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.

Selected grants

2019

  • Preventing adolescent mental illness and substance use through teacher-delivered interventions targeting personality risk factors Short title: Targeting personality risk factors to prevent adolescent mental illness; Kelly E, Newton N, Birrell L, Stapinski L, Barrett E, Teesson M; Australian Rotary Health/Mental Health of Young Australians Research Grant.
  • Mind your Mate: An online peer intervention to prevent mental health and substance use problems in adolescence; Birrell L; Australian Rotary Health/Bruce Edwards Postdoctoral Fellowship.

2018

  • Healthy, wealthy and wise: The long-term effectiveness of an online universal program to prevent substance use and mental health problems among Australian youth�; Teesson M, Newton N, Slade T, Chapman C, Mewton L, Hides L, McBride N, Chatterton M, Birrell L, Allsop S; National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC)/Project Grants.

Selected publications

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Journals

  • Debenham, J., Newton, N., Birrell, L., Askovic, M. (2019). Alcohol and other drug prevention for older adolescents: It's a no brainer. Drug and Alcohol Review, 38(4), 327-330. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Deen, H., Champion, K., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Teesson, M., Chapman, C. (2018). A Mobile App to Provide Evidence-Based Information About Crystal Methamphetamine (Ice) to the Community (Cracks in the Ice): Co-Design and Beta Testing. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6(12), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Slade, T., Chapman, C., Mewton, L., McBride, N., Hides, L., Chatterton, M., Allsop, S., Healy, A., et al (2018). Evaluating the Long-Term Effectiveness of School-Based Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Use Prevention Into Young Adulthood: Protocol for the Climate School Combined Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7(11), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Chapman, C., Champion, K., Birrell, L., Deen, H., Brierley, M., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Newton, N., Teesson, M. (2018). Smartphone Apps About Crystal Methamphetamine (Ice"): Systematic Search in App Stores and Assessment of Composition and Quality". JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6(11), 1-20. [More Information]
  • Thornton, L., Quinn, C., Birrell, L., Guillaumier, A., Shaw, B., Forbes, E., Deady, M., Kay-Lambkin, F. (2017). Free smoking cessation mobile apps available in Australia: a quality review and content analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(6), 625-630. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Prior, K., Champion, K., Mackie, C., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2017). Trajectories of emotional symptoms in adolescence: impact on alcohol use. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 130-141. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2016). Early onset mood disorders and first alcohol use in the general population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 200, 243-249. [More Information]
  • Mewton, L., Kessler, R., Slade, T., Hobbs, M., Brownhill, L., Birrell, L., Tonks, Z., Teesson, M., Newton, N., Chapman, C., et al (2016). The psychometric properties of the kessler psychological distress scale (K6) in a general population sample of adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 28(10), 1232-1242. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Tonks, Z., Slade, T. (2015). Anxiety disorders and first alcohol use in the general population. Findings from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 31, 108-113. [More Information]
  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Slade, T., Chapman, C., Allsop, S., Hides, L., McBride, N., Mewton, L., Tonks, Z., Birrell, L., et al (2014). The CLIMATE schools combined study: A cluster randomised controlled trial of a universal Internet-based prevention program for youth substance misuse, depression and anxiety. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1). [More Information]

2019

  • Debenham, J., Newton, N., Birrell, L., Askovic, M. (2019). Alcohol and other drug prevention for older adolescents: It's a no brainer. Drug and Alcohol Review, 38(4), 327-330. [More Information]

2018

  • Birrell, L., Deen, H., Champion, K., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Teesson, M., Chapman, C. (2018). A Mobile App to Provide Evidence-Based Information About Crystal Methamphetamine (Ice) to the Community (Cracks in the Ice): Co-Design and Beta Testing. JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6(12), 1-14. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Slade, T., Chapman, C., Mewton, L., McBride, N., Hides, L., Chatterton, M., Allsop, S., Healy, A., et al (2018). Evaluating the Long-Term Effectiveness of School-Based Depression, Anxiety, and Substance Use Prevention Into Young Adulthood: Protocol for the Climate School Combined Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research, 7(11), 1-13. [More Information]
  • Chapman, C., Champion, K., Birrell, L., Deen, H., Brierley, M., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Newton, N., Teesson, M. (2018). Smartphone Apps About Crystal Methamphetamine (Ice"): Systematic Search in App Stores and Assessment of Composition and Quality". JMIR mHealth and uHealth, 6(11), 1-20. [More Information]

2017

  • Thornton, L., Quinn, C., Birrell, L., Guillaumier, A., Shaw, B., Forbes, E., Deady, M., Kay-Lambkin, F. (2017). Free smoking cessation mobile apps available in Australia: a quality review and content analysis. Australian and New Zealand Journal of Public Health, 41(6), 625-630. [More Information]
  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Stapinski, L., Prior, K., Champion, K., Mackie, C., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2017). Trajectories of emotional symptoms in adolescence: impact on alcohol use. Advances in Dual Diagnosis, 10(4), 130-141. [More Information]

2016

  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Slade, T. (2016). Early onset mood disorders and first alcohol use in the general population. Journal of Affective Disorders, 200, 243-249. [More Information]
  • Mewton, L., Kessler, R., Slade, T., Hobbs, M., Brownhill, L., Birrell, L., Tonks, Z., Teesson, M., Newton, N., Chapman, C., et al (2016). The psychometric properties of the kessler psychological distress scale (K6) in a general population sample of adolescents. Psychological Assessment, 28(10), 1232-1242. [More Information]

2015

  • Birrell, L., Newton, N., Teesson, M., Tonks, Z., Slade, T. (2015). Anxiety disorders and first alcohol use in the general population. Findings from a nationally representative sample. Journal of Anxiety Disorders, 31, 108-113. [More Information]

2014

  • Teesson, M., Newton, N., Slade, T., Chapman, C., Allsop, S., Hides, L., McBride, N., Mewton, L., Tonks, Z., Birrell, L., et al (2014). The CLIMATE schools combined study: A cluster randomised controlled trial of a universal Internet-based prevention program for youth substance misuse, depression and anxiety. BMC Psychiatry, 14(1). [More Information]

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