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2008 PhD Scholarship announced

March 2008

The Board is now in a position to announce that ‘The Macquarie Bank PhD Scholarship in Adolescent Depression and Suicide’, based at the Anika Foundation Centre (for adolescent depression and suicide research) within the Black Dog Institute, has been approved. The new research scholarship will be set up this year, and advertised once all of the administrative requirements are in place.

This is very exciting. So far we have focused on ‘identification’, with our school counsellors and teachers travelling scholarships. Schools are in the front line of youth depression and suicide. The scope for identifying young people at risk, and guiding them towards help, is in many ways greater in the school environment than in homes (with secrecy being such an issue). By focusing on the PhD scholarship, the Board has recognised the need for research on the ‘treatment’ side too. This is the first scholarship of its kind (specialising in adolescent depression and suicide) in Australia and possibly the world. The Board would like to thank the Macquarie Bank Foundation board for recognising the importance of the issue and the support it is giving to the Anika Foundation. This kind of corporate support for major community issues is so important, and our work would not be possible without it.

The scholarship will be funded for 3 years in the first instance by Macquarie bank—in which time our fund raising efforts hope to build the corpus of the Foundation to a level where the income will support future scholarships indefinitely. We are already in this self-financing situation for our 3 annual teacher’s scholarships—thanks to the support of our donors in the past. We will therefore be redoubling our efforts to raise the corpus of the Foundation further in the next few years, and any help from interested new donors for the huge social and medical issue of youth depression and suicide is keenly sought.

We are now beginning to reap the fruits of our first group of counsellor/teacher winners from 2007. Some of our returning scholars have come across exciting schemes abroad that will help them in their work, and which they will share with colleagues and other schools, as they write up their reports for publication by the NSW Education Department. Our scholars also mention how the whole experience has lifted them, and renewed their enthusiasm for work in this important and sometimes heartbreaking area.

As the scholarships for 2008 are now open, we strongly encourage applicants from both Government and Private schools.

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