Wednesday, 6 April 2022
This year the Black Dog Institute is celebrating 20 years of impact in mental health research.
Since its foundation in 2002, the Institute has expanded from treating and researching mood disorders, to developing evidence-based population mental health programs, developing new treatments for depression, and world-leading suicide prevention and early intervention strategies.
“From humble beginnings, the Black Dog Institute has been on quite an extraordinary journey of learning, discovery, and growth over the last 20 years,” says Peter Joseph AM, Chairman for the Black Dog Institute.
“The Institute is the only medical research institute in the country focusing on mental health across the lifespan. It has a remarkable culture of caring, compassion, and creativity, believing everyone deserves peace of mind. ‘Science. Compassion. Action.’ is our mantra, and drives our unique approach.
“We are indebted to our highly talented, generous, curious, and passionate staff. They inspire partners, directors, donors, fundraisers, and supporters. Together they have created a formidable reputation both nationally and globally. And the best is yet to come,” Mr Joseph says.
Professor Sam Harvey, Executive Director and Chief Scientist for Black Dog Institute says that as technology has evolved over the years, so has the Institute.
“The Institute has pioneered the development of mobile apps and digital mental health tools to help treat and prevent mental illness in the wider community, especially in schools and in the workplace.
“Data from these tools is allowing us to understand behavioural patterns of people with anxiety, depression and those experiencing suicidality.”
“Our novel treatments such as TMS, ketamine, and neurostimulation are also helping to change the lives of people living with mental illness who have exhausted traditional models of care,” Professor Harvey says.
Professor Harvey says that one of the biggest achievements in the last 20 years has been providing hope for those experiencing mental health challenges and elevating the importance of mental health through an increase in interpersonal and public dialogue.
“By putting lived experience at the heart of everything we do, we’re giving a voice to mental health.
“Through collaborating with people with a lived experience and following the science, we’ve been able to design evidence-based solutions that we know make a difference in the work we do with school children right through to aftercare for suicide attempts,” Professor Harvey says.
Professor Harvey highlighted that while the Black Dog Institute is celebrating turning 20, the Institute is very much focussed on its vision for the future.
“As we deal with the long tail of the pandemic, alongside the recovery from bushfires and recent floods here in Australia, there’s an even bigger need to shine the spotlight on mental health,” Harvey says.
“The team at the Black Dog Institute is committed to shaping the future of mental health science and we are excited about what we will be able to achieve over the next 20 years.”