September 2016 – 2nd 'Macquarie Mad Dash' Raises over $135k

The 2nd annual running of the Macquarie Mad Dash has taken place at Macquarie Group's global headquarters in Sydney. The event pits staff members against each other in a race against the clock up the building’s central orange staircase. This year’s event raised over $135k for The Black Puppy Foundation.

We again welcomed Black Dog ambassador and Australian swimming champion Geoff Huegill to host the event in the Sydney office. In a show of how far the event has come in just over 12 months, the Macquarie London office also put their hands up to host our first international ‘Mad Dash’ event. From all accounts the event was as intensively competitive as that south of the equator and we’re pleased to say that the building’s new atrium staircase (which is bright red in colour) was given quite a workout!

As with last year’s inaugural Macquarie Mad Dash event, funds raised will be set aside for a The Black Puppy Fellowship which is proudly supported by the Macquarie Foundation. Without Macquarie’s very generous support, fundraising on this scale simply would not be possible. Congratulations to all who were involved in the 2016 edition of the Mad Dash (including our UK compatriots) and we look forward to a bigger and better event in 2017!

July 2016 – Inaugural ‘Black Puppy Fellowship’ recipient announced

We are exceptionally pleased to announce that following a successful year of fundraising we have established the ‘Black Puppy Fellowship’ proudly supported by the Macquarie Group Foundation. The Fellowship will involve a 12 month employment position and will be facilitated by our friends at the Black Dog Institute. This will be awarded annually to a postdoctoral researcher who will dedicate their time to research projects benefitting young sufferers of mental health issues.

Following an exhaustive and worldwide search by the Black Dog Institute, we are pleased to announce that the inaugural recipient of the Black Puppy Fellowship has been selected. Currently based in London, Dr Kit Huckvale (MB ChB, MSc) has been hand-picked by a selection panel of industry experts. Dr Huckvale will be moving to Sydney to take up his role in the second half of 2016.

Dr Huckvale trained as a medical doctor before pursuing post-graduate studies in informatics, and more recently mobile health. His research interests focus on technology-supported self-care for long term conditions, mobile health policy, quality and safety evaluation, clinical dataset analysis and machine learning. With the relentless advent of technology, Dr Huckvale’s ability to leverage ubiquitous technologies such as smartphones in the diagnosis and management of mental health issues will hopefully prove invaluable for our research. We look forward to welcoming Dr Huckvale in the coming months.

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Study Funding News

June 2016 - Findings of Black Puppy Funded Study Released

18 months ago the Black Puppy Foundation awarded our first ever standalone funding project. With head researcher Mr Rowan Burckhardt having conducted in-school seminars throughout 2015, we have recently received a summation of findings from this ground breaking study. The course aimed to both introduce a sample population of teenagers to useful techniques for regulating emotions (as would be commonly required at high school), and also to test the effectiveness of those techniques on young students.

Specifically referred to as Dialectical Behaviour Therapy, the findings of Mr Burckhardt's research were positive. "Overall, the study was a success. The responses from students were overwhelmingly positive. Many reported improved emotion regulation skills that had a positive impact on their lives. The students reported that the component relating to assertiveness was the most beneficial, followed by problem solving and alternative perceptions. This suggests that skills important for social interactions were the best received, which is likely to be a reflection of how important relationships are to this age group."

While pleased with the outcome and definitely energized about the future success of this technique, the study was a only pilot. Mr Burckhardt is now considering the feasibility of a larger-scale program incorporating a larger trial. "The evidence collected from this study suggests such a trial is warranted" stated Mr Burckhardt. We are very pleased to have provided funding to get this project off the ground and look forward to watching it develop in years to come. Congratulations Rowan and team!

April 2016 - Fourth 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' Winner Announced

We are very proud to announce the winner of the 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' for 2016. This is the award's fourth year, following 3 very successful previous awards.

Dr Emily Stockings, a PhD graduate from the University of Newcastle, has been selected by a panel of mental health research professionals as the winner of the 2016 Black Puppy Foundation Award.

