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What we do

The ALIVE National Centre for Mental Health Research Translation is funded by the National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC) Special Initiative in Mental Health (2021-2026).

We bring research, implementation and translation together to harness our collective capacity for mental health care at-scale.

Our Mission, Vision & Values

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Mission

Transforming mental health and well-being through primary care and community action.

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Vision

Vibrant communities that support mental health and promote well-being to enable people to thrive.

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Values

Lived-Expertise – Practice Wisdom – Outcomes Driven
Inclusive – Authentic – Brave

Who we are

The ALIVE National Centre Investigator and
Governance Structure

Victoria Palmer
PROFESSOR
Victoria Palmer
Executive Research Leadership Committee Centre Co-Director & CIA University of Melbourne

Victoria Palmer led the grant proposal for the Special Initiative in Mental Health and a Co-Directors of the ALIVE National Centre. She is internationally recognised for advancing primary care mental health research and for her use of participatory design, experience-based co-design for health systems improvement, and translational science.

Victoria leads a program of research in Primary Care Mental Health where models of lived-experience inform end to end research design to translation through a Co-Design Living Labs model. Victoria is responsible for oversight of Centre activities, research programs and networks, and strategic development of the Centre. She leads the Co-Design Living Labs Network nationally to deliver co-design capabilities and foster community-led co-design.

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Michelle Banfield
PROFESSOR
Michelle Banfield
Centre Co-Director & Lead, Lived-Experience Research Program & the ALIVE National Lived-Experience Research Collective Australian National University

Michelle Banfield is a prominent international lived-experience leader in mental health services research and a Co-Director of the ALIVE National Centre. She is also the lead of the Lived-Experience research program and the ALIVE National Centre’s Lived-Experience Research Collective. Michelle has an outstanding reputation as a lived-experience leader within the mental health sector and is the lead of the Lived-Experience Research Program, ensuring lived-experience is embedded within the fabric of the National Centre.

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Sandra Eades
PROFESSOR
Sandra Eades
Program Lead, Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Melbourne

Noongar woman Sandra Eades is a leading researcher in the health of children, young people and people at-risk of dementia in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities, and a Co-Director of the ALIVE National Centre. She is the lead of the Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations research program and is the partnering lead for working with Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisations, and Aboriginal Medical Services and related organisations.

Sandra provides oversight for developing appropriate cultural protocols for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander partners. She ensures that mental health stakeholder organisations for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities are engaged in the co-design of the Centre’s national roadmap for translation, and that we build cultural security in the fabric of the Centre.

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Amanda Neil
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Amanda Neil
Lead, Health System Economics 
University of Tasmania (UTAS)

Amanda Neil is one of only a few Australian health economists with a track record specifically in mental health research. She has long-standing expertise in cost-effectiveness analysis, including costs-of-illness studies and assessment of the costs of hospitalisations for mental and physical health by child protection status, work that has collectively informed guideline and policy development. Amanda’s interests are in the identification of targets and patterns of resilience and vulnerability used to inform life-course modelling approaches and to evaluate the preventive interventions delivered.

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Amanda Wheeler
PROFESSOR
Amanda Wheeler
Lead, Mental Health Care at Scale
 Griffith University

Amanda Wheeler has worked as a practitioner, educator and researcher in mental health and pharmacy practice for over 25 years and established and directed a highly successful research centre in a public health service in New Zealand. Amanda brings practical knowledge of health services and the interplay of medication with physical health. which informs research contributions in the ALIVE Centre’s Stream B Priority Populations work focused on meeting unmet physical health needs for people experiencing ongoing distress and mental ill-health in primary care and community settings.

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Steve Kisely
PROFESSOR
Steve Kisely
Lead, Longer, Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Queensland

Steve Kisely is a psychiatrist, public health and addiction physician who is an expert in research on physical and psychiatric co-morbidity, epidemiology, chronic disease surveillance and health services research. His research contributions in the analysis of administrative datasets support how the Centre can address interpersonal, social and system stigma, structural discrimination, and feelings of discomfort in service settings.

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Harriet Hiscock
PROFESSOR
Harriet Hiscock
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI)

Harriet is a lead investigator for the National Health and Medical Research Council Centre for Research Excellence (CRE) in Childhood Adversity and Associated Depression and Anxiety. This CRE is completing an expert consensus review and consultation to identify interventions that mitigate the effects of family adversity on children’s mental health. Following co-design processes with clinicians and families with lived experience, the CRE will be implementing these within an integrated health hub that brings together social care clinicians and legal services to address social factors contributing to poor mental health in children.

