Print this page

Mental Health Policy Unit (MHPU)


We support healthcare decision-makers, executives, policymakers and advocates to improve mental health outcomes in the community.

The Mental Health Policy Unit focuses on using evidence-based decision support systems to support health and social policy.  We work with local and international research institutions, governments, health networks, service providers and advocacy organisations to better understand, influence and improve mental health and disability care in the community.

We use benchmarking tools and indicators to analyse data and develop systems to support  mental health and disability service planning. As part of this work, we develop integrated healthcare atlases. These are structured service assessment and decision support tools that collect standardised information about specialised mental health services in a particular area and present it visually using Geographical Information Systems (GIS).


Head Leader

  • Professor Luis Salvador-Carulla
  • Executive Assistant - Nicole O'Connor



  • A/Prof Nasser Bagheri
  • A/Prof Sue Lukersmith
  • Prof. Neeraj Gill
  • Dr Cindy Woods
  • Dr. Katie Speer
  • Dr MaryAnne Furst
  • Dr Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari
  • Dr Itismita Mohanty


  • Adj Professor Carlos Garcia Alonso
  • Adj. Professor David Perkins
  • Adj. Professor Annette Schmiede
  • Adj. Professor Daniel Rock
  • Adj. Associate Professor Sebastian Rosenberg
  • Adj. Associate Professor Jose Alberto Salinas-Perez

Visiting Research Fellows

  • Dr Nerea Almeda
  • Mr Diego Diaz-Milanes
  • Mr Ivan Duran
  • Ms. Carlota de Miquel


  • Robert Horsten
  • Peter McGeorge


Access to recent mental health seminars by CMHR Learning and Development UnitCurrent
Atlas of Mental Health CareCurrent
Atlases and Directories of CareCurrent
BUPA Project - Simulation modelling to guide mental healthCurrent
Community Mental Health PathwaysCurrent
EMPOWER (European platform to promote health and wellbeing in the workplace)Current
Frontiers in Mental Health Webinar SeriesCurrent
Global Impact of COVID-19 on Mental Health Webinar SeriesCurrent
GLOCAL (Global and Local Observation and mapping of CAre Levels)Current
Mental Health Service Mapping ProjectCompleted
The public health impact of COVID-19 in Latin America Webinar SeriesCompleted


Partnering public mental health and academia 11 Dec 2020Event recording
Partnering public mental health and academia webinar presentation slides - 11 Dec 2020Event presentation
Podcast - Coping in IsolationEvent recording


Alphabetically by first author




Alvarez-Galvez J, Salinas-Perez JA, Montagni I, Salvador-Carulla L. The persistence of digital divides in the use of health information: a comparative study in 28 European countries. Int J Public Health. 2020 Apr 10. doi: 10.1007/s00038-020-01363-w. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 32277246.

Ananthan Ambikairajah, Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, Michael Hornberger, Nicolas Cherbuin. “Ageing, menstruation history and the brain”, Menopause, 2020 Vol. 28, No. 2, pp. 000-000 DOI: 10.1097/GME.0000000000001688

Ángeles-Llerenas A, Domínguez-Esponda R, Katz-Guss G, Astudillo-García CI, Rodríguez-Valentín R, Madrigal-de León E, Salvador-Carulla L, Lazcano-Ponce E. Comunicación abierta entre profesionales de la salud mental y padres de pacientes con discapacidad intelectual [Open communication between mental health professionals and parents of patients with intellectual disabilities]. Salud Publica Mex. 2020 Sep-Oct;62(5):494-503. Spanish. doi: 10.21149/11062. PMID: 33027860

Atkinson, J., Skinner, A., Lawson, K., Rosenberg, S., Hickie, I. “Bringing new tools, a regional focus, resource-sensitivity, local engagement and necessary discipline to mental health policy and planning” BMC Public Health

Aw J., Smurthwaite K., Bagheri N. Investigating spatial convergence of diagnosed dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes prevalence in West Adelaide, Australia. Journal of Affective Disorders, 2020 (In Press)

Bagheri, N., Pearce, S., Mazumdar, S., Sturgiss, E., Haxhimolla, H., Harley D. Identifying community chronic kidney disease risk profile utilising general practice clinical records and spatial analysis: an approach to inform policy and practice. Internal Medicine Journal.