Dr Stockings is a Post Doc Research Fellow at the UNSW-backed National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, with research focusing on the incidence and distribution of mental health disorders in young people. This research focuses on areas like depression, anxiety, ADHD, psychoses and substance abuse disorders. This area of research is clearly aligned with the objectives of the Black Puppy Foundation so we are very pleased to provide this award to Dr Stockings.

Dr Stockings will travel to Spain in November to present Congress of Clinical and Health Psychology on Children and Adolescents. The conference is supported by Spain’s Miguel Hernandez University and will hopefully provide Dr Stockings with an opportunity to present her findings to a very relevant audience. We hope Dr Stockings finds this a productive experience and wish her all the best for her travels.

As always, we are very proud to provide support to a promising early career researcher. Congratulations Emily!

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FUN RUN

September 2015 - Inaugural 'Macquarie Mad Dash' Raises over $150k

The Macquarie Mad Dash has been run and won, raising over $150k for The Black Puppy Foundation! Held at Macquarie Group's global headquarters in Sydney, Macquarie staff members raced against each other in a time trial up the building's famed 'orange stairs'. Hosted by well-known personality James Mathison and supported by Black Dog ambassador and Australian swimming champion Geoff Huegill, the event garnered exceptional support across Macquarie's global network. The winning team took the title by less than one second while all and sundry thoroughly enjoyed the spectacle!

Funds raised from the Macquarie Mad Dash will be set aside for a new fellowship to be launched early in the coming year. Further details will follow, but we would like to wholeheartedly acknowledge the support of the Macquarie Foundation without whom this fundraising would simply not be possible. We look forwarding to providing more information about the fellowship as they come to hand. Congratulations to all who were involved and we look forward to a bigger and better event in 2016!

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coffee news

August 2015 - 'Stix Catering' Supports Black Puppy with Coffee!

We are very proud and grateful to announce a generous initiative from award winning caterers Stix Catering. Led by former 'The Fat Duck' chef David Allison, Stix Catering will donate the proceeds from all coffees sold in their Macquarie Group campus cafes on Friday 18 September to the Black Puppy Foundation.

All fund raised will be matched by the Macquarie Group Foundation, meaning that every coffee sold over the day will potentially result in a donation of $6...or more! We are looking forward to enjoying several coffees through the day and joining the collective push to fund further research in to the mental health of young Australians. Thank you Stix!



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Foundation Award News

April 2015 - Third 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' Winner Announced

Now in the award's third year, we are very proud to announce the winner of the 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' for 2015.

Dr Bridianne O'Dea, a PhD graduate from Sydney University, has been selected by a panel of mental health research professionals as the winner of the 2015 Black Puppy Foundation Award.

Dr O’Dea’s research focuses on the ability of youth with mental health issues to engage with the wider community. Specifically Dr O’Dea addresses the sector of the community that are ‘not engaged in employment, education or training’ or ‘NEET’. Dr O’Dea assesses the factors which may influence someone’s status as a NEET, how they come to be in such a position and hopefully how they can re-enter the community through education and/or employment. This topic is highly aligned with the objectives of the Black Puppy Foundation.

Dr O’Dea intends to travel to the Spain early next year to present her findings at the 24th European Congress of Psychiatry. The conference will hopefully provide Dr O’Dea with a fulfilling opportunity to present her findings to a very broad and relevant audience. Dr O’Dea’s findings may prove to be particularly relevant given the current high level of youth unemployment in Europe. We hope Dr O’Dea finds this a useful experience and wish her all the best for her travels.

As always, we are very proud to provide support to a promising early career researcher. Congratulations Bridi!



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STUDY FUNDING News

January 2015 - Black Puppy Foundation Funds Study in to 'Emotion Regulation Skills in Adolescents'

Following on from discussions with the Black Dog Institute's funding team, we at the 'Black Puppy' have decided to step out of our usual annual funding cycle. We have funded a stand alone, year long study in to how Australian adolescents regulate their emotions. The research project will be coordinated by Mr Rowan Burckhardt and will take place within an Australian high school throughout the 2015 calendar year. Mr Burckhardt will monitor a cohort of Year 10 students and assess an innovative therapeutic approach that teaches emotion regulation skills: Dialectical Behaviour Therapy.

