NDARC is among a group of collaborators awarded funding by the Movember Foundation to trial an innovative, whole-of-community approach to improving the mental health of Indigenous young men and boys.
The Institute for Urban Indigenous Health (IUIH) in Queensland will lead the three year project that will implement mental health interventions in Indigenous communities in Brisbane (urban Queensland), Armidale (rural New South Wales) and Mount Isa (remote Queensland). The interventions will comprise of:
- social marketing, to reduce shame and stigma surrounding mental illness;
- training and outreach for local health care professionals, to improve the provision of screening, early intervention and referral services to Indigenous males; and
- skills based education and training, and social and personal support for high risk Indigenous young men and boys, to aid them in reconnecting with family, community, and education & training services.
The project is innovative in that it implements the same multi-component, community-based intervention in multiple communities simultaneously, and also creates a partnership between service providers, Indigenous communities and researchers.
NDARC’s Professor Anthony Shakeshaft will lead a collaboration of researchers from the University of Queensland and the University of New England to evaluate the cost-effectiveness of the program.
The project will commence in 2015 and expands NDARC’s existing partnerships with rural and Indigenous communities, including the evaluation of community-based programs to improve outcomes for disengaged and marginalised young people, to reduce alcohol-related injuries, to reduce substance use harms, improve treatment outcomes for comorbid substance use and mental health patients, and improve alcohol treatment outcomes.
The Movember Foundation is a global organisation that aims to improve men’s health. The IUIH-lead Indigenous project was one of eight projects awarded over $22 million in funding this month by the Movember Foundation’s Australian Mental Health Initiative.