Dr Tegan Cruwys is a Senior Lecturer at the University of Queensland, a Clinical Psychologist, and a recipient of the Australian Research Council’s Discovery Early Career Research Award.
Her research investigates how social relationships shape our health. Dr Cruwys’ research agenda is concerned both with advancing our theoretical understanding of the social determinants of health, and with translational impact that improves outcomes for vulnerable communities.
Social isolation is a major cause of depression onset and relapse in young people. Yet this is not directly targeted in current treatments for depression. To address this disconnect, our project will conduct a randomised controlled trial to assess the efficacy of an novel intervention that targets social isolation in young people with depression (called Groups 4 Health). Our trial will compare the effectiveness of Groups 4 Health to another effective treatment, group Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) at program completion and one-year follow up. Participants will be 200 young people aged 15-25, recruited from public and private mental health services in the southeast Queensland region. We expect that both interventions will be effective in reducing depression symptoms, but that Groups 4 Health will be superior in reducing the social isolation that causes depression.
This trial will test the capacity for Groups 4 Health to function not only as a treatment, but also as relapse prevention for young people at risk of depression recurrence.This program offers a new approach to treatment and relapse prevention of the leading cause of disability among young people in Australia.
Co-Investigators: Prof Catherine Haslam, Victoria Gore-Jones & Dr Frances Dark