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: https://research.qut.edu.au/aepr/about/

Queensland University of Technology

Queensland University of Technology (QUT) lead the eMHPrac consortium in partnership with other organisations. The eMHPrac team at QUT 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 nationwide. The team are part of the School of Psychology and Counselling in the Faculty of Health and are located at the Centre for Children’s Health Research in South Brisbane. Queensland University of Technology (QUT) is a major Australian University with nearly 50,000 students. They provide real-world teaching and graduate skills to the next generation of change-makers. In addition, they provide transformative research intensity and excellence relevant to our communities and the real world. For more information go to: https://www.qut.edu.au/research

Director

Ms Heidi Sturk

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.

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Ruth Crowther

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.

Senior Research Fellow

Dr Jennifer Connolly

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.

Senior Research Officer

Dr Shelley Appleton

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.

Senior Research Officer

Dr Tania McMahon

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.

Marketing Coordinator and Graphic Designer

Lauren Murase

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.

Senior Training Facilitator

Carol Purtell

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.

Consultant

Professor David Kavanagh

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.

Black Dog Institute

The eMHPrac team at Black Dog Institute consists of General Practitioners, clinical psychologists, program staff and support staff. They develop online modules, webinars and digital resources designed to introduce health professionals to online programs and tools, and to demonstrate how digital mental health technologies can be integrated into primary care. The team are based at the Prince of Wales Hospital in Randwick, Sydney. Black Dog Institute is dedicated to understanding, preventing and treating the significant mental health challenges that we face nationally and globally. For more information go to: https://www.blackdoginstitute.org.au/

GP Services Consultant, Black Dog Institute

Dr Jan Orman

Jan Orman is a Sydney GP with a longstanding interest in primary care mental health. She has a Masters in Psychological Medicine (CBT) and has worked as a facilitator with the Black Dog Institute's Professional Education Team for almost two decades. in tandem with her work in general practice. 

Jan's interest in practitioner mental health led her to founding membership and, for several years, presidency of the Australian College of (now Society for) Psychological Medicine (ASPM) and has seen her working to help establish the Creative Doctors networking group in Sydney.

Since 2013 Jan has led the Black Dog Institute's e-Mental Health in Practice (eMHPrac) team, devising and delivering all the educational resources in that project. She is driven to help primary care providers become more confident and skilled in delivering mental health care, thus improving their own mental health along with that of their community.

GP Services Consultant, Black Dog Institute

Dr Phoebe Holdenson-Kimura

Phoebe is a GP working in Sydney who is passionate about promoting mental wellbeing and supporting GPs who have a special interest in Mental Health. With recent experience working in rural Far North Queensland and Cambodia, she is interested in rural and global perspectives on mental health.

Head of Implementation Practice

Janey McGoldrick

Janey McGoldrick is Head of Implementation Practice at Black Dog Institute, and has over 20 years experience piloting, scaling and evaluating education programs across all sectors, in the UK and Australia. Passionate about developing and operationalising strategy and partnership to support mental health and wellbeing programs, focused on systemic change, Janey thrives on testing evidence based solutions to complex problems. Janey is driven to create a mentally healthier world, where evidence based research is translated into meaningful programs and resources to radically improve our models of care for people in need of help and support.

Service Engagement Manager

Jill Summers

Jill is an experienced relationship manager with a marketing background. Originally from Northern Ireland, she spent a few years in campaign management for the corporate sector before landing in Australia 10 years ago and discovering her true passion for the non-profit space. Jill headed the corporate partnerships for Brien Holden Vision Institute and The Salvation Army. Her role as Service Engagement Manager at Black Dog Institute is in delivering services mental health services to the health professional community, including digital products and platforms, training, resources, and consultancy.

Director, Service Implementation

Jonathan Tennant

Jon has been an educator, teacher trainer and educational manager in the commercial, government and not-for-profit sectors for over 30 years, working in the UK, Italy, Czech Republic, China, Russia, Malaysia and South Africa, before settling in Sydney in 2000. Jon currently oversees the Black Dog Institute education and clinical services, e-mental health dissemination, and marketing and communications. He is passionate about ensuring research outcomes are translated into effective, evidence-based services, products and resources that have impact across the community. Jon believes getting evidence-based tools, resources and information into the hands of those who need them, when they need them, is critical to improving mental health outcomes for individuals and communities.

Tanya Shrestha – Marketing Campaign Manager, Black Dog Institute

Tanya Shrestha

Tanya is a dynamic, creative marketing strategist, eternal optimist and problem-solver, with the ability to bring creative vision and strategic thinking to all projects that she works on. With a career that has roamed the commercial, not-for-profit, events and media landscape, she has over 7+ years of industry experience in organisations internationally, having worked in both Australia and the UK. In her current role, she is passionate about creating targeted marketing and communications campaigns to better meet the unique mental health needs of health professionals, communities and school groups across Australia.

