Commonwealth Grant program commences

10 August 2022
From Alex Sweetman

Our three-year Commonwealth grant program started on 1 July, and has quickly picked up momentum since I commenced as Program Manager soon after.  I have had the pleasure of meeting many ASA members, partner organisations, and other HPAB awardees (a full list of awardees is available here). 

Our program has broad aims to:

  1. Increase capacity to work with Government,
  2. Improve communication with ASA members, and
  3. Improve access and use of evidence-based sleep disorder resources by GPs, psychologists, and primary care nurses.

We are in the early stages of planning the different activities of the program, and understanding how this opportunity can meet the needs of ASA members, partner organisations, the recommendations of the Inquiry into Sleep Health Awareness in Australia, and the priorities of the National Preventive Health Strategy.

I’m very much looking forward to meeting the broader ASA community, and understanding how this opportunity can help you. I would love to hear from all of you – especially if you have an interest in sleep research or implementation in primary care, working with GPs, psychologists or practice nurses, or have any questions, suggestions or thoughts about this program. 

The grant program also includes our work providing policy advice to government, and communicating health policy priorities with members. We are intending to organise some opportunities for members to discuss these topics and the grant program more broadly, so please also get in touch with me if you have suggestions or ideas in relation to these activities.

Please feel free to get in touch with me at [email protected]

Progress report
Here’s a brief snapshot of some recent activities and forecasting what’s ahead. 

What we’ve done

  • Met with the RACGP to discuss GP education opportunities
  • Met with the other HPAB awardees to discuss collaborative work
  • Worked with the BMSD Education Sub-committee to prepare an article on insomnia management for psychologists (InPsych magazine; Australian Psychological Society)
  • Planned two CBT-I workshops in Brisbane and Melbourne this November, by international experts Michael Perlis and Donn Posner
  • Participated in an Insomnia Implementation stakeholder meeting hosted by the sleep health CRE and SAX Institute
  • Drafted the HPAB program aims and deliverables for the next 6-12 months

Next steps

  • Work with ASA nurses – I would love to meet with ASA members who are nurses/have an interest in nursing, to understand your priorities, history of collaboration with nursing organisations, and how this program can help you
  • Work with the sleep health CRE researchers to launch the Primary Care insomnia and OSA Guideline
  • Work with RACGP to update sleep information and recommendations in existing clinical guidelines

Future aims

  • Develop a CBT-I education module for Australian psychologists
  • Scope sleep disorder education opportunities for GPs
  • Establish partnerships with key nursing associations
  • Evaluate the acceptability, access and impact of the primary care insomnia and OSA guideline by Australian GPs
  • Identify and prepare key position statements on sleep disorder management in primary care with ASA committees and councils
  • Scope the development of a primary care ‘Research-to-Implementation Network’, to assist ASA primary care researchers to translate evidence into practice