Our Signature Trials

MAGNET aims to create a reusable, sustainable and shared infrastructure to strengthen the capacity, quality, effectiveness, and translation of mental health clinical trials (CTs).

MAGNET aims to do this through four initial catalytic MAGNET Signature Trials:


Trial lead: Professor Adrienne O’Neil
Trial Coordinators: Dr. Jessica Davis and Ms. Rachel Fiddes
Contact: harmone@deakin.edu.au

There is consistent and compelling evidence from controlled research settings that lifestyle interventions targeting diet, exercise, sleep and/or substance use can improve the symptoms of mental disorders. However, lifestyle-based mental health care is not yet available as part of mainstream mental health care for uni and bipolar depression despite clinical guidelines recommended this care is foundational, first line care. One reason for this is the lack of real word data comparing the effectiveness of lifestyle interventions to gold standard care for individuals presenting to their GP with clinical depression.

The HARMON-E Trial is a nation-wide, non-inferiority trial that aims to determine the effectiveness of a group-based lifestyle program for reducing depressive symptoms in those with clinical mood disorders compared to group-based psychotherapy. Participants include 378 adults who have a diagnosis of either major depressive disorder or bipolar disorder, who are randomised to receive six telehealth group-based sessions with either psychologists for the psychotherapy arm, or dietitians and exercise physiologists for the lifestyle arm.

For more information visit the Food and Mood Centre, or email harmone@deakin.edu.au


Trial lead: Professor Chris Davey
Trial Coordinators: Mr. Greg Humble and Dr. Orli Schwartz
Contact: kite-enquiries@unimelb.edu.au

Low-dose ketamine has shown promise as a novel treatment for difficult-to-treat depression. It is not yet clear whether it might also be an effective treatment for bipolar depression, for which there is a clear need for new treatment approaches.

The Kite study will be a multi-centre, randomised, double-blind trial that will examine whether low-dose ketamine is an effective treatment for bipolar depression.

Hearts and Minds

Trial lead: Professor Michael Berk
Trial Coordinator: Ms. Amber Degelia
Contact: hm2@deakin.edu.au

Hearts and Minds is a 3-arm Multi-centre, Randomised, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled Study using Atorvastatin and Metformin to Evaluate and Augment the Treatment of Depression and Reduce Medical Comorbidity.

The study capitalises on discoveries from stem cell based preclinical drug discovery platforms, with the potential efficacy of both agents validated by preclinical mechanistic, animal model and extensive epidemiology evidence.


Trial lead: Professor Philip Batterham
Trial Coordinator: Dr. Amelia Gulliver
Contact: magnet@deakin.edu.au

Many people with mental health problems do not seek help. MAGNET researchers are partnering with people with lived experience of mental ill health to design a brief, interactive multimodal intervention to promote help seeking among working adults.

The online intervention will address core barriers to help seeking (e.g. stigma, literacy, self-reliance, accessibility) by integrating a suite of evidence-based strategies and tools. A cluster Randomised Controlled Trial will compare the intervention program to an attention-control program among employees in a range of workplaces. We will measure the effectiveness of the intervention based on outcomes related to help seeking, stigma and knowledge, along with adherence to and adoption of the intervention.