Integrated Mental Health

Research Overview

The Integrated Mental Health Research Program aims to optimise person-centred mental health that enhances physical and mental well-being. Mentored and established by internationally recognised academic GP, Professor Jane Gunn, the research spans over 15 years of primary care led depression research focusing on 4 main areas as shown in the figure below. Comprised of a multidisciplinary group of researchers, this leading program has engaged more than 500 general practitioners and 10,000 patients in clinical and health services research.

The Program is part of a vibrant culture of collaboration and exchange through the Department’s Visiting Academic program that hosts visitors from around Australia and internationally from Europe, the UK and North America. In recent years the Program has hosted and mentored 7 international postdoctoral research fellows including:

  • Dr Markus Haun (2016) Heidelberg University Hospital, Germany;
  • Dr Christine Ladegaard Geyti (2016) University of Aarhus, Denmark;
  • Dr Caroline Wachtler (2014-2015) Karolinska Institute, Sweden;
  • Dr Marjorie Johnston (2014) University of Aberdeen, Scotland;
  • Dr Lauralie Richards (2013-2015) University of Montreal, Canada;
  • Dr Gilles Ambresin, (2011-2013) University of Lausanne, Switzerland;
  • Dr Jennifer Terpstra, (2011) University of British Columbia, Canada.


Professor Jane Gunn - (Program Mentor) Department of General Practice

Associate Professor Victoria Palmer (Head of Research Program) - Department of General Practice

Dr Patty Chondros (Biostatistician) - Department of General Practice

Ms Amy Coe (Research Assistant and Program Coordinator) - Department of General Practice

Ms Konstancja Densley (Data Manager) - Department of General Practice

Dr Susie Fletcher (Research Fellow) - Department of General Practice

Dr Caroline Johnson (Research Fellow) - Department of General Practice

Ms Roxanne Kritharidis (Project Officer) - Department of General Practice

Ms Maria Potiriadis (Link-me National Trial Coordinator) - Department of General Practice

Dr Matthew Lewis (Research Fellow) - Department of General Practice

Ms Christine Hallinan (Research Fellow) - Department of General Practice


Australian Collaborations

  • University of Newcastle
  • Deakin University
  • University of Queensland
  • University of New South Wales
  • Orygen
  • Lifeline
  • Department of Health and Human Services
  • Black Dog
  • Tandem - representing Victorian mental health carers
  • Victorian Mental Illness Awareness Council (VMIAC)
  • Australian Taxi Industry Association

International Collaborations

  • Kent State University
  • University of Warwick
  • University of Glasgow
  • University of Southampton
  • University of Liverpool
  • The Chinese University of Hong Kong
  • University of Lausanne
  • Karolinska Institute
  • McGill University
  • The Hearth Centre


  • National Health & Medical Research Council (NHMRC)
  • Commonwealth Department of Health
  • Mental Illness Research Fund and the Psychiatric Illness an Intellectual Disability Donations Trust Fund
  • Melbourne Networked Society Institute (MNSI)
  • Melbourne Social Equity Institute
  • Shepherd Foundation
  • Therapeutic Guidelines Ltd (TGL)/RACGP

Research Outcomes

Palmer, Lewis M, Stylianopolous V, Furler J (2018). Primary care prevention of the cardiovascular health crisis for people with severe mental illness: the elephant in the room. The Australian Journal of General Practice.

Palmer V, Weavell W, Callander R, Piper D, Richard L, Maher L, Boyd H, Herrman H, Furler J, Gunn J, Iedema R, Robert, G (2018). The Participatory Zeitgeist: an explanatory theoretical model of change in an era of coproduction and codesign in healthcare improvement. BMJ Medical Humanities.

Chondros P, Davidson S, Wolfe R, Gilchrist G, Dowrick C, Griffiths F, Hegarty K, Herrman H, Gunn J (2018). Development of a prognostic model for predicting depression severity in adult primary care patients with depressive symptoms using the diamond longitudinal study. J Affect Disord 227: 854-860.

Wachtler C, Coe A, Davidson S, Fletcher S, Mendoza A, Sterling L, Gunn J (2018). Development of a mobile clinical prediction tool to estimate future depression severity and guide treatment in primary care: User-centered design. Journal of Medical Internet Research mHealth & uHealth 20(4): e95

Gunn J, Cameron J, Densley K, Davidson S, Fletcher S, Palmer V, Chondros P, Dowrick C, Pirkis J (2018). Uptake of mental health websites in primary care: insights from an Australian longitudinal cohort study of depression. Patient Educ and Couns 101(1): 105-112.

Davidson S, Wadley G, Reavley N, Gunn J, Fletcher S (2017). Psychological distress and unmet mental health needs among urban taxi drivers: a cross-sectional survey. Aust N Z J Psychiatry 52(5): 473-482.

Proudfoot JC, Gunn J, Fletcher S, Sanatkar S, Wilhelm K, Campbell L, Zwar N, Harris M, Lapsley H, Hadzi-Pavlovic D, Christensen H (2017). A Web-Based Public Health Intervention to Reduce Functional Impairment and Depressive Symptoms in Adults With Type 2 Diabetes (The SpringboarD Trial): Randomized Controlled Trial Protocol. JMIR Res Protocol 6(8). DOI: 10.2196/resprot.7348

Richard L,Piper D, Weavell W, Callander R, Iedema R, Furler J, Pierce D, Godbee K, Gunn J, Palmer V (2017). Advancing engagement methods for trials: the CORE study relational model of engagement for a stepped wedge cluster randomised controlled trial of experience-based co-design for people living with severe mental illnesses. Trials 18(1): 169. http://10.1186/s13063-017-1878-7

Gunn J, Wachtler C, Fletcher S, Davidson S, Mihalopoulos C, Palmer V, Hegarty K, Coe A, Murray E, Dowrick C (2017).Target-D: a stratified individually randomized controlled trial of the diamond clinical prediction tool to triage and target treatment for depressive symptoms in general practice: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials 18(1). DOI: 10.1186/s13063-017-2089-y

Ambresin G, Palmer V, Densley K, Dowrick  C, Gilchrist G, Gunn J (2015). What factors influence long-term antidepressant use in primary care? Findings from the Australian diamond cohort study. J Affect Disord 176(0): 125-132.

Gunn J, Elliott P, Densley K, Middleton A, Ambresin G, Dowrick C, Hegarty K, Herrman H, Gilchrist G, Griffiths F (2013). A trajectory-based approach to understand the factors associated with persistent depressive symptoms in primary care. Journal of Affective Disorders. February 2013. 148(2–3):338-346.

Gunn J, Ayton D, Densley K, Pallant J, Chondros P, Herrman H, Dowrick C (2012). The association between chronic illness, multimorbidity and depressive symptoms in an Australian primary care cohort. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 47: 175-184. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-010-0330-z

Gunn, J., Palmer, V. Dowrick, C., Herrman, H., Griffiths, F., Kokanovic, R., Blashki, G., Hegarty,K., Johnson, C., Potiriadis, M., May, C. (2010). "Embedding effective depression care: using theory for primary care organisational and systems change." Implement Sci 5: 62-76.

Gunn, J., Gilchrist, G., Chondros, P., Ramp, M., Hegarty, K.,Blashki, G., Pond, D., Kyrios, M., Herrman, H. (2008). Who is identified when screening for depression is undertaken in general practice? Baseline findings from the Diagnosis, Management and Outcomes of Depression in Primary Care (diamond) longitudinal study. Med J Aust 188(12 Suppl): S119-125.