In keeping with global figures, around one in five Australian children will develop some form of behavioural problem by the time they reach adulthood.
Depression is currently the leading cause of worldwide disability and the World Health Organisation has identified mental health in the early years as a key time period for intervention. This is because it is well established that mental health status in childhood has a significant influence on whether or not an individual will develop a mental health problem later in life.
Poor mental health in early childhood can also impact negatively on the child's physical health and school achievement. Therefore, research that aims to reduce the burden of psychological problems has become of great interest for both Australian and global health, social and economic policy.
At the Telethon Institute we believe that prevention is very much better than the cure. If we can stop mental health problems from developing, we can save the later difficulties for both individuals and families that accompany mental health problems and we can save a great deal of resources for our health system and other support systems in our communities. Therefore, much of our work is dedicated to understanding how mental health problems develop and what the risk factors may be during early life, including during pregnancy, that we can target in order to work towards mental illness prevention.
Read more about our research on Eating Disorders...
Read more about our Human Capability project...
Eating Disorders Team: Dr Karina Allen
Pregnancy & Mental Health: Dr Monique Robinson
Human Capability Team: Professor Stephen Zubrick
CARE Team: Tanyana Jackiewicz
Autism and Developmental Disorders: A/Professor Andrew Whitehouse
Indigenous Mental Health: Professor Roz Walker