"In Australia, young people are consistently reported to have the highest rates of mental health disorders compared to any other age group. Young people also have the lowest propensity to seek professional help." Mr Burckhardt said. "Dialectical Behaviour Therapy is an evidence based approach for treating people with severe emotion dysregulation problems and has consistently been shown to reduce depression, improve interpersonal relationships and improve wellbeing."

This will be the first time this approach is trialled as a prevention programme for adolescents. We are exceptionally proud to be associated with this ground breaking research and believe such practices could ultimately be incorporated in to school curricula if their benefits are validated. We look forward to providing further updates through the year.



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Foundation Award News

March 2014 - Second 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' Winner Announced

Following on from a very successful first year in operation, we are pleased to announce the winner of the 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' for 2014.

Dr Yael Perry, a recent PhD graduate from the University of New South Wales (UNSW), has been selected by a panel of mental health research professionals as the winner of the 2014 Black Puppy Foundation Award.

Dr Perry’s research focusses on methods of early intervention following first episode psychosis. Aiming to provide support as soon as possible following the onset of mental health issues, Dr Perry's research is truly aligned with the objectives of the Black Puppy Foundation. Dr Perry intends to travel to the Netherlands to participate in the 44th European Association of Behavioural and Cognitive Therapies (EABCT) Congress, taking place in September 2014. The conference will hopefully provide Dr Perry with an opportunity to collaborate with fellow researchers and ultimately progress her valuable studies.

We are again proud to provide support to a promising early career researcher. Congratulations Yael!



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research trip News

July 2013 - Inaugural BPF Award Research Trip A Success

The inaugural BPF Award winner, Mr John Gosling, has now returned from his international travels. Utilising funds received from the BPF Award John travelled to Chicago and then on to Amsterdam to further his research. John firstly presented his "GoodNight" study to the International Society for Research on Internet Intervention Conference in Chicago. His talk was well received with several positive comments from fellow researchers in relation to the growing relevance of online intervention. John's talk was also in the largest of the 6 conference rooms, which was a good sign that the conference organisers also saw merit in the research.

Over in Amsterdam John gave a talk to the Vrij University faculty. John also had the opportunity to meet with a researcher from the University of Amsterdam who was working on a web-based sleep intervention programme similar to John's. There appears some potential for trans-hemisphere collaboration between the two, which would be a fantastic outcome for John (and undoubtedly his Dutch counterpart!

We congratulate John again on receiving the first ever BPF Award, and upon his very successful research trip to the USA and Europe.



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research trip News

January 2013 - Inaugural 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' Winner Announced

We are pleased to announce that the inaugural winner of the 'Black Puppy Foundation Award' has now been decided upon. The award is an annual prize for the 'Best Research Paper' written by an enrolled PhD student in the field of mental health research. The award recipient will use the prize to fund a research trip to an international mental health conference of their choice.

Mr John Gosling, a PhD candidate from the Australian National University (ANU), has been selected by a panel of mental health research professionals as the winner of the 2013 Black Puppy Foundation Award.

Mr Gosling’s publication explored long-term cognitive-behavioural predictors of sleep disturbance and insomnia, a common co-morbidity with psychiatric illness. His PhD project is an NHMRC-funded world first clinical trial which evaluates a specialised web-based training program named “GoodNight”. The aim of the study is to improve mental wellbeing and reduce depression by treating insomnia. Mr Gosling plans to use the Award to fund travel to the International Society for Research on Internet Interventions’ 2013 Conference in Chicago, USA. This will be John's first opportunity to present at an international conference. Such support for the development of a promising early career researcher will hopefully demonstrate the value of the Black Puppy Foundation Award. Congratulations John!

The Black Puppy Foundation Award is an annual independent research award initiated in 2012 to encourage promising students who undertake high quality research. The Black Dog Institute and the Macquarie Group Foundation support the Award and along with a panel of independent experts, provided scientific evaluation of applications.