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Professor of Psychology, University of Canberra

Debra is Professor of Psychology at the University of Canberra and Chief Scientific Advisor to headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation. She is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and member of the College of Community Psychologists. She has held ministerial appointments to the National Health and Medical Research Council’s Australian Health Ethics Committee and Australian Health Care Committee.

Her research interests are: help-seeking behaviour, youth mental health and wellbeing, alcohol and other drug use, mental illness recovery, health service use and health policy.

She is currently involved in research, evidence translation and knowledge transfer related to young people’s mental health and wellbeing. Her work spans the entire spectrum of interventions, but has a particular focus on help-seeking behavior, early intervention, and the role of new and emerging technologies in promoting young people’s mental health through an ‘e-spectrum’ of interventions. She has undertaken significant policy-related work for the Australian government in relation to promotion, prevention and early intervention for mental health.


  • 2006–present
    Professor, University of Canberra
  • 2010–present
    Head of Clinical Leadership and Research, headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation


  • 1993 
    Australian National University, PhD
  • 1983 
    Macquarie University, Bachelor of Arts (Honours)