|Project manager:||Dr Rachael Hinton|
|Project start/finish dates:||January 2010 - February 2014|
|For more information about this project please contact:|
Who: Beyondblue and the Department of Health & Families have provided funding to Menzies School of Health Research for the BEAT Project to work with two remote communities.
When: This is a four year project from January 2010 to February 2014
What: This project aims to promote social and emotional wellbeing through strengthening pathways to care and support for people at risk of depression and substance misuse in remote communities. The project will also develop and test a brief motivational intervention for people who are feeling depressed or taking drugs or alcohol to deal with their bad feelings.
How: The research team will work with stakeholders in the communities to design and introduce depression screening and pathways to follow up care. The screening in the health centre will be linked with pathways to follow up support in the health centre and the community. Staff will be trained in the screening and follow up pathways. Health centre files will be audited and staff interviewed each year to monitor progress and adapt the pathways as agreed.
Health centre clients will be invited to be involved in the project. If they agree they will be screened for depression. If they screen at high risk they will be interviewed about their resilience (what keeps people strong) and stressors (what takes people’s strength away). Participants will then be divided into two groups. One group will receive the ‘brief intervention’ straight away delivered by the research team. The other group will receive the brief intervention six months later delivered by Aboriginal community–based workers. These workers in the community will be trained and supported to provide the brief intervention. All participants will be reviewed regularly to monitor their progress. A final assessment will be made of all participants at the end of the study to understand the impact of the intervention.
The project aims to strengthen the Indigenous wellbeing workforce. The project employs four Indigenous research officers who are encouraged and supported in their academic and work goals. Access to scholarships, tertiary courses and skill development opportunities are a priority. The research team is guided and supported by an Indigenous Reference Group. Aboriginal workers in communities will be trained and supported in brief interventions, care planning and pathways to follow up care for people who are at risk in their community.
We hope you will support this important project in this area of high need.