For many of us, 2020 has been an unparalleled challenge. The COVID-19 pandemic has taken an immediate and highly visible toll on our society in the form of infections, fatalities and economic degradation. But it is the less visible burden on mental health, and its resulting impact on individuals and their families, that could linger for much longer than the virus itself. 

Some stress is to be expected, brought on by the concern of contracting the virus, job insecurity, and the thought of lockdown and isolation. However, for some people, the stress escalates, causing symptoms of mental illness and a need for further support and clinical treatment. 

So, can we predict how many people are likely to need professional mental health assistance because of a pandemic? And how can we effectively provide assistance? 

Join our experts as they discuss the methods being developed to estimate the change in mental health of a population during pandemics and how we can use this prediction to facilitate health resources and services. 

A webinar link will be provided to you prior to the event. 

Our expert panel

Harvey WhitefordProfessor Harvey Whiteford

Professor of Population Mental Health
School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine

Harvey Whiteford is Professor of psychiatry and population mental health at UQ and an Affiliate Professor of global health at the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington, where he is responsible for the mental and substance use disorder component of the Global Burden of Disease studies.

He also leads the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and is the Chief Investigator for an Australian Centre for Research Excellence in mental health systems improvement.

Professor Whiteford trained in medicine, psychiatry and health policy in Queensland and at Stanford University in California. He has held senior clinical and administrative positions including; Director of mental health in both Queensland and Federal government levels. He was the first mental health specialist appointed to the World Bank and worked in the Health, Nutrition and Population Sector of the Human Development Network in Washington. He has worked on mental health reform with national governments in Europe, Africa, and Asia and with the World Health Organization.

Alize FerrariDr Alize Ferrari

NHMRC ECF (Secondment)
School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine

Dr Alize Ferrari is a research fellow within the Policy and Epidemiology team at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research. She is an Affiliate Assistant Professor of Health Metrics Sciences, at the University of Washington, and holds a National Health and Medical Research Council early career fellowship at School of Public Health, UQ in the field of Indigenous psychiatric epidemiology and burden of disease.

Alize is the mental disorders team lead within the Global Burden of Disease Study, led by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington. She oversees the team that is responsible for all mental disorder outputs in the yearly iterations of the study. She is also the Lead Researcher on the Queensland Urban Indigenous Mental Health Survey (QUIMHS). QUIMHS aims to quantify the number of Aboriginal and/or Torres Strait Islander people in South East Queensland with a mental disorder, the mental health services they use, and the barriers to accessing care.

About Health Matters Lecture Series

Launched in 2017, Health Matters is a series of dynamic public lectures featuring renowned researchers and clinicians. Attendees enjoy fine food and beverages while hearing directly from subject matter experts in an environment that encourages discussion about matters that impact the health of you and your loved ones.

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