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Led by Professor Harvey Whiteford, the research of the Policy and Epidemiology Group (PEG) aims to determine the mental health needs of populations and how services can be implemented to reduce the impact of mental disorders.

The Policy and Epidemiology Group partners with The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health, and conducts studies that aim to:

  • determine the local and global distribution and risk factors of mental disorders
  • estimate the mortality and disability from mental disorders
  • model and evaluate service system interventions for mental disorders
  • develop measures of service performance
  • analyse and inform mental health policy
Team Structure

There are five team leaders within PEG who run major programs of work.

  • Child and Adolescent Mental Health: Led by Dr Holly Erskine, areas of focus for this team include child and adolescent mental health.
  • Epidemiology and Burden of Disease: Led by Dr Alize Ferrari, areas of focus for this team include the Global Burden of Disease Study, global COVID-19 forecasting, and the risk factors and distribution of mental and substance use disorders in Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Queenslanders.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: Led by Dr Zoe Rutherford, this team is focused on the evaluation of mental health services and programs using mixed methodologies and robust evaluation frameworks to guide future design, delivery, and sustainability.
  • Mental Health Services Research: Led by Dr Sandra Diminic, areas of focus for this team include population mental health service needs; mapping capacity, utilisation, and gaps in mental health service provision; development of the National Mental Health Service Planning Framework; and supporting evidence-informed service planning.
  • Mental Health in Shock Events and Vulnerable Communities: Led by Associate Professor Fiona Charlson, areas of focus for this team include social and emotional wellbeing in climate change, vulnerable communities, CALD communities, Indigenous mental health, mental health in the Pacific, epidemiology, mental disorders in conflict settings, service coverage of severe mental disorders.
Major affiliations

The Policy and Epidemiology Group partners closely with The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health.

Many of our team members also hold affiliate Assistant Professor positions with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, as part of the Global Burden of Disease Study.

Policy and Epidemiology Stream Staff

Learn more about PEG Staff.

PhD Projects
  • Sanam Ahmadzada, Mental health and stigma in refugee and migrant communities: co-designing a Mental Health Promotion Program and Toolkit
  • Suhailah Ali, Quantifying the contribution of psychosis and bipolar disorder to excess mortality
  • Tabinda Basit, Determinants and correlates of mental and substance use disorders amongst Indigenous Australian
  • Tara Crandon, The effects of climate change on youth mental health
  • Giovanna Franze, How can digital mental health be effectively integrated within a stepped-care framework in the Australian Mental Health Care System?
  • Kate Gossip, the role of non-clinical mental health services in improving functional outcomes among young adults (18-24 years) with mental disorders in Australia
  • Kara Jaeschke, Modelling Global Treatment Coverage for Mental Disorders
  • Annika Luebbe, Rural Mental Health
  • Modhurima Moitra, Applications of Meta-Analytic Approaches to Inform Global Burden of Disease Estimates for Mental Disorders
  • Imogen Page, Estimating population-based needs for mental health services: a comparison of Indigenous and non-Indigenous Australians with a current mental disorder
  • Jamileh Shadid, Estimating the global epidemiology and burden of personality disorders
  • Claudia Sparti, Mapping mental health services in Australia

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