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 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.

Our 4 main research areas are:

  • Testing a clinical prediction tool to identify risk of depression and tailor treatments
  • Developing evidence-based interventions for mental health system re-design in the primary care setting
  • Testing a clinical support tool for GPs and patients to make timely decisions about when and how to cease antidepressant use
  • Co-design/co-production implementation in mental health services
  • Documenting the recovery experiences and physical health of people living with severe mental illness
  • Testing an assertive care intervention to reduce cardiovascular risk for people living with severe mental illness
  • Innovations in technologies for mental health care
  • E-mental health implementation in the primary care setting

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

Dr Victoria Palmer (Head of Research Program) - Department of General)

Dr Patty Chondros (Biostatistician) - Department of General Practice

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

Dr Sandra Davidson (Senior Research Fellow) - 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 (Research Program Coordinator) - Department of General Practice

Ms Anna Wood (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

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.