Donate Deakin

Megan Pilon

Megan is an Associate Research Fellow at the Food & Mood Centre

Megan is an Associate Research Fellow at the Food & Mood Centre. Megan holds a Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) and a Bachelor of Business. Megan also works with individuals and groups to improve mental health outcomes through cognitive and behavioural change, as she works towards full registration as a practicing psychologist.

Megan has long been interested in the associations between physical and mental health. Her early career was spent working with organisations to implement lifestyle-based strategies to improve employee mental health outcomes. She is passionate about promoting the use of evidence-based lifestyle therapies alongside traditional psychotherapy to improve healthcare, alleviate mental ill-health and promote improved quality of life for her clients and community.

Megan’s Honours thesis focused on applying psychotherapeutic methodologies to improve perceived quality of interpersonal relationships in young adults. Social connection is one of several lifestyle-based mechanisms indicated in the enhancement of mental health and wellbeing. Improved experiences of social connection may present specific opportunities to support mental health in young adulthood, due to the increased importance of peer relationships at this developmental stage.


Current Projects

Food & Mood Academy: A centre for clinical and consumer education and training, translating research in Nutritional Psychiatry into practice.

Supporting Dr Tetyana Rocks, Head of the Food & Mood Academy and the Food & Mood Centre’s Education and Translation Lead, Megan is contributing to the establishment of an education and training centre which aims to expedite the transfer of the Centre’s cutting edge research findings into common health care practice and public knowledge.

Lifestyle-based mental health care for major depressive disorder: Clinician and consumer guidelines.

Megan has worked alongside the research team who developed the Clinical Guidelines for the Use of Lifestyle-based Mental Health Care in Major Depressive Disorder (Marx et al., in press), to derive two supplementary documents. One offers guidance to practitioners on the practical application of the recommendations in their healthcare practice. The other is designed to promote the independent application of these strategies in consumers’ daily lives. Modalities covered include exercise, diet, sleep, smoking cessation, employment, mindfulness and stress management, social connection, and exposure to nature.

Hearts & Minds 1 (Harmon-e) Clinical Trial

The Hearts & Minds 1 (Harmon-e) clinical trial aims to examine the effectiveness of a lifestyle medicine program for managing mood disorders. Megan co-facilitates group-based online therapy sessions as part of the delivery of the trial.

Research areas and skills: Psychological treatment, common mental disorders, research translation, mental health promotion and prevention.

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