Media Statements – More than a million… Leave a comment

  • More than a million-dollar investment in mental health research in WA
  • World-leading trial on digital intervention for anxiety in autistic children
  • Arts program to ease mental stress in our WA communities 

Two research programs will share in nearly $1.2 million from the McGowan Government’s Translation Fellowships funding to identify and trial new strategies to combat mental health challenges.  


The Translation Fellowships 2021: Mental Health Program is funded through the McGowan Government’s Future Health Research and Innovation Fund which provides a source of funding to drive health and medical research, innovation and commercialisation.


Details of the Translation Fellowships 2021: Mental Health Program recipients can be found on the FHRI Fund website.


Comments attributed to Medical Research Minister Stephen Dawson:


“These programs look at new and innovative ways of combating mental health issues in our community. 


“The McGowan Government is proud to be funding and supporting these new research programs to find better ways to care for Western Australians.


“It’s exciting that WA is leading the way to discover new approaches in reducing anxiety in children with autism.


“The Future Health Research and Innovation Fund delivers upon the McGowan Government’s election commitment to grow local jobs and attract more research projects to improve health outcomes for all Western Australians.”


Minister’s office – 6552 5800


Anxiety intervention in autistic children

Dr Gail Alvares Telethon Kids Institute on behalf of The University of Western Australia Centre for Child Health Research.


This project will trial a digital intervention for anxiety in autistic children. More than 40 percent of children diagnosed with autism experience debilitating anxiety. This intervention will directly address anxiety concerns during a critical period of children’s development and alleviate demand on healthcare professionals. More than one in 70 children in WA have autism and this project has the potential to deliver a cost-effective solution which will benefit these children and their families.


Good Arts Good Mental Health         

Dr Christina Davies The University of Western Australia


This initiative will strengthen community mental wellbeing via a campaign to get people involved in the arts for 20 minutes a day. Given mental health issues in WA are on the rise and there is strong evidence that recreational arts enhance mental wellbeing, it is time to innovate, and more effectively use this cost-effective, non-pharmacological method as a prevention strategy, to follow on from the 30 minutes of exercise a day health message. In collaboration with the community and 27 strategic partners, this project will create an evidence-based campaign on how art can be incorporated into our daily lives and to raise community awareness of the impact of this intervention on mental wellbeing.


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