Former Prime Minister and Beyond Blue Chair, the Hon. Julia Gillard AC has launched a new MCRI-led Centre of Research Excellence to address early childhood adversity and improve children’s mental health.
Children’s early experiences, relationships and environments play a critical role in shaping their health and wellbeing, including their social and emotional wellbeing and mental health.
“Children who experience stresses or adversities as they grow up are six to 10 times more likely to develop mental health problems later in life,” says Professor Harriet Hiscock, Director and Chief Investigator of the new Centre of Research Excellence and Associate Director of Research at the Centre for Community Child Health.
The Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health has an important long term vision of reducing childhood mental health challenges like depression and suicide through preventing childhood adversity and trauma or intervening with the right supports earlier.
The Centre of Research Excellence aims to:
- reduce the impact of adversity or hardship on young children (from birth to eight years) in Wyndham, Melbourne, and Marrickville, Sydney
- work hand-in-hand with communities to identify, enhance or redesign services for families at-risk of adversity
- examine whether redesigned services and systems are effective to inform how the models could be adopted by governments and service providers across Australia.
Professor Sharon Goldfeld, Associate Director of the Centre for Community Child Health says previous research shows the benefits of tackling childhood origins of mental health problems, although, many Australian families are still not receiving the support they need.
The Centre of Research Excellence is led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute with funding from Beyond Blue and the National Health and Medical Research Council.
For more information see the Centre of Research Excellence in Childhood Adversity and Mental Health website and the latest media release.
Follow the Centre of Research Excellence on Twitter @Child_Adversity