The Wilson Foundation has partnered with the Australasian Society of Lifestyle Medicine (ASLM) to deliver evidence-based lifestyle medicine guidelines, training and integration into the health and community sector. ASLM is a multidisciplinary society working to improve the health of Australians and New Zealanders through the promotion of Lifestyle Medicine as central to clinical practice, healthcare and health policy. Research indicates Lifestyle Medicine is one of the most effective therapies for the prevention and reversal of the most common chronic diseases including mental illness, facilitating better patient outcomes and more innovative and cost-effective models of care.
BrainPark, located at Monash University, is a world-first neuroscience research clinic dedicated to creating better outcomes for people with compulsive behaviours; from unhealthy habits through to addictions and obsessive-compulsive disorder. Focusing on simple, accessible and non-invasive interventions – including physical exercise, meditation, cognitive training, virtual reality and brain stimulation, BrainPark will bring the latest neuroscience with diagnostic or therapeutic benefit to the community in an accessible and inspiring way. The Wilson Foundation supports BrainPark through the “Wilson-BrainPark Senior Research Fellow” to develop, test and validate lifestyle and technology combinations to improve brain and mental health outcomes. This partnership will help provide a neuroscience informed approach to detecting, overcoming and avoiding addictions and compulsions.
The Wilson Foundation supports the Food & Mood Centre at Deakin University to conduct innovative research into the impact of nutrition on mental health. The Food & Mood Centre is unique in the world in its focus on Nutritional Psychiatry research. Its mission is to generate and implement world’s best evidence for Nutritional Psychiatry and its vision is a world in which nutrition is recognised as fundamental to mental and brain health. With funding from the Wilson Foundation, important new research that examines the role of nutrition and the gut microbiota in mental and brain health is underway. This holds the promise of targeted interventions for the prevention and treatment of mental disorders that contribute so much to the global burden of disability. Professor Jacka states;
“Poor diet is now the leading risk factor for early death in middle and high-income countries, and mental disorders impose the leading cause of disability. The new knowledge that diet and mental health are linked has extremely important implications for public health, policy, and clinical practice.”
The Sunshine Coast Mind & Neuroscience – Thompson Institute was established by the University of Sunshine Coast as a hub for world-class mental health research, teaching and clinical services. The work conducted at the Thompson Institute is focused around four central themes:
Provision of clinical services
Advocacy for patients and their carers
Conducting ground breaking translational research
Education and teaching
Opening in 2018, the Thompson Institute has built a reputation for a unique, integrated model of care which has put it at the forefront of research into some of regional Australia's most pressing mental health issues including dementia, suicide prevention, post-traumatic stress disorder and youth mental health. Through the support of the Wilson Foundation the Thompson Institute will establish a Healthy Brain Ageing Clinic for lifestyle interventions and dementia risk assessment. The clinic will also establish a pool of participants for clinical trials, including trials investigating the impact of four intervention arms: (i) exercise, (ii) nutrition, (iii) sleep and (iv) meditation on dementia risk.