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David Lawrence

Professor at Curtin University | Mental Health Researcher

Professional Area: Mental Health

My research focuses on

  • Child & Adolescent mental health and wellbeing
  • Youth suicide prevention
  • Mental health of police and emergency services personnel
  • Physical health of people with mental illness

My research aims to

  • Improve the quality of healthcare and support for people with mental health problems
  • Address the specific mental health issues first responders experience 
  • Promote mental health education to Australia’s youth
  • Address the barriers that prevent disadvantaged communities from accessing quality mental healthcare

I work closely with

  • Beyond Blue
  • Mindful Meditation Australia
  • Soldiers and Sirens
  • The ADHD Society
  • Rotary
  • Emergency Services Foundation

David’s Story

I am a mental health researcher with a career long interest to break down barriers and stigmas of mental illness. After working at the Australian Bureau of Statistics for 10 years, I applied my statistical skills to a PhD study in public health and psychiatry and behavioural science. One of the first things I discovered was that too many people with mental health problems don’t get the benefit of what we do already know. I saw a profound inequality in mental health care within our communities and this fact alone continues to motivate me as a researcher.

As data analysis is one of my strongest skills, I began work on projects that utilise complex surveys and multi-level data that looked to identify mental health barriers, gaps in knowledge and disadvantaged groups when it came to seeking mental healthcare.

I’ve proudly been a part of two major projects concerning mental health and first responders. I lead the ‘Answering the Call’ the Beyond Blue National Mental Health and Wellbeing Survey of Police and Emergency Services and I currently lead the ‘After the Fires’ research project that studies the resilience of Australia’s first responders.

Another passion of mine is Mental Health education in schools to ensure the next generation does not experience the same barriers we currently do. I lead the ‘Young Minds Matter’ project that surveyed the mental health and wellbeing of Australian children and adolescents.

Project Links