Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Introducing Professor Mark Creamer

Professor Mark Creamer was Director of the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health (ACPMH) for nearly 15 years until June, 2011. Over that time, he oversaw its development from small beginnings to the internationally acclaimed Centre of Excellence in the mental health effects of trauma that it is today.

Professor Creamer will present a keynote address to the Many Paths, One Purpose Expert Forum hosted by the Australian Centre for Posttraumatic Mental Health on 12 August 2011. As a key advisor to government at both federal and state levels, as well as to NGOs and the private sector, on many aspects of posttraumatic mental health, Professor Creamer will discuss the origins and evolution of ACPMH, and will also discuss the role research plays in the effective management of posttraumatic mental health conditions. Recently he said:
Every disaster is different. Every trauma experienced is different; there’s no simple off-the-shelf answer. We need to apply general principles based on research evidence but adapt them to the specific needs of the population.

At the Expert Forum Professor Creamer will also discuss ACPMH's research agenda and the importance of bringing the research to the field in order to increase awareness and understanding which in turn will lead to better mental health outcomes for those affected:
“ACPMH is a kind of conduit: it accesses, synthesises and interprets research from around the world and then makes it meaningful for the population that needs it. This process of integration turns research into something practical. The PTSD Treatment Guidelines developed by ACPMH (see ACPMH Guidelines for the Treatment of Adults with Acute Stress Disorder and Posttraumatic Stress Disorder), which were endorsed by the National Health and Medical Research Council, are a good example: simple step-by-step guidelines for clinicians in the field and consumers, based on rigorous evidence and research from around the world.
“ACPMH also undertakes research on a range of issues. A key project at the moment is a body of work that seeks to better understand the nature of the conditions associated with PTSD. In some areas of health, making a diagnosis can be quite black and white; you either have hypertension or diabetes – or you don’t. The conditions our sector deals with are often highly complex and, crucially, our understanding of the problem drives methods of treatment.”

Professor Creamer has stepped down as Director of ACPMH to pursue other interests, but will maintain a close relationship in the coming years.

For further information on the ACPMH Expert Forum, Many Paths One Purpose, click here.

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