Bupa Health Foundation announces $1m in grants

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The Bupa Health Foundation has announced the recipients of $1 million in grants aimed at improving access to mental health care.

Annette Schmiede, executive leader of the Bupa Health Foundation announced the two recipients of the grants. It is the first time the foundation has delivered funding of this type under a new grants submission process.

The recipients are:

'Best Care, First Time' will evaluate the use of digital platforms to help young Australians get the right type of mental health care when they need it.

'Follow my journey' will assess the impact changing mental health providers has on patients and how improved coordination of care can reduce the burden on patients.

“Mental health has been a focus for us for some time. As an insurer, Bupa has seen mental health claims growth far exceed all other areas of claims. When talking to the community and Bupa customers we hear consistently that they want community-based care,” said Ms Schmiede.

“We did considerable testing across the research community and the general community to identify where the challenges were. We then identified how we wanted the research sector to respond, with high impact research and the opportunity to translate that into improved services.

”The foundation said the two successful projects were selected for their collaborative approach to research aimed at improving the experience and wellbeing of the community through new models of care."

Sydney’s Brain and Mind Centre submitted with a youth-focused, technology-driven project.

Professor Ian Hickie from the centre said it was important to measure the tangible benefits technology provides in empowering young people to access the best care.

The Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast PHN will use their funding to evaluate and improve on care delivery following the recent introduction in their region of a stepped care model.

Associate Professor Pattie Hudson, CEO of Central Queensland Wide Bay Sunshine Coast Primary Health Network, said little is known about how consumers move through various stages of mental health care, or the emotional toll moving between providers may take.

"The research project will use evidence to determine the patterns of service usage across the system, but it will also be heavily informed by the voices and experiences of those that use these services. As far as we know, this will be the first system-wide evaluation of the mental health system from a consumer perspective," said Associate Professor Hudson.