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Ms Grace McKeon

Ms Grace McKeon

Ms Grace McKeon of the University of New South Wales was awarded $105,000 for their proposed PhD Scholarship thesis titled:

A co-designed physical activity intervention delivered online for first responders and their partners.

This Scholarship is sponsored by Anytime Fitness.

First-responders (e.g. police, fire and ambulance officers) are at a significantly higher risk of experiencing poor mental health, including depression, anxiety and posttraumatic stress disorder. Individuals with PTSD are six times more likely to attempt suicide and five times more likely to consider self-harm compared to the general population.

This study will recruit groups of first-responders and their partners to an online physical activity program delivered through a private Facebook group. Participation is intended to engage people in physical activity as a gateway to helping people interact with community based services.

In a statement, Ms McKeon explains:

“Receiving the research grant has allowed me to pursue a PhD to improve the physical and mental health of vulnerable populations, including those exposed to trauma. First responders are at a significantly increased risk of experiencing psychological distress and suicidal behaviours. My interest lies in using physical activity as a way to help reduce the mental ill health experienced by this underserviced population. I am grateful that this grant supports me to do this.”

For more information on the funding opportunities available through the Suicide Prevention Research Fund please visit this page.