Bagheri, N., Pearce, S., Mazumdar, S., Sturgiss, E., Haxhimolla, H., Harley, D.Internal Medicine Journal (2020-In Press). Identifying community chronic kidney disease risk profile utilising general practice clinical records and spatial analysis: an approach to inform policy and practice

Bertelli MO, Salvador-Carulla L, Munir KM, Scattoni ML, Azeem MWA, Javed A. Intellectual developmental disorder and autism spectrum disorder in the WPA next triennium mainstream. World Psychiatry 2020, June, 19 (2), 260.

Blasco-Arcas L., Alexander M., Sörhammar D., Jonas J. M., Raithel S., & Chen T. (2020). Organizing actor engagement: a platform perspective. Journal of Business Research, 118, 74-85. (Scimagojr: Q1, ABDC: A)

Calabria B, et al. Alcohol and other drug service availability, capacity and diversity in urban and rural Australia: an integrated atlas. Journal of Studies on Alcohol and Drugs (accepted for publication 10 November 2020)

Castelpietra G, Nicotra A, Pischiutta L, Gutierrez-Colosia MR, Haro JM, Salvador-Carulla L. The new Horizon Europe programme 2021-2028: Should the gap between the burden of mental disorders and the funding of mental health research be filled? Eur. J. Psychiat. 2020;34(1):44---46

Castelpietra G, Simon J, Gutiérrez-Colosía MR, Rosenberg S, Salvador-Carulla L. Disambiguation of psychotherapy: a search for meaning. Br J Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 4:1-6. doi: 10.1192/bjp.2020.196. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33143767

Chen T., Dodds S., Finsterwalder J., Witell L., Cheung L., Falter M., Garry T., Snyder H., & McColl-Kennedy J. R. (In Press). Dynamics of wellbeing co-creation: a psychological ownership perspective, Journal of Service Management, 1-24. (Scimagojr: Q1, ABDC: A)

Douglas B et al (Salvador-Carulla L). Surviving and Thriving in the 21st Century: A Discussion and Call to Action on Global Catastrophic Risks. Commission for the Human future

Dransart, DAC, Lapierre, S; Erlangsen, A; Canetto, SS; Heisel, M; Draper, B; Lindner, R; Richard-Devantoy, S; Cheung, G; Scocco, P; Gusmão, R; Leo, DD; Inoue, K; Techterman, VD; Fiske, A; Garnon, G; Hong, JP; Landry, M; Lepage, AA; Marcoux, I; Na, P; Eva Neufeld, E; Unmel, D; Winslov, JH; Wong, C; Wu, J; Wyart, M; International Research Group on Suicide in Older Adults .  (2019) A systematic review of older adults’ request for or attitude toward euthanasia or assisted-suicide: Recommendations for future research. Aging and Mental Health, 10.1080/13607863.2019.1697201

Erlangsen A, Nordentoft M. (2019) Urgent need for better care after self-harm. Editorial. Lancet Psychiatry. doi: 10.1016/S2215-0366(19)30376-1

ERLANGSEN, A; BANKS, E; GRACE, G; CALEAR, AL; WELSH, J; BATTERHAM, PJ; SALVADOR-CARULLA, L. (2020) Predictors of suicide and self-harm: a population-based cohort study of 266,512 persons aged 45 years and over. Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. DOI: 10.1007/s00127-020-01929-2

Erlangsen, A; Banks, E; Grace, G; Calear, Al; Welsh, J; Batterham, Pj; Salvador-Carulla, L. Physical, mental, and social wellbeing and their association with death by suicide and self-harm in older adults: a community-based cohort study. International Journal of Geriatric Psychiatry DOI:10.1002/gps.5463

Erlangsen, Annette., Stenager, E., Conwell, Y., et al. “Association between neurological disorders and death by suicide in Denmark” JAMA

Ferraro G, Loo Gee B, Ji S, Salvador-Carulla L. Lightme: analysing language in internet support groups for mental health. Health Inf Sci Syst. 2020 Oct 13;8(1):34. doi: 10.1007/s13755-020-00115-7. PMID: 33088490; PMCID: PMC7554289.

