Dr Simon Craig awarded $5 million in MRFF Million Minds Mission Grant

Congratulations to Dr Simon Craig who has received five million dollars in funding in the recent Medical Research Future Fund (MRFF) Million Minds Mission grant opportunity, announced last week by the Minister for Health, the Hon. Greg Hunt MP.

Dr Craig's grant was awarded for 'The Kids are Not Okay: Emergency Department management of acute mental health crises in children and young people." Mental health of children and young people is one of three initial priority areas for research under the MRFF grant, set out by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC).

"Across Australia, there has been an alarming increase in the number of children and adolescents presenting to emergency departments with concerns relating to mental health such as self-harm, depression, and behavioural disturbance. This funding provides a wonderful opportunity for us to work out why this is happening, and how we can improve their care," Dr Craig said.

A collaborative team of emergency physicians, psychiatrists, psychologists, paediatricians and research experts has been formed to research and improve care for children and adolescents presenting with acute mental health problems. Monash representatives include Dr Simon Craig, A/Prof Michael Gordon, Dr Kylie Gray, A/Prof Glenn Melvin, and Emeritus Professor Bruce Tonge. The research will be conducted with colleagues from the University of Melbourne, University of Western Australia, Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, Deakin University, and hospitals throughout the PREDICT (Paediatric Research in Emergency Departments International Collaborative) network.

Speaking about the research Dr Craig says, "We plan to explore factors which influence how staff care for these patients, and will develop - in partnership with patients, families and clinicians - priorities for research in this area. Our research team will also examine current practice and clinical outcomes for these patients, and conduct trials on an enhanced safety planning intervention to help patients with suicidal thoughts, and medication trials for acute severe behavioural disturbance."