A University of Queensland researcher has been honoured with a Prime Minister’s Endeavour Asia Award that will expand her research into mindfulness for adolescents with mental health disorders in Hong Kong.
Clinical Psychologist Ms Lucy Tan, from UQ’s School of Medicine, is one of 20 Australian postgraduate researchers to receive the award.
Ms Tan said she was grateful for the opportunity to further her mindfulness research for a year at Hong Kong University.
“It will enable me to start a dialogue between Hong Kong and Australian research centres,” Ms Tan said.
At UQ, Ms Tan has been investigating mindfulness-attention training/treatment of adolescents with mental health disorders, such as depression, anxiety and eating disorders.
Ms Tan said there was little known about modifying and applying adult mindfulness-attention treatment for children or adolescents with mental disorders.
“Mindfulness-attention training involves practicing a series of exercises which may include meditation,” Ms Tan said.
“These practices enable one’s attention to be focused, that is staying in the present moment regardless if the moment was positive or negative.
“I stress the importance of practicing mindfulness in an ongoing manner. It is like ensuring mind hygiene, as brushing teeth is to oral hygiene.”
Ms Tan will go to Hong Kong in November to work with patients recruited from Hong Kong University Psychology and Medical Health Clinics.
“The research will extend the empirical findings and produce a cutting-edge, evidence-based mindfulness group treatment protocol for mentally ill adolescents, tested across clinical contexts and cultures,” she said.
The Endeavour Awards is an Australian Government international merit-based scholarship program providing life- and career-changing opportunities for recipients.
The awards aim to provide opportunities for Australia’s best and brightest postgraduate scholars and postdoctoral fellows to undertake research overseas to help develop enduring links between Australia and host countries.
The award was announced in December last year at a presentation dinner at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra.
Media: Brian Mallon, Communication Officer School of Medicine, 0403621109, 07 3365 5254 firstname.lastname@example.org