Fletcher-Brown J., Turnbull S., Viglia G., Chen T., & Pereira V. (In Press). Vulnerable consumer engagement: How corporate social media can facilitate the replenishment of depleted resources, International Journal of Research in Marketing, 1-23. (Scimagojr: Q1, ABDC: A*)

Fontecedro E, Furlan M, Tossut D, Pascolo-Fabrici E, Balestrieri M, Salvador-Carulla L, D'Avanzo B, Castelpietra G. Individual Health Budgets in Mental Health: Results of Its Implementation in the Friuli Venezia Giulia Region, Italy. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Jul 13;17(14):E5017. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17145017.

Furst, M., Bagheri, N., & Salvador-Carulla, L. (2020). An ecosystems approach to mental health services research. BJPsych International, 1-3. doi:10.1192/bji.2020.24

Furst, M., Bagheri, N., Salvador-Carulla. (In Press). An ecosystems approach to mental health services research. BJPsych International. Accepted on 26/03/2020

Henderson S. Causes. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2020 Sep;54(9):861-862. doi: 10.1177/0004867420949659. PMID: 32865446.

Henderson S. Comorbidity as a clue to pathogenesis. Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2020 May;54(5):539-540. doi: 10.1177/0004867420909533. Epub 2020 Mar 3. PMID: 32126806.

Henderson, S., Berk, M., Boyce, P., Jorm, A.F., Galletly, C., Porter, R.J., Mulder, R., Malhi, G. Finding reviewers: A crisis for journals and their authors, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry, Vol.54, No.10, pp. 957-959,

Henderson, Scott. “And much to enjoy!” Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry.

Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, Tehzeeb Zulfiqar, Jennifer Welsh, Nasser Bagheri. “The association between living in socially fragmented neighbourhoods and psychological distress among immigrant and non-immigrant people aged 45 and over in NSW, Australia”, Australian & New Zealand Journal of Psychiatry (in press)

HVIDKJÆR, KL; RANNING, A; MADSEN, T; FLEISCHER, E; FISCHER, JP; HJORTHØJ, C; CEREL, J; NORDENTOFT, M; ERLANGSEN, A. People affected by suicide attempts in next of kin: frequency, impact, and perceived support. Suicide and Life-threatening Behaviour (in print)

Hybholt, L; Berring, Ll; Erlangsen, A; Fleischer, E; Toftegaard, J; Kristensen, E; Toftegaard, V; Havn, J; Buus, N. (2020) Older Adults’ Conduct of Everyday Life After Bereavement by Suicide: A Qualitative Study. Frontiers in psychology. Jun 19;11:1131.

Janssen LMM, Pokhilenko I, Evers SMAA, Paulus ATG, Simon J, König HH, Brodszky V, Salvador-Carulla L, Park AL, Hollingworth W, Drost RMWA; PECUNIA group. Exploring the identification, validation, and categorization of the cost and benefits of criminal justice in mental health: the PECUNIA project.  Int J Technol Assess Health Care. 2020 Jul 27:1-8. doi: 10.1017/S0266462320000471. Online ahead of print

Kynde, A; Berring, Ll; Hybholt, L; Erlangsen, A; Larsen, Er; Buus, N. Relatives' experiences of providing care for individuals with suicidal behaviour conceptualized as a moral career: A meta-ethnographic study. International Journal of Nursing Studies

Lawrence-Bourne J., Dalton H., Perkins D., Farmer J., Luscombe, G., Oelke N., Bagheri N., What Is Rural Adversity, How Does It Affect Wellbeing and What Are the Implications for Action? International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 2020 (accepted 1/10/20)

Lazcano-Ponce E, Angeles-Llerenas A, Rodríguez-Valentín R, Salvador-Carulla, L, Domínguez-Esponda R, Astudillo-García CI, Madrigal de León E, Katz G. Communication patterns in the doctor–patient relationship: evaluating determinants associated with low paternalism in Mexico. BMC Medical Ethics (accepted for publication 1 December 2020)

López Seguí F, Walsh S, Solans O, Adroher Mas C, Ferraro G, García-Altés A, García Cuyàs F, Salvador- Carulla L, Vidal-Alaball J. Teleconsultation Between Patients and Healthcare Professionals in the Catalan Primary Care Service: Descriptive Analysis through Message Annotation in a Retrospective Cross-Sectional Study. Journal of Medical Internet Research (in press)

Lu, J., Zhu, Y., Williams, S., Watts, M., Tonta, M., Coleman, H., Parkington, H., Claudianos, C. Autism-associated miR-873 regulates ARID1B, SHANK3 and NRXN2 involved in neurodevelopment. Transl Psychiatry 10, 418 (2020).

