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Despite the now extensive evidence for health behaviours, such as diet and physical activity, as risk factors and treatment targets for mental disorders, lifestyle-based mental health care is not currently integrated into routine practice in Australia, or worldwide. For lifestyle psychiatry to be adopted into routine care, policy makers need evidence of how much of the mental disorder burden could be avoided if lifestyle-based mental health care was used in practice. This would then provide evidence of the cost and health benefits to the population if lifestyle factors were a target for mental health care.

The overarching aim is to have lifestyle factors recognised and quantified as contributors to the global burden of mental disorders. Within this aim, the GLAD taskforce will establish how much of the mental disorder burden would be avoided if lifestyle-based mental health care was adopted nationally and globally.   This project draws on the Global Burden of Disease (GBD) Study, the most comprehensive epidemiological study worldwide. The GBD provides high quality morbidity data for major diseases and risk factors.

Currently, estimates for population attributable risks/fractions (PAFs) – the proportion of an illness averted if a specific exposure was eliminated – are available for many lifestyle risk factors, but only in relation to physical disorders and not for common mental disorders. The GLAD Taskforce aims to address this key gap. With the contribution of member studies, the GLAD Taskforce will generate critical evidence, including PAFs, that the GBD needs to integrate lifestyle factors as risk-outcome pairs for common mental disorders and the necessary evidence policy makers need to know whether integrating lifestyle mental health care into standard practice represents a good return on investment at a national and international level.  

More information on the GLAD Taskforce and details of the key activities involved is available in the mission overview.

If you are interested in joining the GLAD Taskforce, please complete the expression of interest form.

For general enquiries about the GLAD Taskforce, please contact GLAD-info@deakin.edu.au