The Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health are working together on a project to find out how many of our mob are living with mental disorders, what mental health services they use, and what are the barriers to accessing care. This is in the form of a mental health survey that we are also calling the ‘Staying Deadly Survey.’
The Staying Deadly Survey aims to recruit 1500 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander members of the community over the age of 18 who live in South East Queensland to participate in the survey. Recruitment of participants is through doorknocking and community awareness raising of the survey through health organisations, community hubs, events and social media. The Staying Deadly Survey itself is completed face-to-face and takes between 1-2 hours.
Due to the unprecedented and rapid progression of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Staying Deadly team have decided to temporarily suspend survey activities until it is once again safe and suitable for community members to participate.
While this is disappointing, we have hopes that when circumstances allow, we will be able to deliver this survey to the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander community.
Should you have any further questions about the Staying Deadly Survey, please contact:
Principal Research Investigator – Alize Ferrari
Ph: 3271 8687
The risk factors and distribution of mental and substance use disorders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders and access to services for these disorders have not been firmly established by rigorous research. As a result, policy makers and administrators are unable to adequately identify and address deficiencies or gaps in the service system to support Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. To address this, the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR) has established a population based survey for adult Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islanders in South East Queensland to determine mental health prevalence, the services that are currently being accessed and their effectiveness, as well as barriers to care. The project is called the Staying Deadly Survey (Queensland Urban Indigenous Mental Health Survey, QUIMHS), and is a collaboration between the Department of Health, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (WMHHS), the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and its member services. There will be two phases to the project:
The Pilot Survey was completed with 42 participants who were patients of Deception Bay and Margate MATSICHS Aboriginal Medical Services. The Pilot Survey allowed the project team to test the survey methods and materials to ensure they are suitable for the target population, and to collect community feedback on the acceptability of such a survey. The learnings from the Pilot Survey informed planning and development of the Main Survey.
The Main Survey will be completed by over 1500 participants across the Capalaba, Ipswich, Caboolture and greater Logan regions of South East Queensland. The aim of the Main Survey is to get reliable rates and information relating to mental health, service use and barriers to care. Participants will be interviewed once by a survey interviewer. All interviewers will be Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander. This project is being funded by the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Branch (Department of Health) and has received ethics approval from the Townsville based Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC) and the University of Queensland.
QCMHR and the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health are working together to find out how many of our mob are living with mental health disorders, what mental health services they use (and how good they are). To find out, we are asking people to participate in a face-to-face survey, called the Staying Deadly Survey.
As a thank you for sharing your story and giving your time to the Staying Deadly Survey, participants will receive a gift voucher or a jersey designed by Preston Campbell, an advocate for speaking up about mental health.
We will be recruiting participants towards the middle of 2021. If you are interested in helping out and would like someone from the survey team to contact you, please fill in our contact form and our study team will get in touch with you.
Dr Alize Ferrari
Dr Alize Ferrari is an NHMRC early career research fellow with a fellowship in the field of Indigenous psychiatric epidemiology and burden of disease. She oversees the team that provides data on the epidemiology, risk factors and burden modelling for all mental and substance use disorders in the Global Burden of Disease Studies. She has specific expertise in data extraction and epidemiological modelling of depressive disorders, anxiety disorders and cannabis dependence. She has also been a technical expert to the Australian Institute for Health and Welfare (AIHW) for the Australia Burden of Disease Study.
Dr Ferrari is the lead researcher overseeing this project from its conception to its finalization, under the supervision of the Project Steering Committee. She supervises the Project Managers and directly oversees the intellectual integrity and quality of research outputs associated with the project and the management of funds.
Project Manager: General Survey Administration and Processes Oversight
Tabs is a Registered Health Psychologist who completed her study at the University of Queensland finishing with a Masters of Applied Psychology (Health). She is a member of the Australian Psychological Society (APS), Fellow of the APS Health College of Psychologists and is an AHPRA accredited supervisor. She has expertise in the areas of chronic disease management and rehabilitation, health promotion and chronic pain. She has led service development, delivery and evaluation of health promotion and intervention programs and has contributed as a co-author on a number of academic papers in the context of specialized services, Indigenous and community health. Within QUIMHS, Tabs will oversee the management of all processes around survey administration, advertising and community consultation.
Dr Mathew Anderson
Project Manager: Clinical and Cultural Content Development and Oversight
Dr Anderson is a Senior Clinician within the Social Health program at IUIH. He is an Aboriginal man from North West Queensland (Kalkadoon) with family originally from the Tablelands (Yidinji). Dr Anderson has worked in the mental health sector for the past decade in both clinical and management roles; providing individual, family and group based therapy assessments to child, youth and adult populations across Government and Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services (ACCHS).
Dr Anderson’s dissertation focused on assessing the psychosocial wellbeing of Indigenous youth, examining the psychometric properties of mainstream and culturally specific assessment tools. In his current role, Dr Anderson participates in ongoing service and workforce development, provides clinical training, supervision and consultation with Allied and Social Health staff at IUIH. Within QUIMHS, he oversees the development and maintenance of all clinical and cultural survey content and processes.
Registered psychologist (interviewer training)
Sally is a Registered Psychologist, completing her study at the University of Queensland with a Masters of Psychology (Counselling). She has clinical experience providing individual therapy to child, youth and adult populations. Her role in the QUIMHS team is to provide support and training to survey interviewers around participant wellbeing and self-care
Akiaja is a research officer at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research (QCMHR). She has a master’s in epidemiology, obtained through the University of Queensland and has been working at QCMHR since late March 2018. Her interests are in mental health research that can positively impact vulnerable and at-risk communities in Australia.
Laura is the Administration Officer on the QUIMHS team. She has experience supporting mental health research projects within QCMHR and is passionate about Mental Health in Australia
The project Steering Committee provides support, guidance and oversight during the course of the project. Members will provide advice (and where required contribute to the decision-making process) regarding changes to the project as it develops, to be then implemented by the Principal Investigator and Project Managers. The committee oversees issues associated with the project that are essential to ensuring the delivery of the project outputs and the attainment of project outcomes. Membership of the Project Steering Committee is comprised of Indigenous and non-Indigenous experts in mental health and substance use clinical practice, epidemiology and health service delivery, evaluation and research.
Download the PDF here.
The Queensland Urban Indigenous Mental Health Survey / The Staying Deadly Survey is a mental health survey that is helping us find out how many of our mob are living with mental disorders, what mental health services they use, and what are the barriers to accessing care. Although there have been two national studies on mental health, none of these have looked specifically at Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander mental health. This is the first time this kind of research has been done with Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people living in an urban community in South East Queensland.
The Staying Deadly Pilot Study was conducted with a group of 42 Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. The pilot study was an opportunity for the research team to test the survey materials and methods, and get feedback from participants about what could be improved for the main survey. This summary gives an overview of the results from the pilot, and the next steps forward towards the main survey.
The pilot study research has been approved by two ethics boards; Townsville Human Research Ethics Committee (HREC), and the University of Queensland HREC. Community consultation was sought at all stages of the project in order to provide guidance on culturally appropriate ways of conducting this kind of research. Community consultation took various forms, including: round-table meetings, briefing meetings, steering committee meetings, preliminary testing feedback, and participant feedback. Community consultation will continue and be ongoing for the main survey.
The pilot study ran for 10 weeks between September and November 2019. By the end, 62 participants had expressed an interest in participating in the survey. Of these, 56 were booked in for a survey appointment, with 42 participants attending.
The study methods were appropriate and acceptable for delivery of the main survey
The pilot study methods and processes were largely successful, with most participants reporting positive experiences with no major issues other than length and repetitiveness of the survey. We learned that the relationships between the interviewers and participants, and the relationships between the interviewers themselves, were important in creating positive experiences and helped participants to complete the survey. Participants also said they liked the acknowledgement gifts they received for participating (the Staying Deadly Jersey/$25 Coles/Myer gift card).
Participants were happy with the cultural suitability of the survey instrument and how it was delivered
The research team asked participants about their personal and cultural perspectives about the survey experience. This was through a feedback form, and/or through discussions with the survey staff. Overall, participant experiences and responses to the survey were positive. People overwhelmingly reported feeling comfortable and happy to do the survey as a whole. Despite the structured format and some survey questions containing blunt or direct questions about sensitive and difficult issues, almost all the feedback indicated that participants reported feeling safe and supported throughout the survey, even though some of the questions were hard to answer. Many participants told us that they believe this research is important for mob and worth doing. Participants also praised and spoke about the importance of having Indigenous survey interviewers. There was also feedback about areas for improvement, with the most comments made about both survey length and repetitive questions.
The survey instrument (the CIDI 3.0) varied in its usefulness
The CIDI 3.0 (Composite International Diagnostic Interview 3.0) is a standardised survey instrument that can diagnose mental and substance use disorders in the general population, but has not been tested fully in an Indigenous Australian population. The Staying Deadly research team tested the CIDI 3.0 by comparing its diagnoses with the diagnoses provided by our Staying Deadly Indigenous clinical psychologists. We learned that the CIDI 3.0 had some use in identifying the presence of mood disorders and post-traumatic stress disorder, and is likely to be able to identify generalised anxiety disorder. Notably, the CIDI 3.0 overestimated the amount of people diagnosed with mania. This may be explained by cultural differences in how Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people express depression, which the CIDI 3.0 instrument misattributed to symptoms of mania.
Based on participant feedback, community consultation and study results, there will be several improvements made to the main survey. Some of these include:
The main survey aims to recruit a much larger group of survey participants so that we can draw population-level conclusions about mental and substance use disorder prevalence and service use in urban residing Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people. We hope our findings will help us better understand and advocate for the need for mental health services for Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in South-East Queensland. The main survey is due to commence in the second quarter of 2020.
The Staying Deadly Survey is a collaboration between the Department of Health, Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research, the Institute for Urban Indigenous Health and its member services. If you have any questions about the pilot study findings, or would like to learn more about the Staying Deadly survey, please email us at email@example.com.
The Staying Deadly team understands that speaking about our problems can bring up painful emotions and memories. If you need help, you can get immediate support by contacting these support services:
Lifeline 13 11 14
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636
Qld Mental Health Access Line 1300 642 255
Suicide Callback Service 1300 659 467
MensLine Australia 1300 78 99 78
Alcohol and Drug Support 1800 177 833
Homelessness Hotline 1800 474 753
DV Connect 1800 811 811
All of these numbers put you in touch with someone that is there to listen. They are free to call, available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and many have Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander counsellors available. All phone calls are private, confidential and you can choose to remain anonymous.
Suicide Call Back Service (24 hours a day) https://www.suicidecallbackservice.org.au/
Beyond Blue Support Service (3pm – midnight) https://online.beyondblue.org.au/
Crisis Support Chat (7pm – midnight) https://www.lifeline.org.au/Get-Help/Online-Services/crisis-chat
HeadSpace (9am – 1am) https://headspace.org.au/eheadspace/
MensLine Australia (24 hours a day) https://mensline.org.au/
All of the online services are free to use.
If you are still feeling upset or distressed a few days after completing the survey and are not sure where to go for help, you can contact the Staying Deadly survey team at (07) 3271 8688 and we can arrange for someone to call you back.
For more information about the Staying Deadly Survey, please contact us.
You may use the contact form below and a member of our team will be in touch.
Alternatively, you can also email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call us on (07) 3271 8688.
(07) 3271 8688
Level 3, Dawson House
The Park Centre for Mental Health Treatment,
Research and Education, Wacol,
P: +61 7 3271 8704
F: +61 7 3271 8698
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