National research centre to improve mental health

16/03/2021 | 2 mins

A new national research translation centre to improve health outcomes for Australians with mental illness and reduce the inequities associated with current care has been awarded $10 million in Federal funding.

The National Academy of LIVed-Experience (ALIVE) Centre is a national group for innovation in mental health care established as a collaborative network across Australia and includes researchers from The University of Western Australia.

It will bring together researchers, health professionals and those with lived mental health experience to translate high-quality research into effective health policy practice and healthcare improvements at a time when Australians need it most.

Launched today by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt and Assistant Minister to the Prime Minister for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention, David Coleman, the Centre will ensure members with experience of mental health are at the forefront of research to co-design and transform the mental health care system.

The Centre will be located at The University of Melbourne and funded over five years through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Special Initiative in Mental Health grant. It will operate as a virtual network across 14 university partners from all states and territories.

The Centre includes UWA Chief Investigators, Professors Vera Morgan and David Preen from the UWA School of Population and Global Health and Professor Osvaldo Almeida from the UWA Medical School.

The UWA research will focus on the physical health of people with severe mental illness and mental illness across the life course including in older Australians, and on building data linkage capacity across the network.

Chief Investigator Professor Vera Morgan from UWA’s School of Population and Global Health said the new centre would bring a significant change to mental health care in Australia, particularly for priority communities and people who are living with severe mental illnesses.

“One striking feature of this important research initiative is that it puts people with lived experience of mental health issues at its very heart,”

Professor Vera Morgan

“By bringing mental health advocates together with researchers and clinicians from population health, primary care, community mental health and hospital-based specialist care throughout Australia, to address mental health issues across the lifespan, including poor physical health, the Centre has the capacity to realise its translational aims of changing policy and practice for the benefit of all Australians experiencing mental illness.”

Media references

Winthrop Professor Vera Morgan (UWA School of Population and Global Health), 08 6488 6954

Simone Hewett (UWA Media and PR Manager), 08 6488 3229 / 0432 637 716

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