Current Research Projects
Dr Averil Cook
The PACER Project. In conjunction with A/Prof Madelyn Geldenhuys, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District's PACER team and ACAP Master's student Eleanor Crowther. The PACER team is a new NSW Health initiative to bring Mental Health Clinicians together with emergency services such as Police and Ambulance to assist with acute mental health concerns in the community. This study will examine the impact of the PACER team to help reduce unnecessary emergency department visits and bring assistance into the community.
The Impact of Climate Change on Mental Health. The impact of climate change on our mental health is an understudied yet critical issue facing us all. In conjunction with The South West of Sydney Local Health District mental health service and Dr Peter Saunders, Masters students Bianca Oliver and Taylah Orth, we are examining the effects of extreme weather events on mental health presentations to Emergency Departments in the South West of Sydney.
Mental health of Psychiatry Registrars. Considering mental health in the workplace, high stress work environment as well as inability of employees to cope with multiple life and work demands, employees are at risk of developing serious mental health conditions. Research shows that health care professionals are at particular risk to develop mental health problems. For example, health care professionals report high levels of stress, anxiety, and depression (Amin et al., 2018; Oehler & Davidson, 1992; Suni et al., 2017). Psychiatry registrars specifically from high demanding work environments with often a work culture that discourages being open about mental health struggles. Phase 1 of this project will specifically provide a) a synthesis of the current literature on mental health among psychiatry registrars, b) an understanding of the workplace factors and antecedents that contribute to mental health problems among this group, and c) an investigation into the impact of workplace mental health problems for both employee and organization. Phase 2 of this project will specifically a) investigate workplace interventions that can reduce stigma of mental health in the psychiatry profession, b) investigate and encourage positive workplace interventions that can open dialogue about mental health in workplaces and c) provide a positive workplace intervention framework that can be adopted to improve mental health at work overtime.