Research projects

Research at Beyond Blue

Research underpins all Beyond Blue's work, reflecting our commitment to evidence-based practice and continuous improvement. Beyond Blue is both a funder of research and a translator of research evidence into policy, practice and behaviour change through our programs and services.

Beyond Blue is a major funder of research into depression, anxiety and suicide in Australia. Since 2000, Beyond Blue has invested more than $65 million in depression, anxiety and suicide prevention research. Through this investment we have contributed to pioneering developments in the field of perinatal depression and youth, LGBTI, mens' and older people's mental health, as well as more broadly to the field of depression, anxiety and suicide research.

Our approach to research funding

Beyond Blue is a major funder of mental health research in Australia with a focus on depression, anxiety and suicide. We fund a broad range of research covering the spectrum from discovery to research translation using two broad approaches to research investment:

  • Strategic Research consists of research projects initiated by Beyond Blue staff that align to Beyond Blue’s core activities. This may include evidence reviews and social research that assists us to design more effective programs and services.
  • Priority Driven Research consists of research projects initiated by external researchers that focus on one of Beyond Blue’s research priorities, along with any other additional criteria set out for the relevant grant round. 

Funding opportunities will be advertised on this web page (see below) or through Research Australia alerts or other appropriate means.

Research priorities

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.

Achieving equity

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.


Current funded research projects

Research Partnership Grants Scheme

Through its annual Partnership Grants Scheme, Beyond Blue partners with research teams on National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Partnership Grants and Australian Research Council (ARC) Linkage Grants. The next call for applications will be in 2021.

The following six projects have been funded through this scheme so far:

  1. Addressing inequities in child mental health and development: Establishing the evidence for precision policy responses
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Sharon Goldfeld
    Administering Institution: University of Melbourne 
    Participating Institutions: Australian National University, University of New South Wales, RMIT University, Flinders University of South Australia, Murdoch Children’s Institute 
  2. Rising Australian Job insecurity and its Consequences for the Mental Health of Workers and their Families
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor David Johnston 
    Administering Institution: Monash University
    Participating Institutions: University of Sydney, Free University of Amsterdam, Netherlands
  3. Beyond Red: Evaluating an Accountant Professional Development Program Aimed at Promoting SME Owner Wellbeing Through Integrated Mental Health First Aid and Client Relationship Management Training
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Andrew Noblet
    Administering Institution: Deakin University
    Participating Institutions: University of Melbourne, University of Tasmania, Institute for Public Accountants
  4. Perinatal Identification, Referral and Integrated Management for Improving Depression: The PIRIMID Study
    Grant duration: 4 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Jeannette Milgrom
    Administering Institution:  Parent-Infant Research Institute 
    Participating Institutions: University of Melbourne, City of Whittlesea
  5. The eCliPSE Project: integrating evidence-based eHealth interventions for comorbid mental health and alcohol/other drug use problems into health and community settings
    Grant duration: 4 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Frances Kay-Lambkin
    Administering Institution: University of Newcastle
    Participating Institutions: University of New South Wales, Deakin University, NSW Health, University of Sydney
  6. Implementing work-related Mental health guidelines in general PRacticE (IMPRovE)
    Grant duration: 4 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Danielle Mazza
    Administering Institution: Monash University
    Participating Institutions: University of Queensland, National Ageing Research Institute

Targeted Call for Research into depression, anxiety and suicide among elderly Australians

Beyond Blue has joined the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in jointly funding a $2.5 million Targeted Call for Research to explore ways to prevent depression, anxiety and suicide among elderly Australians and on improving the detection and effective management of these conditions through new and existing interventions and models of care. 

The following seven projects were successful and have been funded through this scheme:

  1. Translating evidence-based psychological interventions for older adults with depression and anxiety into public and private mental health settings using a stepped care framework
    Grant duration: 4 years
    Chief Investigator A: Associate Professor Viviana Wuthrich
    Administering Institution: Macquarie University 
    Participating Institutions: University of New South Wales, Amsterdam Institute for Global Health and Development
  2. The impact of befriending on depression, anxiety, social support and loneliness in older adults living in residential aged care facilities
    Grant duration: 5 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Colleen Doyle
    Administering Institution: National Ageing Research Institute
  3. ELders AT Ease Program (ELATE): A cluster randomized controlled trial of a sustainable and scalable mental health service for Australian residential aged care facilities
    Grant duration: 4 years
    Chief Investigator A: Associate Professor Sunil Bhar
    Administering Institution: Swinburne University of Technology 
    Participating Institutions: Australian Catholic University, University of South Australia 
  4. Evidence for suicide prevention in planning transitions from employment to retirement in older age populations
    Grant duration: 2 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Andrew Page
    Administering Institution: University of Western Sydney
    Participating Institutions: University of Melbourne 
  5. BAN-Dep: A trial to decrease the prevalence of depression in Australian nursing homes
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Osvaldo Almeida
    Administering Institution: University of Western Australia
    Participating Institutions: University of Melbourne, Melbourne Health Aged Care, University of York (UK)
  6. A randomized controlled trial of an online peer support intervention for reducing symptoms of depression among community-dwelling older adults living in rural Australia
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Robert Sanson-Fisher
    Administering Institution: The University of Newcastle
    Participating Institutions: Hunter Medical Research Institute, integrated living Australia 
  7. Improving mental health and social participation outcomes in older adults with depression and anxiety 
    Grant duration: 3 years
    Chief Investigator A: Professor Ronald Rapee
    Administering Institution: Macquarie University
    Participating Institutions: University of New South Wales, University of Sydney

 

Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Associated Depression and Anxiety

Beyond Blue has joined the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) in jointly funding a $2.5 million Centre of Research Excellence to investigate the prevention of depression, anxiety and suicidality by reducing the occurrence of adverse childhood experiences. 

This five-year Centre is being led by Professor Harriet Hiscock from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne and involves 11 researchers from across Australia including from Monash University, University of Melbourne, and University of New South Wales.

This world-first centre brings together researchers spanning paediatrics, education, psychology, psychiatry, population health, and health services research to look at producing documents for practitioners and policy makers showing which adverse childhood experiences at which development stages are associated with depression, anxiety and suicidality, and which interventions are most likely to be effective in reducing these. It will establish feasible, acceptable, and costed integrated approaches to identifying and reducing adverse childhood experiences from the antenatal period through to the end of primary school. It will also support early career researchers to work in this space. 

Current research funding opportunities (priority driven research)

There are no grant rounds open at this time.

Strategic research

From time to time Beyond blue will advertise opportunities for researchers interested in undertaking research projects on behalf of Beyond BlueThese projects will be linked to Beyond Blue’s core activities and may include: evidence reviews; gaps analysis; population surveys; and other formative research.

There are currently no Strategic Research funding opportunities available.

Co-invest with Beyond Blue

Beyond Blue is keen to work with other research funders to co-invest in research related to depression, anxiety and suicide. Over the years we have partnered with the NHMRC, Cancer Australia and The National Heart Foundation to pool our resources and fund projects of mutual interest.

If you would like to discuss the possibility of working together with Beyond Blue to jointly fund research into one of our four priority areas or other projects related to depression, anxiety and suicide please contact the Head of Research and Evaluation at Beyond Blue on research@beyondblue.org.au

Past research

Over the years we have contributed to pioneering developments in the field of perinatal depression, youth, LGBTI, mens' and older people's mental health, as well as more broadly to the field of depression, anxiety and suicide research.

View the full list of past research projects.


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