Breakthrough – Orama Research Grants

Breakthrough exists to create a life free from mental illness. It will be the biggest health challenge in our lifetime. Despite best efforts, we’re not winning the battle against mental health issues and more needs to be done. This is why we are the only dedicated mental health research foundation in the country.

Research is the only way to find the causes and the triggers of mental illness and to help us recognise the early warning signs, guide the development of new technology and to make sure that mental health treatment is based on the best scientific evidence.

Breakthrough undertook an analysis with EY Australia that identified our four key areas of research, based on where its needed most, as well as capacity building on our strengths here in South Australia. These priority areas are depression, indigenous mental health, eating disorders and youth mental health.

By focusing on these areas, and through your generous donations, we have been able to fund the first round of seeds grants with with eight new projects announced as part of our partnership with the Orama Institute and Flinders University.

Breakthrough is also partnering with the University of Adelaide and the University of South Australia and we will be announcing a new range of grants in the new year.

1. Empowering parents to intervene early when their child has anorexia nervosa.

The primary aim of this pilot study is to examine the feasibility and acceptability of an online Family
Based Therapy (FBT) for families on the waitlist to receive FBT for their child with anorexia nervosa.

2. Improving delivery of an evidence‐based therapy for post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD): A combined analysis of clinical effectiveness and associated economic benefits.

The project will test an enhanced method of training clinicians in a psychological therapy for treating
posttraumatic stress disorder. The findings will lead to improved understanding of critical economic and social issues and has significant implications for health services and policy makers.

3. Understanding and improving the mental health and wellbeing of doctors and medical students during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project aims to investigate doctors’ and medical students’ mental health and wellbeing during
COVID-19, as well as their attitudes, intentions and actual help-seeking behaviour for mental health

4. “It takes a village to raise a child”: Developing mental health fitness in contemporary youth through community sport using a whole club – village – approach.

Mental health among contemporary youth is critical. The role of sport can be pivotal in the
development of youth mental health fitness. This research will investigate the role of the whole club in promoting mental fitness to its youth participants.

5. The Wisdom Club: Ageing Well Through Intergenerational Connections.

Meaningful connections, purposeful activity, and generativity are central to the mental health and
wellbeing of older adults and can be supported through volunteer activities with an intergenerational focus.

6. Removal of Aboriginal Infants in a Hospital Setting: Examining Practices.

This research aims to examine the decision-making processes and the role of the hospital social worker and other staff in the removal of Aboriginal infants 2018-2020 at Women’s and Children’s Health Network.

7. Understanding the mental health consequences of hazardous digital technology use in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This project aims to understand the mental health consequences of young people’s hazardous digital technology use in the context of COVID-19-related lifestyle changes.

8. The co-design of practical wellbeing measures for the Aboriginal healthcare workforce.

The healthcare workforce is at a particularly higher risk of developing work-related psychological stresses. While tools and programs to address workplace stresses exist, they are largely focused on non-Indigenous populations, with no consideration for Aboriginal culture.