Orygen’s Professor Alison Yung has been awarded the 2020 Schizophrenia International Research Society’s Outstanding Translational Research Award in recognition of her work in reforming the delivery of mental health services for young people at high risk of developing psychotic disorders.
Professor Yung is Associate Director, Graduate Research at Orygen; Professor of Psychiatry and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne; and Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Manchester.
Professor Yung has been researching the early stages of psychotic disorders since 1994 and established Orygen’s specialised research-clinical service, the Personal Assessment and Crisis Evaluation (PACE) clinic, which manages young people at risk of developing a psychotic illness.
The instrument she created to assess risk for psychosis, the Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental States (CAARMS) has been translated into 18 languages and is used throughout the world, both for clinical and research purposes.
Professor Yung said she was honoured to receive the award, which recognises the importance of using research findings to change clinical practice and policy.
“Along with my colleagues, my work showed that it was possible to identify young people at risk of psychosis, provide help for them and thereby reduce the risk,” Professor Yung said.
“It also meant that young people who were previously denied access to services were able to get the help they needed,” she said.
Professor Yung will receive the 2020 Outstanding Translational Research Award at the 2021 Congress of the Schizophrenia International Research Society in Toronto, Canada.