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14 October 2022: Mindgardens Neuroscience Network congratulates Dr Scott Teasdale on his award of a five-year NHMRC Investigator Grant in the Emerging Leadership category, which will support his ground-breaking work in nutrition for people who experience severe mental illness. Dr Teasdale’s work spans three streams:

  • Addressing food insecurity in older adults with mental illness, who typically have very low incomes;
  • Evaluating the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of a lifestyle intervention to prevent weight gain and metabolic abnormalities in younger people with first episode psychosis living in the South Western Sydney region, inspired by the Bondi Keeping the Body In Mind (KBIM) Program;
  • Testing the feasibility and validity of a nutrition risk screening tool, designed specifically for routine clinical use in mental health services.

Ultimately, Dr Teasdale said, these streams will come together to, “create a formal nutrition care process to guide dietitians working with people who experience severe mental illness. This process will apply to all stages in someone’s care, from screening and assessment, through interventions, monitoring and evaluation, and finally to discharge for ongoing care elsewhere.” An important challenge, Dr Teasdale said, would be to identify practical responses to nutrition needs of this group, for example through linkages with food rescue organisations.

Dr Teasdale’s fellowship will build on initial research conducted via the KBIM Program, which is delivered by the South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. Most research components to date have been funded through Keeping the Body In Mind program and subsequently grew into the Mindgardens Keeping the Body In Mind(gardens) (KBIM-G) initiative as part of the Mindgardens Psychosis Flagship research translation activity.

Professor Jackie Curtis, Executive Director of Mindgardens, said, “I congratulate Scott Teasdale on this prestigious NHMRC fellowship, which will accelerate the translation of the Mindgardens KBIM-G research work into clinical practice where it will make a real difference in people’s lives.

“The NHMRC’s investment is a welcome endorsement of the Mindgardens approach, which provides seed funding for cross-disciplinary research and system redesign focused on clients’ experiences of mental health, drug and alcohol and neurological disorders. We look forward to further collaborations with funding organisations to scale up our early discoveries and service innovations.”

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