Dr Louise Birrell

Research Fellow, Sydney Medical School / The Matilda Centre


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Biographical details

Dr Louise Birrell is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow within the Matilda Centre at the University of Sydney. Dr Birrell's research examines the links between alcohol use and mental health in adolescents. She has extensive experience trialling substance use and mental health prevention programs and conducting systematic reviews of substance use related mobile apps and app development. Dr Birrell will commence an Australian Rotary Health funded Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2019 to develop a smartphone app for adolescents to support their friends with mental health or substance use problems.

Research interests

Dr Birrell's research interests include the prevention of mental health and substance use problems in adolescence, the use of online technologies particularly smartphone apps for health preventions and the interaction between anxiety, depression and alcohol in adolescents.

Current projects

Dr Birrell is a current Chief Investigator on the long-term follow-up of the CSC Study (www.csc.org.au); a 7-year follow-up study of a randomised controlled trial of a school-based mental health and substance use program delivered online. The trial involves over 6,000 young people from three Australian States.

Dr Birrell is a current Associate Invesigtaor on the Health for Life project (https://health4life.org.au), which aims to empower young people to improve thier health and wellbeing and reduce the risk of chronic disease later in life.

Awards and honours

2017 Australian Rotary Health ‘Knowledge Dissemination Award 2017’, team award for Cracks in the Ice (project coordinator, 2017)

2017 ‘Innovation in the Prevention and Education’, 2017 National Alcohol and other Drug Excellence and Innovation awards. Alcohol and Drug Foundation for Climate Schools

2015 Jennifer McLaren Award for Outstanding Research Achievement, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW

2015 Best Overall Oral Presentation, Society for Mental Health Research Conference, Brisbane

2014 Australian Rotary Health ‘Knowledge Dissemination Award 2014’ to CREMS Prevention stream for translation of Climate Schools and Positive Choices.

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