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Darryl Maybery
PROFESSOR
Darryl Maybery
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course 
Monash University

Darryl is the Director of Research and Professor of Rural Mental Health in the School of Rural Health and has worked for 15 years as a mental health clinician and psychologist in the areas of drug and alcohol counselling, prison psychology and employee assistance. Darryl’s research contributions are in rural mental health and resilience, and the needs of carers and family members where a parent lives with mental ill-health. Darryl is interested in the translation of models of care that address intergenerational and life course issues to encourage a recovery and stigma focus.

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Nicola Lautenschlager
PROFESSOR
Nicola Lautenschlager
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course University of Melbourne

Nicola is one of the leading dementia and psychiatry of aging researchers in Australia. She has extensive experience and international standing in the use of non-pharmacological and activity-based models of management. Nicola developed physical activity guidelines for improving cognitive function in older people, and adapted these for implementation within an aged psychiatry service during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Lena Sanci
PROFESSOR
Lena Sanci
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations, Investigator Co-Lead, Next Generation Researcher Network 
University of Melbourne

Lena is an academic general practitioner with a commitment to improving primary care access and outcomes for younger people. Lena’s research develops targeted and culturally appropriate youth mental health care for a service navigation model to inform primary care.Over the past 20 years Lena has worked to improve the health of young people through quality youth focussed system-based interventions designed to re-orient primary care toward prevention of harm from mental health disorders and risk-taking behaviour.

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Sarah Larkins
PROFESSOR
Sarah Larkins
Program Investigator, Mental Health Care at Scale James Cook University

Sarah is an academic general practitioner whose work focuses on strengthening health equity through design, implementation, and evaluation of health service interventions. Her work responds to local and regional priorities and has demonstrable impact. Sarah works collaboratively with service, peak body, government and industry partnerships, across northern Australia, and globally. Sarah is the Director of the Anton Breinl Research Centre for Health Systems Strengthening within the Australian Institute of Tropical Health and Medicine.

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Michael Wright
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Michael Wright
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations Curtin University

Yuat Nyoongar man Michael Wright is from the area known as the Victoria Plains which includes the townships of Moora and New Norcia north of Perth in Western Australia. His research career focuses on translation to improve the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, their families, and communities. Michael’s contributions to research include the Our Journey Our Story project working with Aboriginal Elders, Aboriginal Young people, headspace centres and their lead agencies across Western Australia to co-design more culturally secure mental health services.

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Vera Morgan
PROFESSOR
Vera Morgan
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Western Australia

Vera is a psychiatric epidemiologist and the National Project Director and Convenor of the Technical Advisory Group for the Australian Government 2nd National psychosis survey (Survey of High Impact Psychosis—SHIP). Her cross-disciplinary epidemiological approach to the study of psychotic illness melds psychiatric, genetic, physical health, sociological and criminological perspectives on aetiology and course to help unravel the complex nature of disorders and improve physical and mental health outcomes for affected people.

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Cherrie Galletly
PROFESSOR
Cherrie Galletly
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Adelaide

Cherrie led the section on Innovations in Integrating Physical and Mental Health Care in the (2019) Lancet Commission Blueprint to address physical and mental health, and the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatry Clinical Practise Guidelines for Schizophrenia and Related Disorders. She is the Regional Director of Postgraduate Psychiatry Training and provides expertise in translating research findings to medical student and postgraduate psychiatry trainees.

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Lisa Brophy
PROFESSOR
Lisa Brophy
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations 
La Trobe University

Lisa has had a long career in mental health and social work, and has extensive experience working collaboratively with people with lived-experience of ongoing distress and mental ill-health. Lisa is currently a member of the Victorian Mental Health Tribunal. She was the Principal Research Fellow for MIND Australia one of the largest non-government providers of mental health services.

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Meaghan O'Donnell
PROFESSOR
Meaghan O'Donnell
Research Translator, Trauma-Informed Care and Workforce 
University of Melbourne

Meaghan is a clinical psychologist and world leader in post-traumatic mental health. Her research contributions include interventions after trauma exposure, phenomenology of traumatic stress responses, and barriers to recovery.

