Social and Environmental Health

CURRENT

2017-2018

Mapping the ethical landscape of dementia research in the ageing population.

Staff: Dr Sabrina Pit

Collaborators:

University of Sydney (Forlini, C., Jansen, J. Naganathan, V., Valenzuela, M.)

Funding:

School of Public Health, University of Sydney $4000

 

2017-2018

Evaluation of residential drug rehabilitation programs in the Northern Rivers: Understanding perceptions of successful recovery and the reasons for early withdrawal

Staff: Dr Sabrina Pit

Collaborators:

The Buttery (Mr Trent Rees), University of Wollongong (Tarran Prangley, Dr Jessica Nealon)

Funding:

John Shaw Warnock Research Grant. The Buttery $5000

 

2016-2018

Evaluation of residential drug rehabilitation programs in the Northern Rivers: Maintenance to Abstinence Program

Staff: Dr Sabrina Pit

Collaborators:  The Buttery (Mr Trent Rees), Western Sydney University (Maddie Southey)

Funding:

John Shaw Warnock Research Grant. The Buttery $5000

 

2016-2018

Opinions of Live Music Event Attendees on the value of Illicit Pill Purity Testing programmes and MDMA use: a cross sectional study

Staff: Dr Sabrina Pit

Collaborators:

Positive Adolescent Sexual Health (Mr Franklin John-Leader), Western Sydney University (Jack McNamara, Ben Crawford, Ashwini Kathirgamalingam, Maddie Southey, Rohan Kaul)

 

2012-2018   

Collaborations in Air Pollution and Health as part of The Centre for Air Quality and Health Research and Evaluation (CAR)

Staff involved: Associate Professor Geoff Morgan; Dr Margaret Rolfe

CAR is a Centre of Research Excellence funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC). It is collaboration between seven Australian universities, including the UCRH in Lismore and is led by Prof Guy Marks from the Woolcock Institute of Medical Research. CAR will enable research on the impact of air pollution on human health and translate that research into contributions to policy that aims to mitigate that impact.

CAR will create opportunities for researchers, operating in diverse but related disciplines, to create and apply knowledge about air pollution and health of both national and international interest. Lead CI, Prof Guy Marks, University of Sydney.

For more information on CAR see http://car-cre.org.au/, and for a list of the Chief Investigators see http://car-cre.org.au/team/ .

Collaborators:

University of Sydney, University of New South Wales, Monash University, University of Queensland, Queensland University of Technology, University of Wollongong, University of Melbourne

Funding:

NHMRC, $2.24 million (2012-2016)

COMPLETED

2013-2015   

Evaluation of the Bowraville Safe Families Project

Staff involved: Dr Megan Passey; Ms Elizabeth (Liz) Rix

The incidence of serious injury among Aboriginal communities is significantly higher than in non-Aboriginal populations. The Bowraville Safe Families Project provided a whole of community, strengths-based program utilising education, community capacity building and increased community awareness to address family violence within the Aboriginal Community.

This project aimed to improve the wellbeing of Aboriginal people within the Bowraville, NSW Community. The UCRH was contracted to evaluate the project. The evaluation assessed evidence of the implementation and effectiveness of the project, how well it engaged with diverse sectors of the Bowraville Aboriginal community, and whether it may be transferable to other Aboriginal communities.

Collaborators:

Miimi Aboriginal Corporation; Nambucca Valley Phoenix; NSW Ministry of Health; Department of Aboriginal Affairs; Education Centre Against Violence (ECAV); NAPCAN; North Coast Institute of TAFE; Mid North Coast Local Health District; NSW Police – Northern Region; Interrelate Family Centre.

Funding:

NSW Ministry of Health, $250,788 for project; $50,000 to UCRH for evaluation (2013-2015)

 

2012                

Evaluation of the Nimbin Integrated Services project

Staff involved: Dr Jo Longman; Ms Frances Barraclough; Dr Margaret Rolfe; Dr Gao Yu; Professor Lesley Barclay

This project evaluated an innovative mental health service based in Nimbin on the far North Coast of NSW. The evaluation provided evidence of the effectiveness of the service as well as appraising the extent to which the model might be applied to other rural sites.

