With a particular focus on the needs of those in the South-Eastern corridor of Melbourne, our aim is to create the most robust, innovative and inclusive process of working with members of our community to form sustainable, productive and reciprocal/shared partnerships that benefit all.
We partner with a diverse range of community organisations in the co-design
and co-creation of our research, education, industry and clinical activities.
Community engagement projects
Making recovery more accessible for refugees of war
Milions of Afghani refugees in Kabul and Tehran are vulnerable to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, but are unable to access proper mental health care.
Our research is seeking to make treatment more accessible by developing a low-cost and easy to implement memory-training program to improve the mental health of adolescent refugee. The therapy is easy to implement, and does not require a professional psychologist to run, making it more accessible for war-torn communities.
Addressing mental health disparities in LGBTIQA+ adolescents
Gender and sexual diverse (LGBTIQA+, i.e., queer) youth can experience significant stress related to self-identity at puberty. But this may depend on the quality of social support that they experience.
A pilot study funded by the Turner Institute in 2021-2022 and conducted by the Adolescent Neurodevelopment Lab led in collaboration with the School of Educational Psychology & Counselling will explore relationships between social stress, mental health, puberty, and social support in 60 queer youth aged 16-24. This will lead to further large-scale studies of gender and sexual diverse adolescents aiming to reduce mental health disorders in that community.
The CYBERABILITY Project
Whilst anyone can be scammed, people with acquired brain injury (ABI) may be more susceptible due to their cognitive, psychological and social vulnerabilities. The CYBERABILITY Project aims to understand, prevent and treat this growing and significant threat.
Our team includes representatives from academia, the technology sector, clinicians, disability services and most importantly, individuals with personal experience of severe ABI and cyberscams. Each stakeholder contributes their expertise and respective lens to enrich the understanding, interventions and community translation. Together, we have conducted pioneering research, co-designed innovative interventions, promoted community awareness and influenced both the technology and disability sectors.
Building Belonging with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander youth
Research has identified that many urban Indigenous youth experience a lack of a sense of belonging or connection that is essential for wellbeing. Acknowledging that the best solutions come from young Indigenous people themselves, we are dedicated to listening with intention.
Our current research includes Aboriginal Participatory Action Research to work with young Aboriginal people in Narrm, who are almost completely invisible in mental health and wellbeing discourse, to understand how we can utilize the wellbeing strategies of young people to help them build a sense of belonging and support strong identities, thereby improving health and wellbeing outcomes.
Contributing to Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System
Following the announcement of the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System in 2019, the we were involved in a number of consultations regarding the opportunities for digital interventions in supporting improved mental health outcomes for Victorians.
The aim of the Royal Commission was to map out a plan of action that drives major changes to Victoria’s mental health services. These changes will provide a new roadmap for addressing the burden of mental health conditions in Victoria, reduce the stigma and discrimination associated with mental illness and promote more inclusive communities.
Delivering telehealth to rural communities impacted by bushfire
The 2019-2020 bushfire season was unprecedented in intensity, resulting in fatalities and huge losses of land and wildlife. We have been engaging with affected communities to deliver cutting-edge, evidence-based telehealth treatments via our Trauma Clinic.
Through the clinic, we work with community members and emergency services personnel affected by traumatic events including police, ambulance paramedics and firefighters with established evidence-based programs delivered to individuals, communities and organisations.
Developing culturally sensitive tools for addressing lateral violence
Lateral violence is a term used to describe harmful behaviours that are perpetrated by community members against each other. Our research is exploring the impact of lateral violence on Indigenous communities, and how cultural identity and access to support the social and emotional wellbeing of Indigenous Australians .
The study is developing interventions and resources that are culturally sensitive, taking into account issues of indigenous heritage, cultural identity and connection to Country.