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Connecting to wellbeing: developing communication accessible mental health resources with people with complex communication needs

Project Details

Funding partner

Australian Government Research Training Program Scholarship


Due for submission late 2022


Watson, E., Raghavendra, P., Crocker, R. (2021). Mental Health Matters: A pilot study.



  • Eleanor Watson



According to the World Health Organisation (2014), access to the conditions that promote optimum mental health and wellbeing are a fundamental right to be afforded to all citizens of all nations, during all stages of life. Despite increased exposure to risk factors for mental ill-health, people with complex communication needs are underrepresented as participants in mental health services and programs. In Australia there is a social and legislative imperative for the provision of accessible mental health supports for people who experience disabilities and mental health problems. However, this has not positively influenced the quality or quantity of services available to people with complex communication needs.

The purpose of this study is to explore the intersecting perspectives of three groups; people with complex communication needs, their everyday communication partners, and Mental Health Workers (MHWs) to better understand the access barriers pertaining to mental health service provision. The overarching objective is to generate information and resources that improve communication access in mental health support through collaborative research.


There is a scarcity of research exploring the lived experiences of people with complex communication needs in mental health help-seeking. The Connecting to Wellbeing research project aims to:

  • To explore issues that impact upon the mental health help-seeking of people with complex communication needs;

  • To investigate the skills, experience and perceptions of MHWs regarding working with people with complex communication needs;

  • To examine the everyday communication partner and MHW practices that help or hinder access to mental health support; and,

  • To identify adaptations that improve communication access in mainstream mental health supports and resources.


An easy-read resource for this project is not currently available.

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