group of diverse young people

PREMISE 2021 overview

17 December 2021
The Matilda Centre NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence
The NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use (PREMISE) has had another successful year training future leaders and conducting innovative and exciting prevention and early intervention research for substance use and mental disorders.

Despite the ongoing challenges of COVID-19, PREMISE has had a busy year. PREMISE Chief and Associate Investigators have continued to each lead innovative and exciting prevention and early intervention research for substance use and mental disorders. PREMISE research has been disseminated via more than 150 peer reviewed papers to date, with more than 1-in-3 having PREMISE Early-Mid Career Researchers as authors.

Leaders in Prevention

The Leaders in Prevention Summit was a landmark national event held in 2020, convened through a partnership between the Black Dog Institute, Everymind, the Matilda Centre, The Prevention Hub and PREMISE. The partnership continued in 2021 with a key outcomes paper outlining key priorities for prevention research and implementation in mental health and substance use. Presentations from the Summit can be viewed on the Leaders in the Prevention Summit YouTube Channel.

PREMISE funded researchers

PREMISE early and mid-career researchers, Dr Milena Heinsch, Dr Long Le, Dr Jennifer Nicholas, Dr Yong Yi Lee and Dr Matthew Sunderland have also led exciting research. Dr Nicholas was awarded an NHMRC Investigator Emerging Leadership Grant to carry out much-needed research into how digital interventions in youth mental health can be put into practice sooner rather than later. PREMISE scholarship recipient, Dr Jennifer Debenham completed her PhD and has been appointed as a PREMISE Postdoctoral researcher.

Dr Jennifer Nicholas

Dr Jennifer Nicholas

Dr Jennifer Debenham

Dr Jennifer Debenham

PREMISE groups

The Consumer Research Group established the Lived Experience in Research Network (LEARN) to increase meaningful and mutually beneficial research partnerships between researchers and people with lived experience. LEARN members and Matilda Centre Researchers attended an interactive co-design workshop to explore methods, benefits, and challenges of meaningful participation in research. To further support co-design initiatives at the Matilda Centre, two lived experience, research capacity building seed funding grants were awarded.

The Health Economic Modelling, Data Harmonisation and the Trajectory, Taxonomy and Typology groups have continued to provide valuable opportunities for collaboration across institutions.

Youth Advisory Board

We said farewell to four founding members of our Youth Advisory Board (YAB) and welcomed three new members to the Board. The YAB gave input into six projects including Australia's Mental Health Think Tank and the Alone Together study. The YAB have initiated the co-development of outward-facing resources to guide youth-focussed mental health and substance use research nationally and members of the YAB participated in a podcast series on the ABC Health Report with Dr Norman Swan.

Scholarships and support schemes

PREMISE PhD scholarships, Career Development and Seed Funding support schemes have supported future prevention leaders through another challenging 12-months. PREMISE has established a new PhD scholarship focusing on risk and protective factors for mental and substance use disorders with supervisors Professor Tim Slade and Associate Professor Cath Chapman.

We look forward to continuing this work with all PREMISE researchers into 2022.

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