tantrums: Parents seek addiction experts’ advice about children’s use of tablets and devices

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Kidspace Presents: Clinical Insight Series

June 2016

This week Kidspace hosted its third annual Clinical Insight Series. One of our resident Child and Family Psychiatrists, Dr Adrian Falkov presented his research on The Family Model. This was followed by Kidspace consultant Professor Garry Walter presenting his years of research and clinical experience on the topic of treating “school refusal” in children and teenagers.

A select group of school counsellors attended and helped provide their insight and experience on the topics. Kidspace would like to thank the school counsellors in attendance for their ongoing collaboration and commitment to improving the mental health of our young people.

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Exploring Teens: Q&A Parent Forum

April 2016

Northshore Kidspace Principal Child Psychologist Mr Brad Marshall was recently invited  to present at the “Exploring Teens Q&A Parent Forum” on the topic of Problematic Internet Use, more commonly referred to as ‘Internet Addiction’. The forum explored the question “Is this normal teenage behaviour?”.  Northshore Kidspace would like to thank the staff of the Exploring Teens Magazine for extending Brad Marshall a warm welcome to this groundbreaking event supporting parents.

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Kidspace Presents:

Psychiatry training in partnership with the NSW Institute of Psychiatry

March 2016

As one of Sydney’s largest Child and Adolescent Psychiatry private practices, Kidspace was recently invited by the NSW Institute of Psychiatry (www.nswiop.nsw.edu.au) to host a symposium dedicated to the learning and professional development of trainee Child and Adolescent Psychiatrists.

Northshore Kidspace senior staff Professor Garry Walter AM and Dr Damian Fong delivered a training session to eighteen doctors as part of their accreditation in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. Professor Walter commented afterwards, “It was a wonderful opportunity to help mentor the next generation of trainee psychiatrists”.

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FOMO

January 2016

Author: Mr Brad Marshall, Principal Psychologist Northshore Kidspace

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Look familiar? Are you concerned about the amount of time your family is spending glued to a screen this summer holidays?

Late last year the Australian Psychological Society (APS) released survey details outlining social media and its impact on Australian’s wellbeing. The survey found 56% of Australians are “heavy” social media users.

While there are many positives, with teenagers feeling more socially connected at the click of button, they also acknowledged some negative factors. Most notably the high number of Australian teenagers who ruminate and interpret their friends as having more fun without them.

3 Tips to limit FOMO these holidays:

  1. Turn the Internet access off at night. Its one thing for a parent to monitor any negative consequences of FOMO during the day, but at night sleep deprived adolescents can get stuck in negative thought cycles.
  2. Encourage face-to-face activities. Gone are the days of parents trying to “keep their teenagers at home so they are safe”. Encourage your child to engage in structured activities with friends, even if this involves screen time.
  3. Make family activities screen free time. Start with something small like meal times, and then tackle longer periods.

 

You can read the complete APS survey media release: http://www.psychology.org.au/news/media_releases/8Nov2015-fomo/

 


 

Internet Addiction: A Slow Road to Disconnected Children

November 2015

Northshore Kidspace Principal Child  Psychologist Mr Brad Marshall was recently invited by The King’s School in Sydney to speak on the topic of Problematic Internet Use, more commonly referred to as ‘Internet Addiction’. Northshore Kidspace would like to thank The King’s School staff and parents for extending Brad Marshall a warm welcome to one of Sydney most prestigious schools.

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Is Your Child Gambling Online?

November 2015

Author: Mr Brad Marshall, Principal Psychologist Northshore Kidspace

Many years ago I was invited to write an article for the Networks for Internet Investigation and Research Australia (NIIRA) on how to engage children and adolescents suffering from Internet Addiction. Despite this not being an official diagnosis in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders 5 (DSM-5), it has been ear marked as an area in need of further research. Some of my colleagues will debate the use of the term Internet Addiction, and prefer ‘Problematic Internet Use’. I am less interested in semantics and refer to Internet Addiction as this is the term most familiar to families I see.

In my earlier submission to NIIRA, which can be found at www.niira.org.au, I observed that as Internet Addiction is such a new phenomena it can be difficult for child psychologists, schools, and parents to keep up. Technology is a rapidly developing domain. The convenience it can bring to our daily lives is unquestionable, but at what cost? I have observed a proportion of children and teenagers who interact with the Internet in such a way it can effect their emotional, behavioural, social, and educational development.

While I cannot address the concerns I see in my practice in this forum, I would like to share a new and increasing development in the realm of Internet Addiction. This year I have observed an increase in children and teenagers struggling with online gambling or betting on Massive Multiplayer Online Role-playing Games (MMORPG). When I am giving a presentation on this topic, I like to pose this question to the audience: How would one place a bet on a MMORPG? Of course the puzzled looks ensue. Answer? The same way you bet on your favourite sporting event or horse race. That’s right, pop on down to your local betting facility and eat your heart out. Or perhaps embrace technology and pull out your smart phone, which will allow you to do so at your convenience. For those sceptics, take a few minutes to search the betting sites commonly advertised on TV and search under ‘E-Sports’ or something similar. I can tell you in the next Counter Strike (CS-GO) ‘Dreamhack Open Event’ Team Envius are currently paying $3.60 for the win.

