Meet the team

The eMHPrac team consists of clinical psychologists, researchers and support staff, all with a commitment to promoting and supporting the integration of digital mental health into routine practice. The team are based at Queensland University of Technology in the Addiction and ePsychology Research Group at the Centre for Children’s Health Research in South Brisbane. They are part of the Institute of Health & Biomedical Innovation and the School of Psychology & Counselling in the Faculty of Health. For more info see:

Ms Heidi Sturk

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Heidi Sturk is the Director of eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) at Queensland University of Technology. eMHPrac is funded by the Commonwealth Government and is led by QUT in partnership with Black Dog Institute, Menzies School of Health Research, and the University Centre for Rural Health (USyd). Heidi develops, delivers, and evaluates training and support on digital mental health to health practitioners and service providers nationwide. She holds a Master of Organisational Psychology and has over 25 years’ experience working in mental health. Her areas of interest include how to integrate appropriate digital technologies into health care, rural and remote health care practice, and the wellbeing of health practitioners. 

Dr Jennifer Connolly

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Dr Jennifer Connolly is a Clinical Psychologist and Senior Research Fellow in the eMHPrac team at Queensland University of Technology. Jennifer has been working in psychology research for over 20 years and has extensive experience in the development, delivery, and evaluation of mental health programs. Over the last decade, she has been involved in creating and testing psychological treatments delivered via technology, such as phone, online programs, and apps. Jennifer has also assisted in numerous large scale dissemination projects, delivering and evaluating training of health professionals in the use of brief interventions and, with eMHPrac, in the use of digital mental health tools.

Dr Ruth Crowther

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Ruth is a Senior Research Fellow on the eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) team and an Honorary Senior Lecturer at UQ. Ruth’s role is to develop, deliver and evaluate national training on digital mental health resources to allied health practitioners and service providers. Her research interests include the integration of digital mental health resources into healthcare, and effective implementation of evidence based mental health policy. Ruth has over twenty years experience in applied mental health research, public health and teaching in both the UK and Australia and is currently completing her Master’s in Clinical Psychology at UQ. She is a member of the APS E-Psychology and Buddhism and Psychology Interest Groups.

Dr Shelley Appleton

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Dr Shelley Appleton is a Senior Research Officer with the eMHPrac team and a registered clinical psychologist and clinical supervisor. Shelley is passionate about facilitating access to mental health treatments and promoting mental health literacy in the general population. 

Shelley has over 10 years of experience with the psychology research group where she has worked to evaluate apps, web programs, and phone interventions addressing mental health and substance use disorders. Shelley also enjoys maintaining her role in private practice with children, adolescents, and adults.

Lauren Murase

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Lauren Murase is the Marketing Coordinator and Graphic Designer on the eMHPrac (e-Mental Health in Practice) team. She holds a Bachelor of Business (Marking) and a Bachelor of Fine Arts (Interactive and Visual Design) from the Queensland University of Technology. Lauren to develops and maintains the various resources offered by the eMHPrac project across print and digital mediums. She has always had a lot of interest in mental health and loves working with the eMHPrac team to explore this passion further.

Dr Tania McMahon

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Tania is a Senior Research Officer within the eMHPrac Team and a registered Clinical Psychologist. She has been a part of Professor David Kavanagh’s ePsychology Research Team for over a decade, helping develop and test a range of innovative therapies and technologies, including telephone-based treatments, online programs and apps, to help improve mental health and wellbeing.

Outside of the team, Tania works in a private practice setting treating adolescents and adults, and is an enthusiastic advocate of e-Mental Health services and resources to complement the treatment she provides and support her clients between sessions.

Carol Purtell

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Carol is a Senior Training Facilitator within the eMHPrac team. Carol is an experienced Senior Executive, mental health specialist and Registered Nurse with a Masters of Social Science (Counselling) with over 30 years of leadership experience in Australia and abroad.

Carol has extensive experience in the digital mental health environment having previously worked as the Clinic Director at MindSpot, a free national online/telephone digital mental health service funded by the Australian Government. Carol remains associated with the MindSpot team in the role of Senior Advisor.

Carol is committed to improving access to mental health services by increasing the community’s awareness of innovative and evidence-based digital mental health services.

Professor David Kavanagh

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David is a Research Capacity Building Professor and Director of Research for the School of Psychology and Counselling at QUT, and an Honorary Professor at UQ. He is an Advisory Consultant for the eMHPrac project. 

As a psychologist, David has a strong commitment to improving outcomes for people with problems involving mental health or substance use. Over the last 11 years, he has been developing and testing web programs, apps and robotic interventions.  With a keen interest in innovative solutions, David brings over 40 years’ experience in clinical psychology research, education and practice. He is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Social Sciences and the Australian Psychological Society and sits on the editorial boards of a number of top tier journals, including Addiction.

David has made significant contributions to policy and strategic planning through participation in committees of Queensland Health, the Australian Department of Health and the Australian Psychological Society. He has also held leadership positions in community mental health and in universities.