Griffith University: Griffith part of new initiative to transform national mental health system

Griffith University will play a major role in a new national academy purposely designed to ensure members with experience of mental illness are at the forefront of research to transform Australia’s mental health care system.

Launched by Federal Health Minister Greg Hunt, the National Academy of LIVed-Experience (ALIVE) will be funded over five years through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Special Initiative in Mental Health grant.

The Academy led by Associate Professor Victoria Palmer from University of Melbourne, will operate as a virtual network across 14 university partners from all states and territories, supporting the move from reform to implementation of change in mental health care.

Griffith’s Menzies Health Institute Queensland Changing Health Systems (CHESS) co-lead Professor Amanda Wheeler is one the project’s chief investigators and the Academy’s lead of Mental Health Care at Scale.

Professor Amanda Wheeler
“I’m really looking forward to working with the team to co–design the national roadmap for translation of our planned work over the next five years with our communities,” Professor Wheeler said.

“It’s a new era for mental health care and Griffith will play its part in creating a center that will help implement badly-needed reforms in this area.”

Professor Wheeler, a researcher in mental health for more than 25 years, said everything will be designed in a way where research and lived experience communities work together.

“We want to unite the best researchers, people with lived experience, and bring this knowledge into translation to impact change,” Professor Wheeler said.

Griffith University Vice Chancellor and President Professor Carolyn Evans said Griffith is a leader into mental health through its schools of Human Services and Social Work and Applied Psychology and is proud to be part of the project.

“This is a tremendous initiative which will help grow and develop the next generation of mental health researchers in this country.”

The national initiative will boast a diverse range of professionals, including government bodies, charities, and community-based organisations.

They will join more than 2200 members with lived experience of mental illness and carers of people with mental health needs, who are part of an existing Co-Design Living Lab established by project lead Associate Professor Victoria Palmer.

Along with Griffith, participating universities include Curtin University, La Trobe University, Monash University, University of Western Australia, University of South Australia, University of Adelaide, University of Tasmania, University of New South Wales, University of Newcastle, University of Queensland, University of Sunshine Coast, Swinburne University and James Cook University.