University partnerships

Supporting research and partnering with academic institutions is an important element of GMHBA’s commitment to supporting the health of our members and patients, alongside our broader contribution to the community.

We have partnered with Universities on a variety of projects in different ways, including; grant submission support, dissemination of research outcomes, engagement in research via seminars, articles and social media, recruitment of participants, and, providing education opportunities for clinicians working in our health care businesses.

Depression Assist – Deakin University

Depression Assist evolved from an evidence-based guide for close family and friends who are a source of support to a person with major depressive disorder. It was developed by Dr. Lesley Berk and a panel of expert clinicians, carers, patients, and providers.

This partnership will road test Depression Assist and leverage further funding for a large-scale trial. If Depression Assist is useful, the logical next step is to definitively ensure it provides a cost-effective way to improve outcomes of those affected by depression, such that can be embedded into existing community healthcare systems.

The CALM Trial – Deakin University and Barwon Health’s Mental Health, Drugs & Alcohol Services

The CALM trial will evaluate the effectiveness of lifestyle therapy versus standard psychotherapy for reducing depression in adults with COVID-19 related distress.

The mental health of Australians has deteriorated since the COVID-19 outbreak. Data shows almost 1 in 2 Australians experienced depression during lockdown. CALM is an 8-week group-based, telehealth, lifestyle program for those with elevated psychological distress. It is delivered in Victoria as part of a partnership between Deakin University & Barwon Health’s Mental Health, Drug & Alcohol Services. It is anticipated CALM will be as effective and cost-effective as therapy for reducing depression.

Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Better Mental Health (CLiMB) – Monash University

Centre for Lifestyle Medicine and Better Mental Health (CLiMB) will bring together a cohesive group of world leaders in exercise physiology, diet and nutrition, sleep and circadian rhythms and mindfulness with experts in mental health, addiction, cognition, neuroscience, technology, behaviour change, implementation science, and health economics. CLiMB will also bring together the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine and Monash Partners with the peak bodies in lifestyle behaviours (Exercise & Sports Science Australia, Dietitians Association of Australia, Australian Sleep Association) and state-of-the-art clinical research facilities across VIC (BrainPark & Turner Sleep Clinic, Turner Institute for Brain and Mental Health, Monash University; Food and Mood Centre, Deakin University), NSW (Mindgardens, UNSW) and QLD (Thompson Institute, Sunshine Coast University). CLiMB, will use systems-based thinking and implementation science to position Lifestyle Medicine into the foundations (i.e., a third pillar) of mental health treatment and help Australia lead the global effort to develop better models of care and outcomes for people living with mental ill health.

GMHBA will contribute to the dissemination of CLiMB research outcomes, best practice approaches and knowledge through active engagement via seminars, social media and webinars with our members and networks. We will also provide education opportunities for the many clinicians working in our healthcare businesses.

Mediterranean Diet Challenge – LaTrobe University

GMHBA engaged an honours student from LaTrobe University to conduct a research study.

The aim was to investigate the effectiveness of a 4-week online intervention on food literacy and fruit and vegetable consumption (primary outcomes), as well as on bowel function in healthy Australian adults. Enrolment of participants began in July 2019 and the study was completed in September 2019.

Results from the intervention showed significant improvement in daily fruit and vegetable consumption and significant improvement in food literacy scores from baseline to post-intervention.