SilverChain establishes mental health PhD scholarship to support researchers

PhD candidate and Senior Clinical Psychologist Julie Kelly

In-home health and aged care provider SilverChain has established a PhD scholarship program to grow the next generation of researchers.

The first of the new scholarships were created in partnership with Swinburne University of
Technology to address the gap in evidence-based mental health care for older Australians.

PhD candidate and Senior Clinical Psychologist Julie Kelly (pictured) is developing an intervention with SilverChain to support the mental health of older Australians who receive aged care services at home.

Dr Tanya Davison, SilverChain Director of Research Discovery and one of the scholarship supervisors, said Ms Kelly was well placed to contribute to the growing need for evidence-based mental health care for older Australians.

“By working together with home care recipients, their families, and caregivers, we are designing care solutions to improve their quality of life and well-being,” Dr Davison said.

“Rates of depression are increasing among older Australians who receive home care,”

Dr Tanya Davison, SilverChain Director of Research Discovery

“This PhD will help us to design and test an innovative mental health model of care that can be implemented within the home. Importantly, Ms Kelly’s work will assist us to address this largely hidden problem.

“Ms Kelly will work with our SilverChain team to remotely deliver evidence-based, psychological treatment to manage depression, to ensure older people across the country have access to effective treatments. She will also develop tailored training programs for our aged care teams, to help our people provide high-quality care to clients with mental health needs.

“SilverChain is committed to developing new models of care to detect, assess and treat
depression in older Australians, and to embedding research training in a home care setting.”

SilverChain partnered with Monash University and other academic partners to win a $2 million grant from the Medical Research Future Fund to evaluate a new mental health model of care.

The Enhanced Management of home-Based Elders – or EMBED – is an innovative and sustainable model of care that aims to facilitate early detection and use of evidence-based treatment of depression in older Australians who receive aged care in their home.

Ms Kelly, who has worked for more than 15 years in various settings including residential aged care, said there are major gaps when it came to mental health and older Australians

“Older people have just as much right to have their mental health needs met as everybody else, and it is about working together to address barriers and enhance care,”

PhD candidate and Senior Clinical Psychologist Julie Kelly

“This scholarship will help us to advocate for them to receive that care, whether it’s breaking down stigma, improving access or providing tailored and evidence-based treatments. We know there is a very large need, and with Silverchain’s support, we can help to meet it.”

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