We conduct high quality, needs-driven research to improve client outcomes and contribute to best practice principles in the sector.

Research areas of interest

Respect My Home

A new model of care for elder abuse survivors and perpetrators. The Respect My Home Research Project collected qualitative data to pioneer an innovative elder abuse response model of care to create referral pathways for both victims and perpetrators. We identified service gaps and potential solutions in existing models of care. Twelve interviews were conducted alongside consultation with community members. Secondary data on elder abuse and intervention models identified contextual risks and intergenerational characteristics of elder abuse, and revealed a glaring absence of data on subsets of elder abuse like neglect. The data has revealed common abuse experiences and the co-occurrence of these with other subsets of abuses. It further revealed that risk factors among perpetrators, like mental health issues, financial hardships and substance abuse, have high associations with elder abuse victims.

Mental Health Support in Aged Care Facilities

Better Place Australia has expanded our psychological services for older people living in residential aged care facilities (RACFs). We now service facilities across the Mornington Peninsula, North West Primary Health Network (NWPHN), South East Melbourne Primary Health (SEMPHN), Western Victoria Primary Health Network (WVPHN) and the Geelong-Otway regions. Residents in Residential Aged Care Facilities (RACFs) have a high rate of diagnosed mental illness but mental health support services had been unavailable to them. Funding from the Commonwealth Government Funding from the Commonwealth Government (delete its repeated) through Primary Health Networks has enabled us to now provide free psychological support to residents with low to mild diagnosed mental health conditions and those who are at risk of mental illness. Our interventions cover individual and group sessions including music therapy which has proven to be highly effective within this group.

Suicide Prevention

The Centre for Better Relationships has administered a Functionality and Recovery Scale for clients referred to the HOPE Way Back Service. This service is designed to provide a psychosocial therapeutic wrap-around to individuals who have attempted suicide. Research indicates that those who have attempted suicide are at a heightened risk of re-attempting. This immediate intervention is a way to support individuals at this critical time of their lives and assist them in navigating their way back into society. Better Place Australia was funded to deliver the service through the South Melbourne Primary Health Service (SEMPHN). Our scale identified that clients participating in the service were more likely to significantly experience increases in their overall functionality and recovery. This has meant that complementing traditional clinical therapies with psychosocial therapies are effective for this population. The CBR is currently undertaking a deep-dive into the impacts of psychosocial models of care as a suicide prevention initiative.

Coercive Control

Coercive control is part of family violence but often goes unnoticed due to its subtle nature. In many cases it continues plaguing relationships without ever being identified and resolved. The Centre’s initial survey of family counsellors and mediators found a big challenge in recognising the signs of coercive control within family dynamics. The ongoing research has resulted in more in-depth training of practitioners so they better understand these signs and can equip clients with the tools and strategies to overcome this form of control.

Responding to elder abuse through the Orange Door Support Service Outreach

Orange Doors Elder Abuse Support Service is an older person-centered service that supports the older person in maintaining self-determination and the prevention of elder abuse. Better Place Australia are funded to provide support to clients referred to us via the Orange Doors at Inner Gippsland, Bayside Peninsula, Barwon, North East Melbourne, and via Women’s Health West and the Integrated Model of Care (IMOC) at Monash Health, Peninsula Health and Latrobe Community Health.

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