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New research centre ALIVE places mental ill-health and carer lived experience at its heart

15 Mar 2021
The National Mental Health Commission (the Commission) has welcomed $10 million of Commonwealth Government funding for a new National Mental Health Research Centre.

The new centre, called ALIVE, will be based at the University of Melbourne, and establish an Academy of Lived Experience and Co-Design Living Labs working virtually with 14 universities and research teams across all states and territories.

Commission CEO Christine Morgan said the ALIVE research hub will put the needs of people with lived experience at the centre of design and research objectives.

“This research initiative ticks all of the boxes – innovative, collaborative across world-leading university research teams and health systems, with lived experience at its heart.

“In every aspect of the advice delivered to government to date for mental health and suicide prevention reform, the voices, experiences and expertise of people with a lived experience of mental ill-health has been central to delivering mental health reform for Australia,” Ms Morgan said.

A national network of leading mental health researchers will work with more than 2000 people living with mental illness to deliver better models of mental health care across Australia.

“We are in a live mental health reform scenario at the moment with a unified commitment across governments and the mental health sector to deliver these reforms for and with Australians.

“The mental health reform program needs to be person-centred, as well as have a whole-of-life system reform, it needs to span the whole spectrum from prevention, through to complex & acute treatment and care, with a commitment to sustainable recovery. Research is central to informing this program.”

Priority populations include Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities and people who are living with severe and complex mental illness.

The centre will report to an independent governance committee, chaired by Professor Allan Fels AO, former chair of the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the National Mental Health Commission.

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