Research into practice
At the Black Dog Institute we bring together research and practice. Our research projects are practical, evidence-based and collaborative. We work with industry partners to tailor our mental health interventions. Our experts have researched the relationship between mental health and work and provided innovative reports aimed at assisting businesses to implement healthy workplace policies and procedures. From reports to guidelines to e-learning tools, the Black Dog Institute is at the forefront of mental health intervention and education.
At the Black Dog Institute we are lucky to host the UNSW Australia Workplace Mental Health Research Program. This program is headed by Dr Sam Harvey, a consultant psychiatrist and research fellow at the Black Dog.
All our workplace programs and consultation services are informed by research evidence. We know the importance of getting this stuff right.
In 2013, we collaborated with UNSW and beyondblue to conduct a thorough review of the common mental illnesses at work.
The project looked at several areas around work and mental health. It asked how work might contribute to the development of mental illness, and it looked into successful strategies that have been used when addressing these issues in the workplace.
The project was also interested in the economic costs of mental illness for workplaces. Finally, as we know that work is an important part of people's lives and identities, the researchers considered how workplaces help to build resilience and recovery.
Want to know more? Read the key findings and recommendations and the evidence supporting workplace mental health strategies in this document, Work and depression/anxiety conditions: A systematic review of reviews.
More than 80,000 people in Australia are emergency workers. These individuals are regularly exposed to difficult situations. Because of the unique nature of their work, it is currently understood that 1 in 10 emergency workers will develop post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
RAW mind coach: e-learning solutions
When work hits us hard we can feel raw from time to time. But RAW can also stand for 'Resilience At Work'. Resilience is all about building that big amazing muscle, the brain. E-learning offers some exciting and evidence-based methods for achieving this.
Experienced clinical psychologist, Sadhbh Joyce, is undertaking postgraduate research with the Workplace Mental Health Research Program. As a part of her impressive research, Sadhbh developed the online mindfulness-based resilience program called RAW mind coach.
The program consists of short interactive training sessions. It provides tips on how to cultivate mindfulness as well as other practical skills that we know from research build resilience.
Sadhbh invited NSW firefighters to trial the program and is currently writing up her results as a part of her PhD.
This mindfulness and resilience program will be more widely available for use amongst emergency service workers in October 2016.
No, it’s not a tribute to the great Aussie music group. Men@Work is a research project looking at how men can use phone apps to screen themselves for mental health symptoms and risk factors. This simple interactive system will provide individualised feedback on the users' levels of risk and information on e-health interventions.
Men@Work is a collaborative project with funding from beyondblue and the Movember Foundation. Project partners UNSW Australia, Sydney University and the Black Dog Institute are working closing with emergency services to develop these new technologies.