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Luke Burchill
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Luke Burchill
Research Translator, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health & Data Sovereignty University of Melbourne

Luke is a proud member of the Yorta Yorta and Dja Dja Wurrung Victorian Aboriginal communities with familial links to Mooroopnaa. He is an adult congenital cardiologist based at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester USA with expert knowledge of the impact of cardiovascular health on mental health. Luke is also a clinical researcher at the University of Melbourne. He developed a mobile app with the Royal Melbourne Hospital to support frontline staff treating patients with COVID-19 and improve the mental health and wellbeing support options available (RMHive App).

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Bridget Hamilton
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Bridget Hamilton
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations and Lead, Peer Exchange Program University of Melbourne

Bridget is a registered mental health nurse with 30 years of experience working as a mental health clinician, manager, educator and researcher in public sector services. She is the Director of the Centre for Mental Health Nursing at the University of Melbourne and leads a team of clinical nurse academics and consumer academics to build the skills of mental health nurses in Victoria for the benefit of people receiving mental health care. Working with consumer academics, Bridget will work to implement meaningful changes to the care system to improve the safety of people with lived-experience.

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David Coghill
PROFESSOR
David Coghill
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course University of Melbourne

David is an academic psychiatrist and world leader in neurodevelopmental disorders and their treatment. His work is an interdisciplinary blend of basic science, and clinical and translational research that focuses on the pathophysiology of ADHD, conduct disorder and depression. David is the Chair of Developmental Mental Health at the University of Melbourne and is also Deputy Head of the Department of Paediatrics, and a part of the neurodevelopmental disorders team at The Royal Children’s Hospital, Melbourne.

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Cameron Parsell
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Cameron Parsell
Program Investigator, Mental Health Care at Scale University of Queensland

Cameron’s research spans poverty, homelessness and the intersection of these issues with mental health. Cameron’s participation as a chief investigator in the Centre includes taking part in research activities such as delivering seminars and workshops and, consideration of research findings.

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Emma Baker
PROFESSOR
Emma Baker
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations, Investigator Co-Lead, Next Generation Researcher Network University of Adelaide

Emma is a Professor of Housing Research at the University of Adelaide where she leads the Housing and Healthy Cities Research Group and is Director of the Stretton Institute’s ‘Building a City for the Future’ research program. Her work takes an innovative and expansive approach to understanding the way that housing, social support and housing instability interact with health and mental health and incorporates innovation and large-scale data capture.

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Jenny Bowman
PROFESSOR
Jenny Bowman
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Newcastle

Jenny has experience within academia and health service management and links her research with real world service delivery and care provision. Her work primarily focuses on health care practice change to increase preventive care to overlooked populations. Since 2010, Jenny has led the Physical Health in Mental Health research team that addresses chronic disease preventive care for smoking, nutrition, alcohol use, and physical activity chronic disease risk factors for people living with mental ill-health.

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Michelle Lim
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Michelle Lim
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course and Research Translator, Loneliness University of Sydney

Michelle Lim is a senior researcher at Swinburne University and also the chair and scientific chair at Ending Loneliness Together (https://endingloneliness.com.au) Michelle founded Ending Loneliness Together in 2016 and co-founded the Global Initiative on Loneliness and Connection in 2021 (https://www.gilc.global). Her work focuses on the development and evaluation of evidence-based solutions that can address loneliness in young people with first episode psychosis, social anxiety disorder, as well as nonclinical populations across the lifespan.

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Carol Harvey
PROFESSOR
Carol Harvey
Program Investigator, Longer Healthier Lives in Priority Populations University of Melbourne

Carol is a practicing psychiatrist and brings expertise in epidemiological and mental health services research with a psychosocial and translational research focus. Carol developed a family inclusive practice model for young people and their families attending four headspace centres which led to widespread model implementation in other centres (since 2015). She has had a long-standing interest in the role of carers in supporting people with mental health conditions.

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David Preen
PROFESSOR
David Preen
Lead: Cross Cutting Themes, Data Linkage & Analysis
 University of Western Australia (UWA)

David Preen’s research contributions are in areas of population health and health services including: social determinants of health, health of marginalised populations; cancer services delivery; pharmaco- epidemiology; health service utilisation; chronic disease management; and methodological advances using data linkage. David’s knowledge of individual participant data meta-analysis (using raw individual level data for synthesis) is also applied to relevant randomised controlled trial data within the Centre.

