Dr Jaelea Skehan


Breaking down silos for better outcomes 

New knowledge without effective and timely implementation into policy and practice is a lost opportunity for change. Traditional research methods have time delays that cannot meet the current needs of individuals, families and communities who are experiencing, or at risk of, mental health challenges.   There is a clear and pressing need for new methods of translating research into practice and working across disciplines and settings. There is also an imperative to shift towards practice that draws together, in real-time, the best available knowledge from research, from practice and from lived experience.  This presentation will outline current challenges in the current approach as well as pose some opportunities for change.    

About Jaelea: Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental ill-health and the prevention of suicide. She is the Director of Everymind, a Newcastle-based organisation delivering best-practice programs and translational research. Between 2019 and 2020, Dr Skehan was the Special Adviser to the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce, supporting the work of the Prime Minister’s Adviser on Suicide Prevention. Jaelea is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, services and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention. She is a registered psychologist and holds a conjoint appointment with the College of Health, Medicine and Wellbeing at the University of Newcastle. She is co-lead of the Prevention Hub, a collaborative centre for research translation in prevention of depression and anxiety and contributes to national and global reform through advisory roles. In 2014 Jaelea was announced as one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence, and in 2020 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to community mental health and wellbeing and won the University of Newcastle Alumni Award for Regional Leadership.