University Centre for Rural Health

The eMHPrac team at the University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) consists of senior researchers and Indigenous program and support staff. The team manage the WellMob website and provide training to Indigenous health workers and non-Indigenous health practitioners about how to use digital social and emotional wellbeing resources. The team are employed by the University of Sydney and are based at Lismore in northern NSW. The University Centre for Rural Health (UCRH) conducts research relevant to the health needs of rural communities around Australia. For more information go to: https://ucrh.edu.au/about-research/

WellMob Co-director

David Edwards

David Edwards is a Worimi man who grew up in Turrbal/Jagera country and now lives in the Bundjalung lands of northern NSW. David works under the national e-Mental Health in Practice from University of Sydney’s University for Rural Health in Lismore NSW as the co-director of the WellMob website program that provides a digital library of Aboriginal and Torres Strait specific wellbeing resources. David also works as Manager Resource Development for a national First Nations fathering program under the SMS4dads for the University of Newcastle. David also runs the ‘Eco-Connections’ consultancy business delivering ecological and cultural heritage services for community, NGOs and government allies that are culturally responsive to First Nations community needs and aspirations in looking after country, health and wellbeing.

Training Development Officer

Sharnie Roberts

Sharnie Roberts is a proud descendant of the Widjabul Wia-bal clan of the Bundjalung Nation and works within the WellMob team as the Training Development Officer. Sharnie has recently obtained a bachelor’s degree in social sciences and is passionately pursuing a career that empowers Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander young people to build cultural resilience for generational healing whilst contributing to breaking down systematic barriers for all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people.

Menzies School of Health Research

The eMHPrac team at Menzies School of Health Researchers consists of senior researchers and Indigenous training staff. The team have developed the AIMhi Stay Strong app and manage the Strong Country Strong People website. They provide training to health workers and organisations about culturally relevant digital wellbeing resources. Team members are based in Darwin, Alice Springs and Adelaide. Menzies School of Health Research are one of Australia’s leading medical research institutes dedicated to improving the health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples. For more information go to: https://www.menzies.edu.au/page/Research/

Senior Project Manager, Lead Trainer

Dr Michelle Sweet

Dr Michelle Sweet has worked for the past 20 years predominately alongside Aboriginal controlled organizations and research Institutions in NT and more recently SA as a Researcher, Consultant and Manager. Her passions lie with advocating, exploring and developing innovative strategies to address health issues.

Trainee

Jaylene Friel

Jaylene Friel is a proud Murrinh-Patha and Arrernte Indigenous trainee working in the mental health team. She is currently studying to complete a certificate III in Business and a certificate II in Community Health Research.  

Project Coordinator/PhD Candidate

Josie Povey

Josie Povey is an Occupational Therapist, who has worked as a clinician and researcher in the NT since 2009. Her research interests include early intervention mental health care, the use of technology in mental health care and participatory research methods. 

Principal Research Fellow

Associate Professor Kylie Dingwall

A/Prof Kylie Dingwall is a Principal Research Fellow at Menzies School of Health Research with the eMHPrac team.  Kylie holds a PhD in psychology has lived and worked in Alice Springs for over 15 years, leading research in the areas of substance misuse and mental health. Over the past 10 years Kylie has been involved in developing, testing, and implementing digital-mental health resources in an Indigenous setting.

Senior First Nations Cultural Consultant

Janama Patj Patj Robert Mills

Janama Patj Patj Robert Mills was born Larrakia, Kungarakan, Mayali, Yangman, Jawoyn, Gurrinji. Janama trained as an Aboriginal Health Worker and has had careers in research, alcohol and other drug and mental health services, language preservation, music and football. Throughout his long-term career at Menzies he has made invaluable contributions to Indigenous mental health services and research; culturally appropriate research methodologies; training and mentoring; and Indigenous leadership in research. Robert is the lead First Nations advisor and trainer for the Aboriginal and Islander Mental Health Initiative (AIMhi) program of research.

AIMhi Director

Professor Tricia Nagel

Professor Tricia Nagel has thirty years of experience working in NT rural and remote mental health and substance use settings as psychiatrist and educator. Since 2003 Professor Nagel has led a research program based at Menzies School of Health Research in Darwin. The program promotes Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander perspectives of mental health and access to culturally responsive services and treatments. It has transitioned over two decades from face to face, paper-based treatments and tools, to digital solutions that continue to embed holistic and empowering elements.