Collaborators:

All steering committee members of the Nimbin Integrated Services project, in particular including the Northern NSW LHD and Department of Premier and Cabinet.

Funding:

NSW Department of Premier and Cabinet $30,000

UCRH internal funds (2012)

 

2011-2012   

beyondblue: Development of an Action Research Design and Implementation Plan for a Men’s Specific Low-Intensity Psychological Support Service

Staff involved: Professor James Bennett-Levy; Dr Judy Singer

This scoping study explored a new kind of self-help mental health approach, designed specifically for men, called low intensity cognitive behaviour therapy (LI-CBT). People engaged in LI-CBT are supported to use internet-based or written self-help materials. The study consulted consumers and service providers as to how this service might work to best effect, exploring possible advantages and disadvantages, what might encourage or discourage men to use it, and how LI-CBT fits with current service activities and culture.

The outcome of this study was used to help design a pilot a program ‘New Access’, implemented by beyondblue in 2014 across three sites, including within the North Coast Medicare Local.

Collaborators:

Queensland University of Technology

Funding:

beyondblue $140,000

 

2011                

A randomised trial of a low intensity intervention model within a university health service to improve the mental health of students

Staff involved: Professor James Bennett-Levy

Low intensity CBT interventions are a way to greatly increase access to evidence-based psychological therapies. Instead of one-to-one therapy with a specialist therapist, low intensity therapies package the ‘therapeutic expertise’ within online or book-based materials, and provide ‘guided self-help’ to support the person doing a low intensity therapy program.

This project, led by UQ and QUT, evaluated the impact of low intensity interventions in a student counselling service, with support provided by graduate psychologists. The random controlled trial demonstrated a positive impact of the intervention.

Collaborators:

University of Queensland, QUT

Funding:

Australian Rotary Health $78,000

 

2009-2012   

Aboriginal Cognitive Behavioural Therapy project

Staff involved: Associate Professor James Bennett-Levy; Dr Judy Singer

The objective of the study was to investigate whether cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) might be an effective therapeutic approach for enhancing the mental health of Aboriginal Australians. Five university-educated Aboriginal counsellors received in-depth training in CBT. Over the following year they used CBT strategies with their clients, and met 10 times as a participatory action research group.

The group addressed three key questions:

  • Does CBT appear to be useful for Aboriginal Australians?
  • If so, what elements of CBT are perceived to be effective?
  • What adaptations might be made to CBT to enhance its effectiveness with Aboriginal Australians?

The resulting qualitative data were transcribed and analysed. Counsellors perceived CBT to be very useful for their Aboriginal clients and for themselves. They reported that it enhanced their clients’ wellbeing, their own clinical skills, their own wellbeing, and it reduced burnout. The qualities of CBT that were perceived to be effective were its adaptability, pragmatic here-and-now approach, capacity for low intensity interventions, safe containing structure, promotion of self-agency, and valuable techniques. It was suggested that the prime requirement for adaptations to CBT were that they would need to fit different social and cultural contexts.

Collaborators:

Flinders University

 

2009                

beyondblue: Increased Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) Study

Staff involved: Associate Professor James Bennett-Levy; Dr Judy Singer

The advent of new technologies has opened the way for new forms of mental health services that can potentially increase access and choice for people with mild to moderate depression and anxiety, especially those in remote and rural communities. These services are known as ‘low intensity cognitive behavioural therapy’ (LI-CBT) interventions. This feasibility study aimed to establish the framework and procedures for the implementation of a LI-CBT service in a rural Australian context by consulting with local service providers and consumers.

The outcomes of this study informed the design and implementation of the 2011-2012 beyondblue study and the ‘New Access’ program delivered through the North Coast Medicare Local in 2014.

Collaborators:

Flinders University

Funding: 

beyondblue $292,000