We would hope that most teenagers do not have access to an account with one of our large betting companies. I sense a collective sigh of relief? Unfortunately, there is a much easier way to bet on these events. Teenagers are now using third party websites that allow users to bet items within online games. Let me take you through this step-by-step. If I play a MMORPG one of the main goals is to acquire items within this online world. Typically it’s an item that enhances my character like a sword, or body armour etc. I am then able to bet these items on the outcome of ‘professional tournaments’. I can watch these tournaments live through YouTube at some ungodly hour due to international time differences. I am also able to sell these items (yes I’m talking currency in exchange for items) to other players around the world. This money will then register in my Paypal, or ‘Steam’ account allowing me access. If you lost me somewhere along the way, the punch line is that betting these items has the same risk and reward scenario as you trotting down to the casino and putting it all on black.

In my anecdotal experience, this can create significant emotional and behavioural swings in children and teenagers. After all, if I lost $500 at the casino I know I would be upset and angry!

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About the Author: Brad is a Child and Adolescent Psychologist with many years experience consulting in some of Sydney’s well-respected hospitals and most recently at the University of Notre Dame Australia. He is currently consulting full time at Northshore Kidspace, a Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Psychology clinic on Sydney’s North Shore.

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Internet Addiction: A Slow Road to Disconnected Children

October 2015

Northshore Kidspace Child Principal Psychologist Mr Brad Marshall was recently invited by Marist College North Shore to speak on the topic of Problematic Internet Use, more commonly referred to as ‘Internet Addiction’.

Brad explored Internet overuse versus ‘addiction’, the reasons why boys may overuse technology, and its impacts on emotional, social, and educational development, as well as impacts on behaviour and health.

Importantly, Brad offered some tips from his work with adolescents:

  1. Understand your son’s online activities and why he uses them. Try not to make judgmental statements.
  2. Negotiate a reasonable amount of time for online activities.
  3. Come to a very clear and objective agreement, with access as a reward rather than a right.
  4. Make the agreement so it can be reasonably reinforced within the family.
  5. Be realistic. Don’t take away all access; just enough so that educational, social and sporting commitments come first. If the agreement is broken, remove access for no more than 24 hours.
  6. The modem is the key to negotiation, rather than removing all devices.

Northshore Kidspace would like to thank Marist College North Shore for their support and taking the initiative in providing a forum for parents where they can feel comfortable talking about these critical issues in adolescent development.

Internet

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Hot off the press: managing self-harm in adolescents

1 August 2015

Three Kidspace clinicians – Damian Fong, Brad Marshall and Garry Walter – were recently invited by Medical Observer, a leading Australian medical journal, to contribute an article on self-harm in adolescents. At Kidpsace, we not uncommonly see young people in whom self-harm is a new or ongoing problem. The article in Medical Observer highlights that self-harm can occur for a variety of reasons. “Careful clinical evaluation is always important,” suggested Dr Fong, “Self-harm can occur in young people with depression, anxiety, drug and alcohol problems, psychosis or other problems, and recognition and treatment of these problems can go a long way towards eliminating the self-harm.” The article includes several practical strategies for adolescents themselves who wish to stop engaging in this behaviour.

DSH

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Inspirational new book on depression in young people

28 April 2015

At Kidspace, we regularly assess and treat children and adolescents with depression, an increasingly common problem in the community. A new book on depression in young people by Adam Schwartz, challengingly titled, “Mum, I wish I was dead”, has just been released. Launched by Kidspace psychiatrist, Professor Garry Walter AM, before an audience of over 200 people, Professor Walter suggested that the book was both pioneering and a welcome arrival. “Published accounts by young people are rare,” Professor Walter commented. “Adam has been courageous to movingly document his battle with depression in childhood and adolescence, which included a range of treatments inside and out of hospital. Perhaps most importantly, the book demonstrates that with appropriate treatment and support, even severe depression can be overcome. It thus offers well-founded hope for young sufferers and families.”

Details about Adam and the book may be found at http://adamschwartz.com.au

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At the recent book launch (L-R): MC Larry Emdur, Kidspace psychiatrist Professor Garry Walter AM and author Adam Schwartz

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Kidspace Presents: Clinical Insight Series

26 November 2014

This week Kidspace hosted its first event in the Clinical Insight Series. One of our resident Child Psychiatrists, Dr Peter Davies presented on the important role fathers play in child development. A select group of local school counsellors helped provide their insight and experience on the topic.

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We look forward to hosting further Clinical Insight Series events in 2015, and as always, value our ongoing working relationship with school counsellors.