Respectful risk management: Ethics and mental health research

Dr Alyssa Morse of the Centre for Mental Health Research will discuss her experience of mental health research and how to manage its competing ethical considerations. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

The experiences and needs of participants with lived experience of mental illness are diverse, as are the studies they participate in. This raises unique challenges and ethical considerations for mental health research. There are times when mental health research warrants higher-level risk management strategies and safeguards. However, applying these unnecessarily can reinforce negative stereotypes about mental illness, and result in the unfair treatment of people who can safely participate in research. How can we realistically assess research risks? How can we apply national guidelines without compromising participants’ autonomy or reinforcing stigma? And how do we account for the new challenges presented by COVID-19 and social distancing? We will discuss strategies to think through and address these questions, applying the views of people with lived experience of mental illness and empirical evidence from the human research ethics literature.

This seminar will be held on Zoom. Please email ethics.training.projects@anu.edu.au for the meeting details.