Pioneering national research into the mental health and wellbeing of Australian adults living with neurological disorders launched this week, led by clinical psychologist and Macquarie University research fellow Dr Milena Gandy at Macquarie’s eCentreClinic.
Neurological disorders are estimated to overtake cardiovascular disease to become the third biggest cause of disease-related burden by 2016. While it is recognised that the common problems for people with neurological disorders are mental health and cognitive difficulties, the extent and severity of these problems in Australians with neurological disorders is currently unknown.
The survey will be the first of its kind and provide critical information on the extent of mental health issues and disability in adults with neurological disorders. This survey will help identify gaps in treatment services – which will be of interest to advocacy groups and other services providers who work with this population.
“We are aiming for a benchmark of the levels of disability adults with neurological disorders experience across Australia – including levels of mental health and cognitive difficulties. We will then be able to compare these levels with those experienced in the general population and other health populations,” said Dr Milena Gandy.
“This survey aims to gain a better understanding of the mental health and day-to-day disability of adults with a neurological disorder and their experience of accessing help for these difficulties. This survey will inform the development of free online courses to help people with neurological disorders improve their psychological wellbeing,” said Dr Gandy.
As part of Dr Gandy’s research fellowship, the eCentreClinic aims to develop the first online mental health and cognitive rehabilitation treatments for adults with neurological disorders, which will lead to increased access to effective, acceptable and cost-effective psychological treatments.