Beneficiary Profile: Black Dog Institute

1 in 5 of us will experience symptoms of mental illness in any given year. In Australia that’s around 5 million people. And roughly 60% of these people won’t seek help.

Science. Compassion. Action. As the only medical research institute in Australia to investigate mental health across the lifespan, Black Dog Institute’s aim is to create a mentally healthier world for everyone.

Black Dog Institute (BDI) improve the lives of people touched by mental illness through translational research. Integrating research findings with education programs, digital tools and apps, clinical services, and public resources leads to the discovery of new solutions, fosters connections and creates real-world change.

BDI take research out of the ivory tower and put it into action in health, educational, digital and corporate settings. Partnering with Hearts and Minds Investments Limited has allowed BDI to continue to conduct innovative and ground-breaking research in suicide prevention, youth and workplace mental health.

With the worst bushfire summer, and more recently the COVID-19 pandemic, the past year has been challenging for everyone. Hearts and Minds Investments Limited has funded BDI’s efforts to assist at-risk groups in need of some extra mental health support.

In early 2020, with BDI’s strong track record in improving the mental health of first responders, they were called upon by governments, fire services and the wider community to provide support, resources and advice in response to the horrific bushfire season. Evidence from BDI’s research was drawn on by governments to inform some of their decisions, and BDI engaged with many key stakeholder groups to provide expertise and guidance.

BDI have also responded quickly to the mental health needs of frontline healthcare workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. With partners across Australia, BDI launched The Essential Health Network which provides information and self-help resources, as well as a personalised, free, confidential assessment and triage services through the BDI clinic. It is designed specifically for people working under pressure within hospital services.

Black Dog Institute’s capacity to rapidly respond to these challenges is a reflection of the dedication and expertise of BDI’s researchers, lived experience staff, educators, psychologists, psychiatrists and support staff. Partners like Hearts and Minds Investments Limited and Paradice Investment Management, who share BDI’s commitment to improving mental health in our communities, make BDI’s advancements for mental health possible.

As part of our impact video series, we spoke with Director and Chief Scientist of Black Dog Institute, Scientia Professor Helen Christensen AO, discussing the importance of medical research and their recent breakthroughs. You can watch the video below.