Barwon Health and Deakin join collaborative centre for mental health

Barwon Health and Deakin University are part of a new Victorian Government supported statewide partnership aimed at improving mental health and wellbeing support for adult and older adult Victorians.

A consortium partnership, led by The University of Melbourne and the Royal Melbourne Hospital, has been selected to work with the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing to develop best practice treatment and support for people who use mental health and wellbeing services in Victoria.

The consortium brings together a network of 20 metropolitan and regional health services and research institutions to lead cutting-edge research in mental health treatments and services. Barwon Health and Deakin University are key regional partners in the consortium.

Announced this week by the Victorian Minister for Mental Health, Gabrielle Williams, the Centre was established in response to recommendations from the Royal Commission into Victoria’s Mental Health System and will have a strong focus on improving people’s experience of the mental health system, including people who use mental health and wellbeing services, their loved ones and people who work in the sector.

Barwon Health and Deakin University’s long-standing partnership in research and clinical leadership in mental health has grown to include the Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), the Institute for Health Transformation (IHT) and the more recent Change to Improve Mental Health (CHIME) Translational Research Partnership.

Director of CHIME, Renae Carolin, said through these institutes Barwon Health and Deakin were ideally positioned as key regional partners in the consortium, enabling continued excellence in research and innovation to improve the mental health and well-being of communities in Barwon and South-West Victoria.

“We welcome the opportunity to contribute our expertise in regional health service delivery and translational research in mental health, together with our consumer and carer lived experience, to the Centre’s shared vision and mission,” Ms Carolin said.

“In particular, we look forward to helping to shape the goals and direction of the new Centre, which has the potential to transform research and clinical care to provide world leading mental health treatments and services to our community.”

Executive Dean of Deakin’s Faculty of Health, Alfred Deakin Professor Rachel Huxley, said Deakin’s expertise in domains like clinical trials, nutritional psychiatry, public health and health service delivery would contribute to the capacity and deliverables of the Centre.

“This exciting collaboration across a wide range of partners will increase the Centre’s ability to test new ideas, address gaps in evidence and translate research into effective models of care,” Professor Huxley said.

“We share a collective vision to place lived experience expertise and leadership at the centre of our work to improve people’s experience of the mental health and wellbeing system.”

Members of the Victorian Collaborative Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing include:

  • The University of Melbourne
  • Royal Melbourne Hospital
  • Barwon Health
  • Deakin University
  • Northern Health
  • The Bouverie Centre, La Trobe University
  • Western Health
  • Victoria University
  • Forensicare (in partnership with the Centre for Behavioural Science, Swinburne University)
  • Swinburne University
  • St Vincent’s Hospital Melbourne
  • Australian Catholic University
  • Grampians Health Service
  • Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology
  • Goulburn Valley Health
  • The ALIVE National Centre for Mental health Research Translation
  • cohealth
  • Mind Australia
  • Uniting Vic.Tas
  • Dardi Munwurro

Over the next six months the Centre will identify and begin work on early priorities for research and service delivery opportunities.