NeuRA Magazine #31


In October, NeuRA launched Colour Your Hair for Mental Health where we asked all Australians to ‘get their colour on’ by dying their hair or wearing a colourful wig during Mental Health Week to raise funds for research.

NeuRA wants to thank all of those who participated in or supported this campaign. We have been highly impressed by the creative direction of some of their hairstyles!

Fundraiser Bradon French chose a vibrant pink and purple hairdo

The campaign raised $110,000, which will support research for mental illnesses or conditions such as anxiety, depression, bipolar and schizophrenia.

Holly Walsh, who works as a receptionist at Mondo in Melbourne, was NeuRA’s top community fundraiser. She raised more than $5,000 for a cause she feels passionately about.

Holly before and after dying her hair


“I set up four options for people to choose from and orange was the most popular choice among my supporters,” she said.

“I have received an amazing amount of support from my friends and family, as well as my colleagues

at Mondo. When I talk to people about what I am doing, a lot of people have said it’s brave and have been happy to support such a great cause.”

Holly was just one of hundreds of people who joined the campaign from all over Australia and coloured their hair.

Beyond supporting research, NeuRA’s goal was to raise awareness around mental health and bring people together to share stories about how mental illness has impacted on them and their loved ones.

Research is a slow process. It consists of incremental improvements that expands our knowledge and leads to better treatments for people in need.

Fundraiser Eva Urban chose rainbow hair


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LEAD!- Leveraging Evidence into Action on Dementia

Currently, there is no effective treatment for dementia, highlighting the urgent need to preventing more cases through evidence-based strategies for risk reduction. As there is an overlap between the risk factors for dementia and other preventable non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes, and heart disease, it is important to build upon proven risk-reduction strategies. What is LEAD? LEAD! is a project funded by the NHMRC Boosting Dementia Research Grant led by Professor Kaarin Anstey. It involves an international collaboration between leading academics, clinicians, consumers, and community members. Organisations involved include the Department of Health, WHO, Dementia Australia, Alzheimer’s Disease International, Diabetes Australia, and Heart Foundation. The project aims to translate dementia research and implement evidence-based strategies for dementia risk reduction to individuals, communities, and healthcare centres. Three workstreams The project has three concurrent workstreams over five years: Development, Implementation, and Evaluation and adoption. The Development stream, led by Professor Kaarin Anstey and Associate Professor Peters, focuses on building a new tool for predicting dementia and other non-communicable diseases including stroke, diabetes or myocardial infarction. The tool will be available to the public, researchers and clinicians. It will save clinical assessment time, accurately predict multiple outcomes and will be more acceptable in comparison to using individual tools for each disease outcome. The Implementation stream led by Professor Nicola Lautenschalger’s team at the University of Melbourne, will develop strategies to support the implementation of dementia risk reduction evidence by engaging with consumers, clinicians, policy makers, and the public. The stream will develop strategies for incorporating the new risk assessment tool into various technological platforms (e.g., websites or apps). The Evaluation and adoption stream, led by Professor Anstey and in collaboration with Professor Louisa Jorm and Dr Heidi Welberry at UNSW, focuses on measuring trajectories of Australian’s national risk factor profiles for multiple chronic diseases. Collaboration with key stakeholders including the WHO will help build an evaluation framework and methodology for implementing evidence on dementia risk reduction based on WHO guidelines at national level and in the global context.