Clinical trials networks have served now for many years in medical research, where researchers combine efforts on a large scale to identify high-priority questions and implement coordinated research clinical trials. This paper by Hawes et al. (2022) details considerations relevant to the formation of Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network. This group of 60 investigators represents teams across 19 areas of child and youth mental health research, including forms of psychopathology (e.g. internalising, externalising, neurodevelopmental disorders, early psychosis, substance use), specific research methods and processes (e.g. health economics, eHealth, implementation science) and specialised areas of practice (e.g. school-based systems, parenting interventions, Indigenous mental health, refugee families). The research by the clinical trials network will encompass the populations typically accessing youth mental health services, while placing a key emphasis on the early periods of life, and the role of parents and caregivers as critical partners in the co-design of research and the delivery of intervention and prevention strategies. The structures and processes built into the network are designed to coordinate collaboration between diverse stakeholders and ensure that provisions for translation are integrated into research from the outset. Core functions of the Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network include collaborative trial protocol development; peer review, prioritisation and endorsement of proposed trials; training; development of clinical guidelines; and consumer representation.
Hawes, D. J., Dadds, M. R., Tully, L. A., Northam, J. C., & Growing Minds Australia Clinical Trials Network. (2022). Building a National Clinical Trials Network in child and youth mental health: Growing Minds Australia. Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, 00048674221082525.