Mental Health in Children Study MCRI

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is providing an opportunity for OTs to assist in a project looking at mental health in children. Below are the key details.

The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute is currently undertaking a research project looking at language that may be used for a child mental health wellbeing continuum. The project is funded by the Australian Mental Health Commission. The research project is investigating how to better describe child mental health and wellbeing and we would like input from parents, educators, and health care providers. The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute would also like to know how better descriptions can help to support the way children are diagnosed.


Health professionals, schools and families use different language to talk about children’s mental health. For example, schools tend to use word such as wellbeing, and resilience, while health professionals use terms such as problems, disorder, and DSM-based diagnoses. To date, a lack of a common language and has acted as a barrier in efforts to make child mental health a policy and funding priority. It has also contributed to the virtual absence of a productive public discourse on child mental health. Typically, the discussion of child mental health focuses on those children with severe and entrenched problems which need treatment, rather than focusing on the whole continuum from prevention through to treatment. 

Invitation to participate in the study

Initially, The Murdoch Children’s Research Institute are seeking health professionals with a minimum 5 years’ experience working with children aged 0-12 years to join a Delphi study involving different professional groups (health, education etc) and parents and caregivers. This is aimed at reaching consensus on issues such as the language for the anchor points and indicators on the continuum.  

What would that involve ?

The Delphi study will involve participants completing 3 online surveys over the next 3-4 months which will take a total of about 1.5 hours (over the three months). These surveys can be completed when it suits each participant over a 10 day timeframe.

If you are interested in participating please provide contact details via the expression of interest below:

Expression of interest form

For additional questions, email Kate Paton at

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