‘Trauma-Informed Behaviour Supports for the Early Intervention of Child Mental Health: A Pragmatic Implementation Trial with Regional Schools’
School of Psychology and Wellbeing,
University of Southern Queensland, QLD
0-12 years Mental Health Research
“There are significant inequities in access to appropriate mental health and developmental services in regional areas. Long wait times, lack of coordinated services and limited resources hinder children from receiving the right help at the right time.”
Govind is a clinical psychologist and senior academic at the University of Southern Queensland and a member of the Manna Institute (Regional Mental Health Research and Training Institute). He has over 15 years of experience in child and youth mental health services in both private and public settings. Govind’s research focuses on improving equity and access to mental healthcare for priority groups of children, youth and their families.
Govind is the developer of Trauma Informed Behaviour Support. This novel mental health program promotes trauma-informed care in education and healthcare settings. A resident of Ipswich, he coordinates several innovative industry partnerships to promote mental health in regional communities.
Mental health concerns are common among children exposed to traumatic and adverse experiences such as living in poverty, domestic violence and experiencing other forms of abuse and neglect. Children living in regional areas are at higher risk of such experiences. Unfortunately, most children in these circumstances do not receive help. School-based programs can support early detection and intervention.
The current research project aims to evaluate the Trauma-informed Behaviour Support (TIBS) program – a novel, school-based intervention to reduce problems related to post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and behaviour difficulties in children (aged 5 to 11). The program is delivered at primary schools in an individual and group format and teaches children social and emotional skills to promote learning and positive behaviour. The program also helps educators and other significant adults support these children’s recovery.
Promising results were found from implementing the program with First Nation children in the Northern Territory. The present study will assess the TIBS program by comparing outcomes between two regional schools in Queensland – one receiving TIBS interventions and the other using routine supports. The research will allow us to test if the school-based, early intervention program can improve vulnerable children’s mental health and educational outcomes.
Co-investigators: Professor Sonja March, Dr Kay Ayre, Dr Areana Eivers, Dr Emily Berger and Professor Sandra Chafouleas.