Research Network

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The Community Mental Health Drug and Alcohol Research Network is a collaborative project between NADA and the Mental Health Coordinating Council (MHCC).

With research and evidence-based practice being critical to the success of service delivery, it is essential that we build a research agenda for the NGO sector. Research into community based practice needs to be enhanced, promoted and valued. This is fundamental to support the growth and maturing of the NGO sector. To achieve this we need to increase the capacity of our member agencies to engage in research and contribute to evidence-based practices. Additionally, there is an increasing awareness of the incidence of coexisting mental health and drug and alcohol problems and other related problems. These include poor treatment outcomes and higher levels of poor health and social issues. There is limited research on effective interventions for this group. The aim therefore of the NGO Mental Health and Drug & Alcohol Research Network is to build the capacity of non-government mental health and drug & alcohol services to engage in research and develop more strategic and long term relationships with researchers.

The research network, which includes a seeding grants scheme, is an important initiative in fostering and enabling engagement of the NGO sector in research and supporting the dissemination of research into practice. The network is in its early stages and is open to all organisations in both the non-government mental health and drug and alcohol sectors. This ensures that the large majority of services within both sectors that currently do not have the capacity to participate in research are also engaged, building upon the NSW Health Comorbidity Framework for Action priority area Workforce planning and development.

The network, once fully established, will involve a range of activities that could include: Information and education sessions, workshops, forums, electronic exchange mechanisms and other activities aimed at building the capacity of the sectors to undertake research. A variety of research bodies and researchers will be engaged to assist in building a sustainable network. The network will facilitate the development of a culture of research by providing opportunities and promoting exchange of ideas, sharing of resources, and support and collaboration between NGOs.

Outcomes of the Community Mental Health and Drug and Alcohol Research Network will be:

- A suite of workshops and forums held throughout the life of the project to foster skill development and promote a culture of research across the sectors, and support the translation of research into policy and practice

- Metropolitan and regional networking activities to support and promote practitioner and novice researchers across the NGO mental health and drug & alcohol sectors

- Development of web based resources and email discussion group, to foster skill development, information exchange and resource sharing to enhance research activity by practitioner researchers

- Increased confidence and capability of clinicians and workers in formulating research applications resulting in an increase in applications seeking research funding

- Increased industry based research, evaluation and development

- Establishment of cross sector collaborations and partnerships to build the evidence base for mental health and drug and alcohol community based practice

- An established community of researchers within services across the mental health and D&A sectors to build on existing relationships between services, researchers and research institutions.

CMHDARN Newsletter - CMHDARN YARN!
Click here for the latest issue of the CMHDARN Newsletter.

CMHDARN Events

Research Forums
Click here for more information and to register for upcoming events, as well as presentations from previous events.

Reflectice Practice Webinars
Click here for more information and to register for upcoming webinars, or to listen to previous webinars.


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Click here to become a member of the research network.

Click here for research resources.

For further information on the CMHDARN, contact Deb Tipper.