Their unique approach incorporates clinical services with cutting-edge research, health professional training and community education programs. They combine expertise in clinical management with innovative research to develop new, and more effective strategies for people living with mental illness. They also place emphasis on teaching people to recognise the symptoms of poor mental health in themselves and others, as well as providing them with the right psychological tools to hold the black dog at bay. 

Black Dog Institute work directly in all parts of the community as well as guiding the development of new and improved policy. The organization places focus on those with specific mental health needs like young people, Indigenous communities, men, and high-risk workforces. The primary areas of mental health research and treatment include: depression, bipolar disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), anxiety, workplace mental health, adolescents and young people, suicide prevention, e-mental health, and positive psychology and wellbeing.

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