victorian transcultural mental health research conference 2005 dr ruth vine
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RESEARCH IN THE CONTEXT OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROVISION – THE CHALLENGES

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Victorian Transcultural Mental Health Research Conference 2005 Dr Ruth Vine. RESEARCH IN THE CONTEXT OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICE PROVISION – THE CHALLENGES. THE COMPETING PRIORITIES. Steady increase in demand for services Sustained media interest and criticism

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the competing priorities
THE COMPETING PRIORITIES
  • Steady increase in demand for services
  • Sustained media interest and criticism
  • Complicated funding and responsibilities – commonwealth primary care and specialist, state public health and non-government organisations
  • Pressure in other areas such as prisons, child protection, juvenile justice
a little bit of history
A LITTLE BIT OF HISTORY
  • NMH Policy and first NMHP 1992
  • Second NMHP broadened the focus
  • Current plan 2003 –2008 stated intention to continue the work of the first plan in re-orienting MH services, as well as progressing a more inclusive and whole of government approach
  • Victoria ahead of the pack in many ways
why research
WHY RESEARCH?
  • What is the problem? – prevalence, diagnosis, service access
  • What is the cause of the problem? – personal history, environment, social support
  • What can be done? – service configuration, service range, workforce attributes, specific treatments, specialist services
what do we already do
WHAT DO WE ALREADY DO?
  • Research not primary responsibility of MHB
  • Commonwealth responsibility - NHMRC
  • Specific research funding by MHB:

- beyondblue/Centre for Excellence in Depression and Related Disorders

- MHRI

  • Other – mix of funding streams

- Neuropsychiatry centre

- Orygen Youth Health

- range of research oriented units – CPNRP, Alfred, Centre for Rural Mental Health etc

what do we already do in transcultural mental health
WHAT DO WE ALREADY DO IN TRANSCULTURAL MENTAL HEALTH?
  • Funding to transcultural/ethnic areas

- VTPU

- ADEC

- VFSTT

- Ethnic Mental Health Consultants

  • Must recognise the importance of sensitivity to and awareness of transcultural issues in mainstreamed services – use of interpreters etc.
what do we know
WHAT DO WE KNOW?
  • Population stats, incl. specific communities
  • Cultural backgrounds of people using MHS
  • Some knowledge of mental illness prevalence in ethnic groups
  • Feedback about access & treatment barriers
  • Knowledge in some areas about what works, what is helpful, who should be involved
what should we do
WHAT SHOULD WE DO?
  • Be clear about the research role of MHS: should lead to better services for consumers and carers
  • Direct attention to how best to use existing funds, as well as seeking more funding
  • Disseminate research/share info/coordinate research efforts
  • Implement research evidence & evaluate
so what place research
SO WHAT PLACE RESEARCH?
  • Needs to be a mix of exploring new areas for service and evaluating those already in place
  • Must be consistent with overall directions – community support, integration with other areas in health and community, workforce development; and recognise emerging areas such as specific communities – eg detention centres, ethnic specific growth areas
  • Funding should be from a range of Government, corporate and philanthropic sources, linked to other research efforts
conclusion
CONCLUSION
  • Research important, has to remain relevant, and able to be acted upon
  • VTPU operational for 9 years
  • Greater effort on putting services in place and addressing workforce needs
  • Issues will change with new waves of immigration – Middle East, Africa etc
  • Need to address both metro and rural areas
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