The Heart Foundation has created two $1 million grants for research into mental health and heart disease, and interventions to improve diet or physical activity.
The grants have been created under the Heart Foundation’s 2021 Strategic Grants Program:
The objective of the mental health and heart disease grant is to focus on the prevention or management of mental illness in people living with cardiovascular disease. Applications for the grant open on 28 June.
The purpose of the behaviour change grant is to deliver interventions to improve diet or physical activity, focusing on strategies that are practical, scalable and have clinical impact. Applications open on 5 July.
Heart Foundation General Manager of Heart Health and Research, Bill Stavreski, said the grants addressed two vital areas of cardiovascular health in Australia.
“Having a heart attack, or an admission for a cardiac event, can have a major impact on a patient’s mental health.
“We know that one in six patients report feeling anxious or depressed in the first few weeks after a heart attack, and for some people the emotional impact will be persistent.
“It is important that we find effective strategies that support patients’ mental health and wellbeing, as well as their physical recovery.
“The benefits of healthy eating and physical activity are well known. Concerningly, more Australians are obese/overweight and less active than ever before.
“Four in five Australian adults do not do enough physical activity for good health.
“We also know that that 66 percent of the burden of heart disease is attributable to poor diet.
“We are looking for new strategies and technologies that can help change the behaviours that contribute to CVD and improve outcomes in the general population and in disadvantaged communities.”
This is the second round of funding to be made under the Strategic Grants Program. The Heart Foundation this month announced eight researchers who will share $8 million. The Heart Foundation consulted people living with heart disease and health professionals, among others, to identify priorities for the program.
To read the eligibility criteria and other details go to the Heart Foundation website: heartfoundation.org.au/Research/Strategic-Grants