A study protocol for community implementation of a new mental health monitoring system spanning early childhood to young adulthood

Joyce Cleary, Catherine Nolan, Martin Guhn, Kimberly C. Thomson, Sophie Barker, Camille Deane, Christopher J. Greenwood, Julia Tulloh Harper, Matthew Fuller-Tyszkiewicz, Primrose Letcher, Jacqui A. Macdonald, Delyse Hutchinson, Elizabeth A. Spry, Meredith O'Connor, Vaughan Carr, Melissa Green, Tom Peachey, John W. Toumbourou, Jane Hosking, Jerri NelsonJoanne Williams, Stephen R. Zubrick, Ann Sanson, Kate Lycett, Craig A. Olsson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Findings from longitudinal research, globally, repeatedly emphasise the importance of a taking an early life course approach to mental health promotion; one that invests in the formative years of development, from early childhood to young adulthood, just prior to the transition to parenthood for most. While population monitoring systems have been developed for this period, they are typically designed for use within discrete stages (i.e., childhood or adolescent from infancy through to young adulthood). Here we describe the development, and pilot address this gap by measuring social and emotional development (strengths and difficulties) across eight census surveys, separated by three yearly intervals (infancy, 3-, 6-, 9-12-, 15-, 18 and 21 years). The systems also measures the family, school, peer, digital and community social climates in which children and young people live and grow. Data collection is community led and built into existing, government funded, universal services (Maternal Child Health, Schools and Local Learning and Employment Networks) to maximise response rates and ensure sustainability. The first system test will be completed and evaluated in rural Victoria, Australia, in 2022. CMS will then be adapted for larger, more socio-economically diverse regional and metropolitan communities, including Australian First Nations communities. The aim of CMS is to guide community-led investments in mental health promotion from early childhood to young adulthood, setting secure foundations for the next generation.

Original languageEnglish
Number of pages20
JournalLongitudinal and Life Course Studies
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 15 Sep 2022


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