Recently, I was given the opportunity to work on a really impactful mental health project for the BlackDog Institute to redesign a treatment program for people with suicidal thoughts. Navigating both the constraints placed by the current (remote working) environment and dealing with a delicate subject matter like suicide prevention provided some important lessons. Here are my top 5 learnings which I hope will help others running research work for similar contexts.
Creating shared value
As 2020 unfurls, we are being reminded again and again of the complex and interconnected nature of our world. Of course, COVID-19 was just around the corner. And on top of the environmental disaster and the health crisis, societal tensions have come to the fore through the Black Lives Matter movement. The commentators are quick to rightfully remind us that none of these events are isolated, but rather are symptomatic of what our world has become. A world we have created.
Celebrating International Women’s Day this year was bittersweet. It’s wonderful to be part of an event that’s so widely adopted. It’s an occasion to talk up all the wonderful women we know and work with—and goodness me there are many—to raise awareness of how far we still have to go in workforce gender equality, and talk about how to get there. But it's also a reminder that it’s 2020 and we still live in a world without equality, not just in gender.
Helping non-for-profit organisations innovate at hackathons, teaching primary school kids the basics of computer programming, encouraging kids in rural communities to study STEM, and sharing what they know at Meetups and community events - these are just some of the ways DiUS colleagues give back to our community.