Australian mental health researchers are among the best in the world and Beyond Blue is proud to support them. However, it is essential that the limited funds we have available to support research are used to achieve their maximum benefit. Beyond Blue has therefore developed a list of four research priority areas that will be used to guide our research investment over the coming years. These areas include:
Understanding depression, anxiety and suicidality
This priority area will focus on research that strengthens our understanding of depression, anxiety conditions and suicidality. It will prioritise research into the biological, psychological and sociocultural factors that influence the cause, trajectory and personal experience of these conditions, how these factors change across the lifespan, how they differ between different population subgroups (gender, sexuality, ethnicity, culture and socioeconomic status), and how these factors can be recognised and modified.
A holistic approach to prevention
This priority area will focus on research which generates new knowledge on depression, anxiety and suicide prevention across the range of settings appropriate for different stages of life, including families, early childhood settings, schools, tertiary education institutions, workplaces and the Internet and including economic analyses of these activities; and transferring this knowledge into practice, policy and behaviour change. It will prioritise research into building resilience and addressing the social determinants of health that contribute to these conditions.
Better treatments, supports and services
This priority area will focus on research into new treatments and services. It will prioritise research into: novel biological/psychological/social treatments; approaches involving self-management, peer-to-peer support or involving families or non-traditional workforce providers in service delivery; approaches that achieve integrated physical, mental and social health outcomes; and approaches that create new service platforms or strengthen existing ones.
This priority area will focus on research that identifies and responds to the needs of individuals and communities at increased risk of depression, anxiety conditions and suicidality, or at higher risk of poor outcomes. It will prioritise research into: children who have experienced trauma; young people at risk of offending behaviour; carers – particularly those caring for someone with depression and anxiety; elderly Australians especially those in residential aged care; and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, refugees and other potentially vulnerable cultural minority groups.