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Wendy Chapman
PROFESSOR
Wendy Chapman
Theme Lead, Digital Health Intersections University of Melbourne

Wendy is the Associate Dean of Digital Health and Informatics at the University of Melbourne, as well as the Director of the new Centre for Digital Transformation of Health. Her interests include biomedical informatics, natural language processing, knowledge representation, and application of informatics to clinical care and research.

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Meredith Harris
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Meredith Harris
Program Investigator, Mental Health Care at Scale 
University of Queensland

Meredith is a researcher in the field of mental health services research and evaluation. She leads a range of projects designed to improve the measurement of patient and service level outcomes in Australia’s specialised public sector mental health services. Meredith has conducted empirical mental health planning studies that have informed service planning targets for public sector mental health services and community support services that were taken up directly in the subsequent Queensland Mental Health Plan 2007-17 and which informed the Queensland Department of Communities’ Supporting Recovery: Mental Health Community Services Plan 2011-2017.

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Kelsey Hegarty
PROFESSOR
Kelsey Hegarty
Program Investigator, Mental Health Care at Scale and Research Translator, Family Violence University of Melbourne

Kelsey is ranked the number one researcher in Australia for family violence. She has advanced research in the international domestic violence policy/practice and the intersections of violence and mental health. Kelsey’s role as Chief Investigator of the National Health and Medical Research Council funded Safer Families Centre for Research Excellence supports cross-translation efforts. She is a Research Translator (Family Violence) and Co-Lead of the Co-Design of the National Mental Health Research Translation Roadmap.

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Nicola Reavley
PROFESSOR
Nicola Reavley
Program Lead, Prevention Across the Life Course University of Melbourne

Nicola Reavley’s research focuses on population mental health, mental health literacy and stigma – both in terms of measurement and monitoring as well as interventions to improve these. She is the President of the Alliance for the Prevention of Mental Disorders (apmd.org), a collective of researchers and other stakeholders who support a population health approach for the prevention of mental disorders and promotion of emotional wellbeing. This alliance aims to advocate to policymakers, facilitate research and encourage new researchers, facilitate knowledge translation, and build partnerships.

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Jill Bennett
PROFESSOR
Jill Bennett
Lead, Creative Engagement University of New South Wales (UNSW)

Scientia Professor Jill Bennett is an Australian Research Council Laureate Fellow at UNSW, where she directs fEEL (feltExperience & Empathy Lab) and the Big Anxiety Research Centre (BARC). She is founding Director of The Big Anxiety Festival and leads public engagement and creative communications for The ALIVE National Centre. Her most recent book is The Big Anxiety: Taking Care of Mental Health in Times of Crisis, Bloomsbury, 2022.Big Anxiety Research Centre (BARC):https://www.unsw.edu.au/arts-design-architecture/our-research/research-centres-institutes/big-anxiety-research-centre

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Jane Gunn
PROFESSOR
Jane Gunn
Program Investigator, Mental Health Care at Scale University of Melbourne

Jane Gunn has traversed the research-practice gap as a General Practitioner and researcher, playing key leadership roles on research committees and leading research to transform mental health care in the primary care setting. Jane plays a central role in strategic direction of the Centre. Her research contributions include the development and implementation of digital person-centred decision support tools for prognosis matched mental health care in the general practice and community settings.

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Jane Pirkis
PROFESSOR
Jane Pirkis
Program Investigator, Prevention Across the Life Course University of Melbourne

Jane Pirkis’ research in suicide prevention, stigma and mental health research has generated debates on where the best investments might lie in mental health and suicide prevention. She brings a long history of research in suicide prevention and media campaigns to inform the National Centre’s translational and Prevention Across the Life Course research program objectives.

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Osvaldo Almeida
PROFESSOR
Osvaldo Almeida
Program Investigator Prevention Across the Life Course University of Western Australia (UWA)

Osvaldo has spent his career conducting research on the identification and management of changeable areas of risk known to impact on people’s mental health. He established one of the largest cohort studies of older men in the world – the Health In Men Study (HIMS) and has led research on prognosis based clinical support tools (intervening earlier to disrupt a poorer health trajectory).

