Our Research

The Mental Health and Suicide Prevention Research Group is currently leading or involved with the following research projects:

Are young adults aware of the long-lasting consequences of methamphetamine ('ICE') use on all health and would knowledge of a visible long-lasting consequence decrease use of the drug? 2017-19

Key People: Dr Gabrielle Todd, Dr Dominic Thewlis, Professor Nicholas Procter, Professor Adrian Esterman, Professor Jason White, Ms Deb Kadarusman (Drug Arm), Associate Professor Robert Wilcox (Neurologist, Flinders Medical Centre)

Funding Body: Fay Fuller Grant

The strategic purpose of this project grant is to examine how educational interventions may favourably shift the risk of young South Australians at risk of methamphetamine use. The project will obtain high level evidence of how young South Australians decide upon methamphetamine use or non-use.

Suicide prevention education for NGO caseworkers, 2017-2018

Key People: Professor Nicholas Procter, Dr Monika Ferguson, Associate Professor Mary Anne Kenny (Murdoch University), Mr Noel Clement (Director Migration, Emergencies and Movement, Australian Red Cross)

Funding Bodies: Australian Red Cross, AMES Australia, MDA Ltd.

Asylum seekers who are found to be refugees are granted a visa that entitles them to temporary residency. This may be a Temporary Protection Visa (TPV) or a Safe Haven Enterprise Visa (SHEV). There are approximately 30,000 asylum seekers currently living in the Australian community who are in this category. The impermanent nature of these temporary visas and the processes associated with their renewal mean that TPV and SHEV holders face considerable anxiety; specifically, mental distress and uncertainty about their continuing personal circumstances. This project delivers and evaluates training to address mental deterioration and related vulnerabilities for asylums seeker and refugee population who are on temporary visas.

Help-seeking for mental health concerns by emergency service first responders, 2017-2018

Key People: Dr Amy Baker, Professor Nicholas Procter

Funding Body: The Repat Foundation – The Road Home

The strategic purpose of this work is to engage with emergency workers as they respond to veterans who have been in recent service, about their mental health concerns. This work is being developed so that health and human service workers, including mental health nurses, can take into account veteran mental health to improve practice at the point of care.

We are currently recruiting participants for this research. If you are a first responder willing to talk about your experiences of seeking help for mental health concerns after being exposed to a traumatic situation at work, please visit The Road Home website for information about how to get involved.

Developing a research protocol for evaluation of a suicide prevention network, 2016-17

Key People: Dr Amy Baker, Professor Nicholas Procter, Dr Monika Ferguson, Ms Heather Eaton, Dr Rachel Earl (Local Government Association of SA), Ms Lynne James (Principal Project Officer Suicide Prevention, Office of the Chief Psychiatrist SA Health), Members of the Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network

Funding Body: Local Government Association of South Australia

This project includes development of a Suicide Prevention Network Evaluation Tool, drawing ‘real time’ evidence from the Whyalla Suicide Prevention Network. The strategic purpose of this activity is to review and analyse best practices in community level suicide awareness and prevention. As a result of this work SA Health will have an evaluation tool available to all Suicide Prevention Networks across SA.

Design of a research methodology for suicide prevention research (Connecting with People), 2016-17

Key People: Dr Monika Ferguson, Professor Nicholas Procter, Dr Conrad Newman (Senior Consultant Psychiatrist, SA Health), Members of the SA Health Connecting with People Working Group

Funding Body: SA Health

This project involves developing an evidence base for Connecting with People (CwP) training in South Australia. Its purpose is to support SA Health’s ‘Connecting with People’ Suicide Prevention initiative, underpinned by the highest national and international standards of research, teaching and community engagement. This activity also contributes to multisite and multidisciplinary development of educational interventions to prevent suicide, helping to empower the workforce to provide evidence based care for people at risk of suicide.

Areas of study and research

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