Treating mental health in general practice


New funding to identify evidence-based mental health services

The ways that mental health is treated and managed in the general practice sector will be the focus of a new ANU research project at the Centre for Mental Health Research that has received funding today.

Professor Helen Christensen, who will lead the project, said it will examine evidence-based mental health services that deliver across a range of domains from early prevention through to recovery and rehabilitation.

"There is a growing recognition of the importance of 'self-directed care' due partly to predicted per capita reductions in health funding, shifts in the age profile of the Australian population, and increases in the prevalence of chronic disease," Professor Christensen said.

"Our proposal includes the evaluation of self-help and information technology in delivering better services for people with mental health problems."

The research is one of 12 projects around the nation funded by the Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute (APHCRI) based at ANU, in its second major funding round for 2005.

The Australian Primary Health Care Research Institute was set up as part of a Federal Government strategy to improve the knowledge base in primary health care policy. This is the Institute's fourth funding round of research into primary health care.

Each of the 12 projects will be funded for 12 months with results expected in September next year. Funding in this round totalled $1,724,200.

APHCRI Director, Professor Nicholas Glasgow, said the Institute was taking an innovative approach to research.

"APHCRI will bring policy makers and researchers together in the early stages of the their work to refine research questions and improve the collaboration between the two diverse groups," he said.

"This aims to make research more relevant to policy formulation in primary health care."

The new stream of research would be able to react quickly to relevant policy questions, with an end result of improving health care outcomes for Australians, he said.

APHCRI Research Advisory Board Chairman, Professor John Marley, congratulated the successful applicants.

"It's great to see so many researchers from all over Australia come together in this body of work. I look forward to seeing the results of their research and the development of APHCRI's approach, bringing the research and policy communities together."

Source: Eurekalert & others

Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 21 Feb 2009
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