UoM home to government’s $10m national mental health research centre

The University has welcomed $10 million to establish a national research translation centre to improve health outcomes for Australians with mental illness and reduce the individual, social and economic inequities associated with current care.

Launched by Minister for Health, Greg Hunt, the national Academy of LIVed-Experience (ALIVE) will ensure members with experience of mental ill health are at the forefront of research to co-design and transform the mental health care system.

Led by Associate Professor Victoria Palmer, the centre will be funded over five years through the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Special Initiative in Mental Health grant and will operate as a virtual network across 14 university partners from all states and territories.

“Despite the investment in mental health services and reforms over the past 30 years, we have not begun to bend the growth curve on mental health problems in Australia. ALIVE aims to improve the dire situation we currently see for people’s physical health, as well as the 25-year life expectancy gap we see for people with severe mental illnesses,” Associate Professor Palmer said.

University of Melbourne Acting Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Mark Hargreaves said this centre will be vital in driving innovation and evidence-based solutions at a national level.

“This national centre is about bringing together researchers, health professionals and those with lived experience to translate high-quality research into effective health policy practice and healthcare improvements at a time when Australians need it most. It will also grow and develop the next generation of mental health researchers in Australia,” Professor Hargreaves said.

ALIVE will operate with an independent governance board chaired by University of Melbourne Professor Allan Fels. The centre will foster national and international collaborations through its International Scientific Advisory Committee with representation from lived-experience leaders at all levels.

For more information, read the full media release here.