Mental health and substance use disorders account for more years of life lost from disability than any other disorders in Australia. On April 27, the Australian Centre for Public and Population Health Research (ACPPHR) hosted a practical workshop where researchers, drug and alcohol and mental health service providers and consumers were given the opportunity to build their research skills and develop grant proposals to enhance capacity around building research projects that can contribute to tackle this significant national health problem.
The workshop enabled participants to come together and talk through their research questions with feedback from UTS researchers and higher degree research students on how to move forward. Presenters included Commissioner John Feneley, NSW Mental Health Commissioner, who launched the outlined how researchers can apply for Community Mental Health, Drug and Alcohol Research Network (CMHDARN) [opens external site] seeding grants and provided an overview of a research mentoring program that can support service provider’s professional development.
Associate Professor Angela Dawson (ACPPHR) talked with participants about how to unpack their research idea. “This workshop was really successful in bringing together community-based health professionals and consumers and engaging them in conversations about what research they think is needed and how this could be achieved,” said Associate Professor Dawson.
Distinguished Professor Elizabeth Sullivan, Director of ACPPHR outlined the significance of building the research and evaluation capacity of services to improve consumer health and well-being. Such capacity building is essential to delivering evidence-based health care that best meet the needs of consumers.
The workshop was an important part of finding solutions to address the significant burden of mental health and substance use in Australia.