Bupa Health Foundation announces youth mental health funding


Bupa Health Foundation announces continued support for research funding to improve youth mental health with an emphasis on schools.

Macquarie University and Edith Cowan University have been awarded almost $800,000 to fund new research targeting early interventions to improve the emotional wellbeing of children within Australian schools over the next two years.

As part of Bupa’s ongoing commitment to supporting youth mental health in Australia, the recent Bupa Health Foundation competitive funding round called for research focusing on early intervention to improve outcomes in the mental wellbeing of school aged children and adolescents.

Macquarie University and Edith Cowan University were chosen as this year’s recipients from more than 100 applications, with both projects aiming to improve support provided in schools.

This funding forms part of Bupa Health Foundation’s two-year $2m+ commitment to improving the mental wellbeing of young Australians (link here).

Annette Schmiede, Bupa Health Foundation Executive Leader, said the grants program is an important part of Bupa’s commitment to supporting the mental health of young people in Australia and building resilient communities.

 “In recent years we’ve streamlined the Bupa Health Foundation’s funding rounds to support projects which focus on priority areas and challenges of concern to the community and governments across Australia. Young people’s mental health is of great concern in the current environment of natural disasters and the global pandemic.

“We believe both these research projects will make significant contributions towards the evidence base for early interventions to help schools identify young people whose emotional well-being is at risk” Ms Schmiede said.

This announcement brings the Bupa Health Foundation investment to more than $35 million, supporting over 150 projects aimed at improving health outcomes for Australians.

Macquarie University Centre for Emotional Health – Developing a sustainable system to deliver early intervention for mental health through Australian schools.

The Foundation has committed approximately $700,000 to this research project that will develop an evidence -base to enable early intervention and care pathways for schools to help identify young people who are struggling with existing and emerging emotional disorders.

Working with students, parents, educators and policy-makers, Professor Ron Rapee will lead the project with the aim to develop and test the best possible method to identify youth at risk and test effective pathways to appropriate care. “Young people with mental health problems rarely reach out for the help that they need. With this support from the Bupa Foundation, we’ll be able to develop innovative methods to identify young people who are in distress and connect them with the most appropriate places to get help,” Professor Rapee said.

Edith Cowan University – School libraries promoting wellbeing in Australian primary and secondary schools: An exploratory study

Edith Cowan University’s research project will receive approximately $90,000 in funding to look at how to support schools to provide frontline support for children’s wellbeing and mental health through their libraries as wellbeing hubs.

Chief Investigator, Dr Margaret Merga, will lead the exploratory project with partners at the Australian School Library Association and Murdoch University.

“While we know that school libraries can play an important role in supporting the wellbeing of young people, this project is a great opportunity for us to identify how schools can do this most effectively. This is particularly important with many school libraries struggling for funding in recent times, and the many challenges to wellbeing that our young people are currently facing,” Dr Merga said.

Media reference number: 20/092