Luis Salvador-Carulla, Sebastian Rosenberg, John Mendoza, Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, The Pandemic-Mental Health International Network (Pan-MHIN). “Rapid response to crisis: Health System Lessons from the active period of COVID-19”, Health Policy and Technology (In press)

Lukersmith, S., Tayor, J., Salvador-Carulla, L. Vagueness and ambiguity in communication of case management: a content analysis in the Australian National Disability Insurance Scheme. International Journal of Integrated Care (accepted for publication December 2020)

Madden, R.H, Lukersmith, S., Qingsheng, Z., Glasgow,M.,Johnston, S. (2020) Disability-Related Questions for Administrative Datasets International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health 17, 5435, doi:10.3390/ijerph17155435 

MADSEN, T; ERLANGSEN, A; NORDENTOFT, M. (2020) High suicide rates during psychiatric inpatient stay and shortly after discharge – an examination of national rates and trends over 23 years. Acta Psychiatrica Scandinavica. DOI: 10.1111/acps.13221

Martínez-Leal R, Folch A, Munir K, Novell R, Salvador-Carulla L; Borderline Intellectual Functioning Consensus Group. The Girona declaration on borderline intellectual functioning. Lancet Psychiatry. 2020 Mar;7(3):e8. doi:10.1016/S2215-0366(20)30001-8. PubMed PMID: 32087813.

Mohsen Mirzaei, Masoud Mirzaei, Ali Reza Sarsangi, Nasser Bagheri. “Prevalence of modifiable cardiovascular risk factors in Yazd inner-city municipalities” BMC PUBLIC HEALTH

Morthorst, BM; Mehlum, L; Pàlsson, SP; Mühlmann, C; Hammerlin, Y; Madsen, T; Nordentoft, M; Erlangsen, A. Suicide rates in Nordic prisons 1999-2016. Archives of Suicide Research. DOI: 10.1080/13811118.2020.1746943.

Moucheraud C, Sarma H, Ha TT, Ahmed T, Epstein A, Glenn J, Hanh HH, Huong TT, Luies SK, Moitry AN, Nhung DP. Can complex programs be sustained? A mixed methods sustainability evaluation of a national infant and young child feeding program in Bangladesh and Vietnam. BMC Public Health. 2020 Dec;20(1)

Nalder EJ, Saumur TM, Batliwalla Z, Salvador-Carulla L, Putnam M, Spindel A, Lenton E, Hussein H. A scoping review to characterize bridging tasks in the literature on aging with disability. BMC Health Serv Res. 2020 Mar 4;20(1):170. doi: 10.1186/s12913-020-5046-5. PubMed PMID: 32131826.

Petersen, B., Stenager, E., Mogensen, C. B., & Erlangsen, A. (2020). The association between heart diseases and suicide: A nationwide cohort study. Journal of internal Medicine.

Pokhilenko I et al (2020). Exploring the identification, validation, and categorization of costs and benefits of education in mental health: The PECUNIA project. International Journal of Technology Assessment in Health Care 1–7.

Pons EV, Salvador-Carulla L, Calcedo-Barba A, Paz S, Messer T, Paccardi B, Zeller SL. The capacity of schizophrenia and bipolar disorder individuals to make autonomous decisions about pharmacological treatments for their illness in real life: A scoping review. Health Sci Rep. 2020;3(3):e179. Published 2020 Aug 9. doi:10.1002/hsr2.179

Rahman M, Delarosa J, Luies SK, Alom KR, Quintanar-Solares M, Jabeen I, Ahmed T, Abu-Haydar E, Sarma H. Understanding key drivers and barriers to implementation of the WHO recommendations for the case management of childhood pneumonia and possible serious bacterial infection with amoxicillin dispersible tablets (DT) in Bangladesh: a qualitative study. BMC Health Services Research. 2020 Dec;20(1):1-2.

Rosen A, Gill NS, Salvador-Carulla L. The future of community psychiatry and community mental health services. Curr Opin Psychiatry. 2020;33(4):375‐390. doi:10.1097/YCO.0000000000000620

Rosen A, Rock D, Salvador-Carulla L. The interpretation of beds: More bedtime stories, or maybe they're dreaming? Aust N Z J Psychiatry. 2020 Nov 2:4867420969813. doi: 10.1177/0004867420969813. Epub ahead of print. PMID: 33131281.

Rosenberg S, Salvador-Carulla L, Hickie I, Mendoza J. Stepped mental health care model leading Australia astray [published online ahead of print, 2020 May 29]. Australas Psychiatry. 2020;1039856220928858. doi:10.1177/1039856220928858

Rosenberg, S, &., Roberts, S. “Money talks: How funding shapes rural and remote mental health care in Australia” Book Chapter accepted in the Handbook of Rural, Remote, and very Remote mental health” Carey, Timothy A., Gullifer, Judith (Eds.), Springer

Rosenberg, S. “A question via Italy: where is the pandemic response to a looming mental health crisis?”

Rosenberg, S. Budget 2020 and mental health: what is the strategy? Croakey October 7 2020

Rosenberg, S. Care disrupted: the impact of COVID-19 on mental health services in London. Croakey.

Rosenberg, S. Mental health needs big budget boost Croakey, September 17 2020

Rosenberg, S. Speed, imagination, technology and flexibility: COVID-19 and mental health in Spain. Croakey.

Rosenberg, S. The impact of COVID-19 on Denmakr and the Nordic countries. Croakey.

Rosenberg, S., & Hickie, I. (2020). W(h)ither psychiatry? Contemporary challenges in Australian mental health workforce design. Australasian Psychiatry.

Rosenberg, S., Hickie, I., Rock, D. Rethinking Mental Health in Australia- adapting to the challenges of COVID-19 and planning for a brighter future The University of Sydney Brain and Mind Centre 2020

Rosenberg, S., Salvador-Carulla, L., Hickie, I., Mendoza, J. Stepped Mental Health Care Model Leading Australia Astray. Australasian Psychiatry. Accepted Alvarez-Galvez J, Salinas-Perez JA, Montagni I, Salvador-Carulla L. The persistence of digital divides in the use of health information: a comparative study in 28 European countries. Int J Public Health. 2020 Apr 10. doi:1007/s00038-020-01363-w. [Epub ahead of print] PubMed PMID: 3227724

Salinas-Perez JA, Gutierrez-Colosia MR, Furst MA, et al. Patterns of Mental Health Care in Remote Areas: Kimberley (Australia), Nunavik (Canada), and Lapland (Finland): Modèles de soins de santé mentale dans les régions éloignées: Kimberley (Australie), Nunavik (Canada) et Laponie (Finlande) [published online ahead of print, 2020 Jul 28]. Can J Psychiatry. 2020;706743720944312. doi:10.1177/0706743720944312

Salinas-Perez JA, Gutierrez-Colosia MR, Romero Lopez-Alberca C, et al. Todo está en el mapa: Atlas Integrales de Salud Mental para la planificación de servicios. Informe SESPAS 2020 [Everything is on the map: Integrated Mental Health Atlases as support tools for service planning. SESPAS Report 2020] [published online ahead of print, 2020 Sep 12]. Gac Sanit. 2020;S0213-9111(20)30180-1. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2020.06.015

Salvador-Carulla L, Almeda N, Álvarez-Gálvez J, García-Alonso C. En la montaña rusa: breve historia del modelo de atención de salud mental en España. Informe SESPAS 2020 [On the roller coaster: An abridged history of mental health planning in Spain. The SESPAS 2002 Report] [published online ahead of print, 2020 Aug 22]. Gac Sanit. 2020;S0213-9111(20)30148-5. doi:10.1016/j.gaceta.2020.06.009Bottom of Form

Sarma H, D'Este C, Ahmed T, Bossert TJ, Banwell C. Developing a Conceptual Framework for Implementation Science to Evaluate a Nutrition Intervention Scaled-up in a Real-World Setting. Public Health Nutrition.2020 February 27:1-6. doi:10.1017/S1368980019004415.

Sarma H, Jabeen I, Luies SK, Uddin M.F, Ahmed T, Bossert TJ, et al. (2020) Performance of volunteer community health workers in implementing home-fortification interventions in Bangladesh: A qualitative investigation. PLoS ONE 15(4): e0230709. pone.0230709

Sarma H, Mbuya MNN, Tariqujjaman M, Rahman M, Askari S, Khondker R, Sultana S, Shahin SA, Bossert TJ, Banwell C, Neufeld LM, Ahmed T, D'Este C. The role of home-visits by volunteer Community Health Workers (CHW)–to improve the coverage of micronutrient powders in Rural Bangladesh. Public Health Nutrition. 2020 March 5: 1-11.

Sarma H, Tariqujjaman M, Mbuya MN, Askari S, Banwell C, Bossert TJ, D'Este C, Ahmed T. Factors associated with home visits by volunteer community health workers to implement a home-fortification intervention in Bangladesh: a multilevel analysis. Public Health Nutrition. 2020 January 27:1-4.

Sarma H, Uddin F, Islam MA, Rahman M, Aaron GJ, Harbour C, Banwell C, Ahmed T. Use of Concurrent Evaluation to Improve Implementation of a Home-fortification Programme in Bangladesh: A Methodological Innovation.  Public Health Nutrition. 2020 March 5: 1-11.

Sebastian Rosenberg, John Mendoza, Hossein Tabatabaei-Jafari, The Pandemic-Mental Health International Network (Pan-MHIN), Luis Salvador-Carulla. “International Experiences of the Active Period of COVID-19 - Mental Health Care”, Health Policy and Technology (In press)

Shabanikiya, H., Hashtarkhani, S., Bergquist, R., Bagheri, N., VafaeiNejad, R., Amiri-Gholanlou, M., Akbari, T., Kiani, B. Multiple-scale spatial analysis of paediatric, pedestrian road traffic injuries in a major city in North-Eastern Iran 2015–2019. BMC Public Health, volume 20, Article number: 722 (2020).

Tabari P., Shabanikiya S., Bagheri N., Bergquist R., Hashtarkhani S., Kiani F., Mohammadi A., Kiani B.. Paediatric, pedestrian road traffic injuries in the city of Mashhad in north-eastern Iran 2015–2019: a data note. BMC Research Notes, 2020.

Tabatabaei-Jafari H, Salinas-Perez JA, Furst MA, Bagheri N, Mendoza J, Burke D, McGeorge P, Salvador-Carulla L. Patterns of Service Provision in Older People's Mental Health Care in Australia. Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2020 Nov 17;17(22):8516. doi: 10.3390/ijerph17228516. PMID: 33212966; PMCID: PMC7698522.

Tariqujjaman M, Rahman M, Luies SK, Karmakar G, Ahmed T, Sarma H. Unintended consequences of programmatic changes to infant and young child feeding practices in Bangladesh. Maternal & Child Nutrition. 2020 Oct 16:e13077.

Walsh EI, Chung Y, Cherbuin N, Salvador-Carulla L. Experts' perceptions on the use of visual analytics for complex mental healthcare planning: an exploratory study. BMC Med Res Methodol. 2020 May 7;20(1):110. doi: 10.1186/s12874-020-00986-0. PubMed PMID: 32380946.

Wangdi K, Sarma H, Leaburi J, McBryde E, Clements AC. Evaluation of the malaria reporting system supported by the District Health Information System 2 in the Solomon Islands. Malaria Journal. 2020 Dec;19(1):1-4.

Zakayo SM, Njeru RW, Sanga G, Kimani MN, Charo A, Muraya K, Sarma H, Uddin MF, Berkley JA, Walson JL, Kelley M. Vulnerability and agency across treatment-seeking journeys for acutely ill children: how family members navigate complex healthcare before, during and after hospitalisation in a rural Kenyan setting. International Journal for Equity in Health. 2020 Dec;19(1):1-7.