The Prevention and Early Intervention in Mental Illness and Substance Use Centre of Research Excellence (PREMISE) was funded in 2018 by the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council.
PREMISE is directed by Professor Maree Teesson AC with strategic support from Program Director Associate Professor Cath Chapman. PREMISE is in the process of establishing a Youth Advisory Board (YAB) which will provide input into the governance and research priorities of PREMISE and contribute to specific youth-focused research projects.
The objective of the PREMISE Centre of Research Excellence is to provide a world first synergy of the leading prevention and early intervention research and translation programs in mental health and addiction across five Australian universities (University of New South Wales, the University of Melbourne, the University of Newcastle, Deakin University and the University of Sydney). Our vision is that world-class, innovative, evidence-based prevention and early intervention for substance use and mental disorders is available to all young Australians.
As part of a response to the National Ice Task-force Final Report, The Australian Government Department of Health funded the development of Cracks in the Ice, an online toolkit which aims to improve access to evidence-based information, online resources and support around crystal methamphetamine ‘ice’) for the Australian community.
The toolkit includes fact sheets, guidelines, and printable handouts covering information about the effects of ice, tips for how to stay safe, and information about where, when and how to get help or support. The toolkit was informed by input from over 400 community members from around Australia, and was developed in collaboration with researchers at the at the Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI), Curtin University.
The Health4Life Initiative aims to empower young people to improve their health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life. Based on the best available evidence and aligned with the Health and Physical Education curriculum, the Health4Life Initiative represents the first eHealth program to concurrently target six key lifestyle risk factors among secondary school students: physical inactivity, poor diet, risky alcohol use, smoking, recreational screen time and poor sleep. Health4Life is funded by the Paul Ramsay Foundation.
Chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease, cancers and mental disorders, are the leading cause of death and disability in Australia. Although most young people are free of chronic disease, far fewer are free of the risk factors. Education and prevention are critical for equipping young people with the knowledge and skills needed to lead healthy lives in adolescence and beyond.
Developed with input from students, teachers and researchers across Australia, the Health4Life Initiative aims to empower secondary school students to:
This makes it the first intervention of its kind to concurrently address these “Big 6” behaviours among adolescents, within the one web-based program.
Based on the effective Climate Schools school-based substance use prevention programs, pioneered by researchers at the Matilda Centre, Health4life is:
Researchers at the Matilda Centre, in collaboration with Curtin University, the University of Queensland, the University of Newcastle, Northwestern University, and UNSW Sydney, are conducting a cluster randomised controlled trial in over 70 schools, and more than 7000 Year 7 students, across NSW, WA and QLD beginning in mid-2019.
The Australian Government Department of Health funded National Comorbidity Clinical Guidelines, or Guidelines on the management of co-occurring alcohol and other drug and mental conditions in alcohol and other drug treatment settings (2nd edition), aim to provide alcohol and other drug workers with evidence-based information on the management and treatment of co-occurrring mental health conditions in alcohol and other drug (AOD) treatment settings. The Guidelines are currently being disseminated to AOD services Australia-wide in the form of hardcopy, online, and via an online training program.
Positive Choices is an online portal that facilitates access to interactive evidence-based drug education resources for school communities (parents, teachers and students). It provides a central access point for evidence-based information and prevention resources about alcohol, cannabis, psychostimulants, crystal methamphetamine and ecstasy, and allows users to search by drug type, by resource type, such as fact sheets, games or videos, and by age appropriateness. The resources can be used to develop lesson plans which align with the Australian Curriculum.
The portal was funded by Australian Government and developed in collaboration with researchers at the by researchers at the Centre for Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), and the National Drug Research Institute (NDRI).
A number of Matilda Centre research studies are currently seeking participants, current opportunities are listed below.
International study of pro/antisocial behaviour in young adults (HC180527)
This research study aims to explore factors that are associated with prosocial and antisocial behaviour during early adulthood. The online survey will ask you for some general demographic information, sociodemographic information, information about your time at school, your experiences with drugs and alcohol, problems with police, your friendship network and important life events. It will also ask you about adverse childhood experiences, deviant behaviours in the last year and in your lifetime, personality traits, coping strategies you use, and your prosocial attitudes.
We hope to use information we get from this research study to better understand factors associated with the development of prosocial and antisocial behaviour.
This survey is completely voluntary, de-identified and confidential.
If you would like to participate or know someone who would be interested in participating, please click here.
Treating substance use and traumatic stress among adolescents (HREC 2018/863)
It is estimated that 80% of adolescents have experienced at least one traumatic event and one in seven suffer from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). For 50% of these adolescents, the course of their illness is further complicated by a co-occurring substance use disorder (SUD), which frequently develops as a consequence of repeated 'self-medication' of PTSD symptoms. The aim of this randomised controlled trial is to examine the efficacy of two integrated psychological therapies for adolescents who are experiencing traumatic stress and using alcohol or other drugs. Eligible participants will receive up to 16 sessions with a psychologist, delivered at locations convenient for them within the greater Sydney area.
Through this study we hope to better understand how to best treat young people who are using alcohol or other drugs and who have experienced traumatic events.
If you would like to participate or know a young person who may be interested in participating, please click here for more information on how to contact us.