Youth mental health researcher recognised

22 November 2019

University of Queensland (UQ) PhD candidate Emily Hielscher has been awarded the Black Puppy Foundation Travel Award at a ceremony in Sydney this week.

The national prize is awarded annually to an enrolled PhD student focused on youth mental health. 

The researcher from UQ’s Centre for Clinical Research was recognised for her work investigating the overlap between suicide and psychosis symptoms in young Australians.

 “Psychotic-like experiences, including hallucinatory and delusional experiences, are common in young people,” Ms Hielscher said.

“We know now they can also be a warning sign for a range of poor health outcomes, including self-harm and suicide attempts.

“Prevention and early intervention is really critical and that’s why youth mental health has become a core focus of my research.”

Ms Hielscher hopes her research will help inform decisions around treatment and prevention efforts for self-harm and suicide among this at-risk group.

“Research can have a positive and transformative impact on people’s lives,” Ms Hielscher said.

“Too often people with mental illness face a challenging and heartbreaking journey, including ongoing complications with their health, personal relationships, and in finding and keeping a job.

“But I have met some amazing people doing extraordinary things in mental health and suicide prevention all over the world.

 “It’s through this kind of work we can make a real, positive change in the community.”

The Black Puppy Foundation funds research into mental health issues affecting Australia's youth.

Faculty of Medicine Communications,, +61 7 3365 5118, +61 436 368 746.