There is a great need to change the way in which clinical care is delivered to young people with emerging mental health disorders such as anxiety, depression, other mood disorders and psychosis. Specialised clinical assessment is required and treatment systems need to be much more customized to the individual’s unique needs. The Youth Mental Health and Technology Team, led by Professor Ian Hickie, puts young people at the centre of their own care, We partner with health services to develop innovative treatments for those aged 12-25 with emerging mental health disorders.
Our research is conducted across several streams that explore digital pathways, systesms science and access to mental health care for young people. Extensive collaborations with health service providers, industry, government, philanthropic and research organisations enable us to quickly and effectively translate our research findings into large-scale health system innovations and mental health policy reform, facilitating continuous improvements to mental health services for the benefit of young people in Australia.
In 2019 the Brain and Mind Centre became the lead institution for a new NHMRC Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) into suicidal thoughts and behaviours. Read about the work of the CRE on the YOUTHe page.
This stream of research is focused on developing the next generation clinical and systems-based decision support tools, utilising participatory systems modelling approaches. We harness data science methods and innovation from across disciplines in order to achieve advances in the mental health and mental wealth of young people. Read about this work in the September 2021 Nature article, Mental Health: Build predictice models to steer policy.
National COVID mental health systems modelling
Regional mental health systems modelling reports
We are building sophisticated digital technology and linked information systems, developed through co-design, that permit a young person, their family and carers to be at the centre of clinical care and equal partners with clinicians in key treatment decisions. These systems also allow real-time information collection, to measure the performance of participating health organisations and the impact of new health initiatives allowing health care to be tracked and delivered in a sustainable manner.
Developed following more than 10 years of research by our team, the BMC Youth Model promotes an enhanced youth mental health model of care. It incorporates evidence-based processes, including measurement-based care and routine outcome monitoring. This model explicitly aims to prevent progression to more complex and severe forms of illness, and change trajectories for young people.
Together with Monash University, the National Institute of Mental Health and international collaborators, our team is leading key research into abnormalities in the body clock as an underlying cause of mood disorders. While abnormal sleep-wake patterns are commonly reported in mood disorders, it is currently unclear how disruption of the circadian body clock contributes to the development and persistence of these mental illnesses, and how correcting this can improve outcomes.
Dr Joanne Carpenter, Dr Jacob Crouse
This Stream is focussed on supporting effective policymaking to develop healthier, wealthier and more equitable communities.
25 years of national and state mental health plans and policies have failed to deliver fully accessible, safe, quality mental health care. This research takes an innovative approach to broaden the mental health ecosystem, encompassing both health and non-health sectors, Governments, business and civil society. The aim is to help investment in best value policies and models of care.
To achieve this goal, our Stream takes an inter-disciplinary research approach from economics, system science and implementation science. We combine a ‘system approach’ to provide the lens to understand the systemic drivers of mental health, a ‘societal economic perspective’ to value policy investments (health, economic, and economic impacts), and a ‘place-based implementation’ approach that supports the development of best-value and equitable policy investments that can be tailored for local implementation.
We focus on three key questions:
In collaboration with Westmead Medical Research Institute and St Vincent’s Private Hospital, we lead clinical trials aimed at developing standardised metabolic screening protocols, assessments and novel immune therapies for atypical mood and psychotic disorders.
The research of our multidisciplinary team sits at the unique intersection of neuroscience and cultural anthropology. We seek to bring together the scientific principles that underpin development in the first five years of life with cultural practices and values to strengthen relationships between young children and their parents, extended families and communities and to foster positive connections with culture.
Combine economic, social and medical data to forecast need and design services to address the growing crisis.
Authors: Jo-An Occhipinti , Adam Skinner , P. Murali Doraiswamy , Cameron Fox , Helen Herrman , Shekhar Saxena , Elisha London , Yun Ju Christine Song & Ian B. Hickie
26 September, 2021
Authors: Ian B Hickie, Tracey A Davenport, Jane M Burns, Alyssa C Milton, Laura Ospina‐Pinillos, Lisa Whittle, Cristina S Ricci, Larisa T McLoughlin, John Mendoza Shane P Cross, Sarah E Piper, Frank Iorfino, Haley M LaMonica
Date: 06 October 2019
Authors: Frank Iorfino, Elizabeth M. Scott, Joanne S. Carpenter, Shane P. Cross, Daniel F. Hermens, Madhura Killedar, Alissa Nichles, Natalia Zmicerevska, Django White, Adam J. Guastella, Jan Scott, Patrick D. McGorry, Ian B. Hickie.
Date: August, 2019
Author: Brittany L. Mitchell, Adrian I. Campos, Miguel E. Rentería, Richard Parker, Lenore Sullivan, Kerrie McAloney, Baptiste Couvy-Duchesne, Sarah E. Medland, Nathan A. Gillespie, Jan Scott, Brendan P. Zietsch, Penelope A. Lind, Nicholas G. Martin and Ian B. Hickie.
Date: June 2019