University welcomes $5 million for Centres of Research Excellence
The health benefits of affordable, secure and quality housing and the prevention of early mental disorders are the focus of two new Centres of Research Excellence (CRE) at the University of Melbourne.
Minister for Health Greg Hunt has announced $5 million over the next five years for the centres, funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).
The two centres are:
- Centre of Research Excellence in Healthy Housing led by Professor Rebecca Bentley from the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health, within the Faculty of Medicine, Dental and Health Sciences. This centre will provide Australian-specific evidence and work with key stakeholders to make positive change and build capacity in the overlapping domains of housing and health.
- Centre of Research Excellence in Prediction of Early Mental Disorder and Preventive Treatment (PRE-EMT) led by Professor Barnaby Nelson from the Centre for Youth Mental Health within the Faculty of Medicine, Dental and Health Sciences. This centre will help with better understanding of how mental illnesses develop, identify the risk and protective factors, and introduce tools for use in clinical practice to better predict onset of serious mental illness in young people.
University of Melbourne Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Jim McCluskey said the Healthy Housing CRE will focus on research to leverage the enormous potential for housing and housing-focused interventions to have a positive impact on population health in Australia.
“It will be the first and only health-focused centre internationally to span healthy housing for Indigenous Australians, people in need and the growing population of rental housing tenants,” Professor McCluskey said.
“Australia is one of a few high-income countries that does not have a healthy housing policy and I am delighted that our researchers are leading in this space to make real change.”
Professor McCluskey said mental disorders have a far-reaching impact on Australia’s health and has welcomed the new PRE-EMPT CRE to develop clinical prediction tools for identifying young people most at risk of developing serious mental illness.
“This centre will play a crucial role in detecting emerging mental disorders in young people, improving best practice and supporting the health system to achieve better outcomes for our young people.”
University of Melbourne Faculty of Medicine, Dentistry and Health Sciences Dean and Assistant Vice-Chancellor (Health) Shitij Kapur congratulated the successful collaborative teams involved in these new centres.
“These key programs reflect the need for generating new knowledge through diverse collaborations that will have a meaningful impact on policy. These issues are global challenges that demand solutions,” Professor Kapur said.