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Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health Systems Improvement (CREMSI)

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Date Commenced:
Expected Date of Completion:
Project Supporters:

University of Queensland / NHMRC Centres of Research Excellence Shared Grant - APP1041131

Project Members: 
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Dr Emily Stockings
Senior Lecturer
Project Main Description: 

The Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health Systems Improvement (CREMSI)  was funded in 2012 by the National Health and Medical Research Council and is led by the University of Queensland. The overarching goal of the CRE is to design a model mental health service system for Australia that would optimally reduce the burden of mental disorders; and to provide a detailed analysis of how the model differs from the existing service system, including the identification of policy instruments and a knowledge transfer strategy that detail how to move from the existing system to the model system.

The CRE will build research capacity in three key areas:

1. Priority setting for cost-effective mental health interventions and service platforms

2. Mental health system planning to maximize the delivery of evidence based services

3. Translation of evidence-based service system planning into policy

The CRE brings together leading research academics and mental health experts from five Australian universities (University of Queensland, University of New South Wales, University of Melbourne, Deakin University and University of Wollongong), health departments (Commonwealth, New South Wales, Queensland) and international collaboration with the University of Washington, USA, and King’s College, London UK.

Project Collaborators: External: 

Professor Harvey Whiteford
University of Queensland

Professor Jane Pirkis
University of Melbourne

Professor Cathy Mihalopoulos
Deakin University

Professor Kathy Eagar
University of Wollongong

Professor Gavin Andrews
University of New South Wales

Professor Brian Head
University of Queensland.

Professor Jane Gunn
University of Melbourne

Professor Wayne Hall
University of Queensland

Professor George Patton
University of Melbourne

Design and Method: 
The program of research comprises three research streams:
Stream 1: Interventions and Cost-Effectiveness
The Interventions and Cost-Effectiveness Research Stream will describe population treatment need and assemble the cost effective interventions and service platforms that would most efficiently reduce the burden of mental and substance use disorders across the service continuum from prevention to rehabilitation.
Stream 2: Service Systems
The Service Systems Research Stream will design a model service delivery system, with planning targets and tools for a knowledge transfer strategy.
Stream 3: Evidence into Policy
The Evidence into Policy Research Stream will develop methods for translating the model service system into the policy environment; specifically into identifying the policy instruments governments use and how to impact the policy making processes of government.

In Stream 1, systematic reviews, meta-analyses and synthesis for the efficacy of interventions to prevent depression, anxiety, childhood behavioural disorders, and to treat bipolar disorder have been completed. A cost-effectiveness analysis of depression prevention programs in young people has been completed, and cost-effectiveness analyses for the treatment of bipolar disorder, depression and anxiety in adults are nearing completion.

Stream 2 has completed a mental health service taxonomy and are currently assembling data on service resource allocation and utilisation.

Outcomes from the CRE have been presented at the NDARC 2016 Annual Symposium, the 2016 Society for Mental Health Research Annual Conference in Sydney, and Dr Stockings was awarded the Black Puppy Foundation Award to present her work at the International Congress on Clinical and Health Psychology in Children and Adolescents in Barcelona, Spain.

In November 2015, Dr Stockings was awarded an NHMRC Early Career Fellowship to continue her work in this area until 2020.


Publications from this CRE (NDARC investigators only, underlined) include:

Harris, M., Diminic, S., Marshall, C., Stockings, E., & Degenhardt, L. (2014). Estimating demand for respite care among informal carers of people with mental disorders in Australia. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 2015, Published online: Feb 25, DOI: 10.1111/1753-6405.12337.

Stockings, E., Degenhardt, L., Lee, Y., Mihalopoulos, C., Liu, A., Hobbs, M., & Patton, G. (2014). Symptom screening scales for detecting major depressive disorder in children and adolescents: a systematic review and meta-analysis of reliability, validity and diagnostic utility. Journal of Affective Disorders, 6(174), 447-63, DOI: 10.1016/j.jad.2014.11.061.

Stockings, E, Degenhardt L, Dobbins T, Lee Y, Erskine H, Whiteford H, Patton G. Preventing depression and anxiety in young people: joint efficacy of universal, selective and indicated prevention. Psychological Medicine, 2015 In press, DOI: doi:10.1017/S0033291715001725. 

Lee, Y.Y., Barendregt, J., Stockings E., Ferrari, A.J., Whiteford, H.A., Patton, G.A., & Mihalopoulos, C. (2016) The population cost-effectiveness of delivering universal and indicated school-based interventions to prevent the onset of major depression among youth in Australia. Epidemiology and Psychiatric Sciences. 2016, Published online August 11, DOI: 10.1017/S2045796016000469.

Gilligan, C., Wolfenden, L., Foxcroft, D.R., Kingsland, M., Williams, A.J., Hodder, R.K., Small, T., Sherker, S., Rae, J., Tindall, J., Stockings, E., & Wiggers, J. (2016). Family-based prevention programs for alcohol use in young people (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 2016, Issue 8, Published online August 2, DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD012287.

Degenhardt, L., Stockings, E., Patton, G., Hall, W.D., & Lynskey, M. (2016). The increasing global health priority of substance use in young people (review). The Lancet Psychiatry, 2016, Volume 3, Issue 3, Published online March 1, 251-264, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(15)00508-8.

Hall, W.D., Patton, G., Stockings, E., Weier, M., Lynskey, M., Morley, K.I., Degenhardt, L. (2016). Why young people’s substance use matters for global health (review). The Lancet Psychiatry, 2016, Volume 3, Issue 3, Published online March 1, 265-279, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)00013-4.

Stockings, E., Hall, W.D., Lynskey, M., Morley, K.I., Reavley, N., Strang, J., Patton, G., & Degenhardt, L. (2016). Prevention, early intervention, harm reduction, and treatment of substance use in young people. The Lancet Psychiatry, 2016, Volume 3, Issue 3, Published online March 1, 280-296, DOI: 10.1016/S2215-0366(16)00002-X.

Chatterton, M-L., Stockings, E., Berk, M., Barendregt, J., Carter, R., & Mihalopoulos, C. (2016). Network meta-analysis of psychosocial therapies for the adjunctive treatment of bipolar disorders in adults. British Journal of Psychiatry, accepted November 2016.

Ferrari, A.J., Stockings, E., Khoo, J-P., Erskine, H.E., Degenhardt, L., Vos, T., & Whiteford, H.A. (2016). The prevalence and burden of bipolar disorder: findings from the Global Burden of Disease Study 2013. Bipolar Disorders, volume 18, Issue 5, Published online 1 August, 440-450, DOI: 10.1111/bdi.12423.

Project Status: