Mental health

While mental health issues such as depression or anxiety are not normal parts of ageing, they can occur as we get older and experience changes to our lifestyle, health and wellbeing.

For further information on these projects, please contact Associate Professor Briony Dow: or Dr Meg Polacsek:

Telephone cognitive behaviour therapy for the treatment of depression and anxiety associated with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease: A pragmatic randomized controlled trial

Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a lung disease that affects almost one in seven Australians aged 40 or over. While there is no cure for the disease, there are measures that people can take to help them to breathe easier, stay out of hospital and improve their quality of life.

The Assessment of Older People with dementia and depression of Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Backgrounds: A review of current practice and the development of guidelines for Victorian Aged Care Assessment Services

This project sought to improve assessment practice of Aged Care Assessment Services (ACAS) for CALD clients in relation to dementia and depression.

Pleasant Activities for Well-being (PAW) Project

The aim of the PAW project was to investigate the feasibility of a volunteer-led behavioural programme to reduce depression in aged care residents. Trained volunteers partnered with residents for the eight-week program. For residents, participation was associated with a significant reduction in depressive symptoms.

IMPACCT: Improving Mood through Physical Activity for Carers and Care Recipients Trial

IMPACCT is investigating an innovative physical activity intervention designed for older carers and people they care for to undertake in their own homes. This is the first project targeting both the care recipient and the carer. The project was completed at the end of 2016, data analysis is underway and the main findings will be published in 2019.

A resource kit targeting depression and anxiety among older gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and intersex Australians

This project aims to develop, pilot and evaluate a resource to guide responses and practice of health professionals providing aged care services to older lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people who have experienced depression and anxiety.