State & territory jurisdictional reports: Activity relating to mental health reform prior to the implementation of the Fourth National Mental Health Plan

29. Develop a national mental health research strategy to drive collaboration and inform the research agenda

Page last updated: December 2010

Department of Health and Ageing

  • The Commonwealth will contribute to the development of a national mental health research strategy. This will be developed under the auspices of the NHMRC which will establish a reference group to bring together a range of mental health research interests.
  • Psychogeriatric Research is aimed at improving the care and treatment of people with psychogeriatric conditions in aged care homes. This work is being undertaken collaboratively between the Department of Health and Ageing and the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). Research to be undertaken will:
    • develop an evidence base for medication and psychosocial interventions for people with more severe psychogeriatric conditions and/or
    • promote collaborative partnerships between researchers and service providers particularly across the older persons mental health and aged care sectors. Top of page

Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs

  • Social Policy Research Paper No. 39 'Longing to Belong: personal social capital and psychological distress in an Australian coastal region', contributes to the articulation and critical evaluation of perceptions about community participation and how it impacts mental health. It also adds to the evidence base for the development of social policy.
  • Carer Engagement Project Report Adversity to Advocacy describes the 15 major issues faced by carers of people with mental illness across Australia.
  • National Disability Agreement - Disability Ministers have agreed to contribute $10 million over 5 years for disability research. Initial national efforts will concentrate on several identified priority areas to underpin the policy directions and achieve reforms in the disability service system. The research effort will be focused on building the evidence base for policy and practical change relevant to the outcomes of the National Disability Agreement Top of page

Department of Veterans' Affairs

  • Through its Applied Research Program (ARP), DVA commissions research that contributes to the strategic development, implementation and improvement of veteran-related policy and service delivery. This enables the Department to better identify the holistic needs of current and former members of the ADF and deliver maximum benefit to the veteran and defence communities. One of the specific ARP priorities is veterans physical and mental health needs: A wellness approach. A number of active research projects are as follows:
    • Veterans: Real Partners in Health – A trial of implementing evidence-based care and self management for veterans with alcohol related disorders
    • The effectiveness of Cognitive Processing Therapy for Veterans and Veterans' Families Counselling Service clients with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder
    • Australian Peacekeepers: the long-term effects on mental health status, health service use and quality of life;
    • Promoting the use of evidence-based psychological treatment of posttraumatic mental health problems
    • Suicide in the Ex-service Community Review and
    • Veterans at Risk Study 2008. Top of page

Department of Defence

  • The collection of prevalence mental health data will enable the capture of mental health information to inform future priorities of mental health programs. Defence will explore options for adapting current research programs to meet an identified need. This will be assisted by the introduction of an electronic health record. Defence will continue to place priority on mental health research.