Research improves mental health service quality, wins top prize

Research improves mental health service quality, wins top prize

Research into how people with lived experience can best contribute to mental health services has been recognised for its impact by industry.

Dr Louise Byrne from RMIT University won the top early career researcher prize at this week’s Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand for her contributions to advancing mental health service quality. 

Byrne’s research explores the factors that support effective employment of peer roles in multi-disciplinary mental health service environments.

A key to best practice service delivery is the use of ‘peer’ roles – people with a lived experience who are employed to use their unique knowledge and perspectives to contribute to more effective service delivery. 

Louise Byrne receives her award from by the Hon Greg Hunt MP, Federal Minister for Health.

However, lived experience roles are often poorly understood, under-supported and lacking positions of authority with which to advocate for change, Byrne explained.

“As a lived experience researcher, I have experienced many of the barriers facing others in designated roles,” she said. 

“I am therefore deeply committed to understanding best practice strategies for lived experience employment and ensuring this information is communicated effectively to industry.” 

“My program of research represents the most comprehensive study of lived experience workforce development in Australia, and most recently included Fulbright research in the United States, based at Yale University.”

Byrne is a Vice Chancellor's Postdoctoral Fellow in RMIT's School of Management, as well as being a Fulbright Scholar.

The Mental Health Service Awards of Australia and New Zealand are presented every year by The Mental Health Services Learning Network to recognise and encourage best practice, excellence and innovation in mental health service delivery.


Story: Michael Quin

28 August 2019


28 August 2019


  • Research
  • Awards
  • Industry

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