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Patty Chondros
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Patty Chondros
Associate Investigator University of Melbourne

A/Professor Patty Chondros is a biostatistician specialising in primary care and health services research. She is the lead biostatistician within the Primary Care Trials Unit based at the Department of General Practice, University of Melbourne. In her role she provides statistical leadership and expertise to support the department’s research programs, including grants and publications, and to advance the methodological and statistical skills and capacity of researchers and research higher degree students. Her research interests include the design and analysis of randomised controlled trials, particularly cluster randomised and stepped wedge designs.

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Douglas Boyle
PROFESSOR
Douglas Boyle
Associate Investigator University of Melbourne

Prof Boyle is the Director of the Research Information Technology Unit at The University of Melbourne. Since 2006 Dr Boyle has been researching, developing and implementing systems for the ethical acquisition of record-linkable data for audit, research and health surveillance. Consent management, security and privacy-protecting record linkage are key components and research areas. The software systems (GRHANITETM) are now responsible for the largest collections of record-linkable primary care data ever accumulated in Australia.

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Alison Yung
PROFESSOR
Alison Yung
Associate Investigator Deakin University

Alison Yung is a NHMRC Principal Research Fellow and Professor, Institute for Mental and Physical Health and Clinical Translation (IMPACT), Deakin University. In 1994 in Melbourne, Australia, she established the first clinic for individuals identified as being at imminent high risk of psychotic disorder (“Ultra High Risk” – UHR) in the world. These services aim to prevent or delay the onset of psychosis or minimise its impact. The instrument that she developed to assess UHR status, the Comprehensive Assessment of At Risk Mental States (CAARMS), has been translated into 18 languages. Alison Yung’s research has resulted in reform in the delivery of mental health services for young people thought to be at high risk of schizophrenia.

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Caroline Johnson
ASSOCIATE PROFESSOR
Caroline Johnson
Associate Investigator University of Melbourne
Caroline is an academic General Practitioner based in Melbourne and a founding Associate Investigator of the ALIVE centre.  She has three decades of experience in clinical practice and since the late 1990s has combined medical education, mental health advocacy and research with her clinical work, to develop novel insights into how primary mental health care can be optimised.  Alongside her extensive experience as an educator at undergraduate, vocational training and postgraduate levels, she has represented the profession of General Practice on numerous advisory groups, national committees and as a previous Board Member of Mental Health Australia.  She is currently a Non-Executive Director of Eastern Melbourne PHN and the RACGP representative on the Equally Well Alliance.
As a researcher, Caroline is uniquely placed to assist with translation of evidence into real-world practice due to her in-depth knowledge of the primary care mental health system and how it interacts with the broader health system. Her PhD explored the experience of monitoring people with depression in the GP setting. Her current research focusses on how decision support tools can be implemented in routine clinical practice to assist primary care providers and people with lived experience to more efficiently and effectively navigate access to appropriate mental health care.
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Chris Groot
DOCTOR
Chris Groot
Associate Investigator University of Melbourne

Dr Chris Groot is a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work spans research, teaching, and public engagement programs that focus on stigma about severe and complex experiences of mental ill-health. Chris leads the Mental Ill-Health Stigma and Telehealth Lab, which drives a program of work that addresses personal and perceived (public) stigma, the lived experience of stigma for those with mental ill-health, stigma intervention methods, clinical telehealth training, and telehealth service design, evaluation and development. Chris strives to ensure that both rigorous psychological science and the perspectives of people with lived and living experiences of mental ill-health are well represented throughout these streams of work.

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Dan Siskind
PROFESSOR
Dan Siskind
Associate Investigator University of Queensland
Prof Siskind trained as a psychiatrist in Australia and the United States. He works clinically as a psychiatrist in Brisbane, Australia with people with treatment refractory schizophrenia. His research interests include treatment refractory schizophrenia, clozapine and the physical health comorbidities associated with schizophrenia. He has over 200 publications and over $38million in competitive research grants.
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Harvey Whiteford
PROFESSOR
Harvey Whiteford
Associate Investigator University of Queensland
Harvey Whiteford is Director of the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and Professor of Population Mental Health at the University of Queensland. His research interests are in psychiatric epidemiology and in mental health policy and service planning.
Harvey trained in medicine, psychiatry and public health in Queensland and at Stanford University. He has held senior positions in government, including those of Director of Mental Health in the Queensland and the Federal governments in Australia, and at the World Bank in Washington DC where he helped establish the Bank’s lending program for mental and neurological disorders. He has served as a National Mental Health Commissioner and on the Productivity Commission’s mental health inquiry.
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