The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) is an independent global health research center at the University of Washington. They lead the Global Burden of Disease study and work with a consortium of partners all over the world (including QCMHR) to measure what disables and kills people across countries, time, age, and sex. The Global Burden of Disease (GBD) provides a tool to quantify health loss from hundreds of diseases, injuries, and risk factors, so that health systems can be improved and disparities can be eliminated. The flexible design of the GBD machinery allows for regular updates as new data and epidemiological studies are made available. In that way, the tools can be used at the global, national, and local levels to understand health trends over time, just like gross domestic product data are used to monitor a country’s economic activity
QCMHR’s Policy and Epidemiology Research Stream is responsible for producing mental disorder estimates for IHME’s Global Burden of Disease study, across 195 countries and territories. Our Global Burden of Disease Study team, led by Dr Alize Ferrari, keeps updated global epidemiological datasets through systematic reviews of the literature and produces prevalence, incidence and burden of disease estimates by country, age, sex, year, and location for each mental disorder. The team also works on developing methods to improve the precision by which the severity, distribution, risk of developing mental disorders, and outcomes of mental disorders can be measured within a burden of disease framework.
QCMHR has also partnered with the World Health Organisation on a number of projects.
Dr Holly Erskine is partnering with the University of Melbourne to collect minimally sufficient data on child and adolescent mental disorders in Indonesia, as very little quality data on prevalence rates or risk factors is currently available. This is common in many low- and middle- income countries but global coverage of diagnostic data for child and adolescent mental disorders is poorer in Indonesia than for any other major health problem. The results from these surveys will help us plan and prioritise services more effectively and determine where funding should be distributed.”
The Pacific Health Governance Research Network (PHGRN) was established in February 2018 as a means of facilitating partnerships between Pacific researchers and stakeholders, and international counterparts, in alignment with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) agenda. Associate Professor Fiona Charlson attended the most recent PHGRN workshop held in Nadi, Fiji in February 2019, where an entire session was dedicated to the impacts of climate change on mental health. The group identified that the region is lacking in epidemiological data about the current state of mental health in the region, which is considered a necessary prerequisite to understanding the threats posed by climate change. In order to address this gap, a population survey was proposed with the aims of assessing the prevalence of mental disorders and patterns of service use, as well as mental health literacy and stigma, two prominent issues that also arose from the discussions. With QCMHR’s expertise in conducting such studies and connections with Pacific researchers, Associate Professor Charlson is currently working to secure funding for the proposed study.
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