Dr Agatha Conrad

Dr Agatha Conrad
Research Program:

Brief Profile

Dr Conrad is the Research Manager for Hunter New England Mental Health (HNE MH). She is also a clinical psychologist and holds a conjoint Lecturer appointment at the University of Newcastle. Dr Conrad is also co-director of the Healthy Minds Research Program.

Dr Conrad is head of the Mental Health Research, Evaluation, Analysis and Dissemination(MH-READ) unit, which has a brokerage and research/evaluation management and support role, with a small experienced team of clinicians, researchers, and educators; providing support to all HNE MH staff and affiliated UoN and HMRI researchers. MHREAD unit promotes quality, strategic MH clinical research, translational and service evaluation projects across HNEMH. Dr Conrad also provides research leadership, by promoting strong research culture within HNEMH, and mentoring and supervising staff and students.

Dr Conrad has extensive MHS research and evaluation experience having led both state-wide and local clinical and service evaluation projects across MH inpatient, mental health community settings and non-government organizations, across diverse populations with severe mental illness. She has experience in a broad range of areas: project development, management and implementation; research methodology and assessment; data management (e.g., management of large datasets) and analysis; grant, ethics and publication preparation. As a clinical psychologist, she has experience in delivering of clinical psychological assessments, evidence-based psychotherapies, interventions and programs for treatment of clients with severe mental illness in acute inpatient and community settings.

Dr Conrad has a good understanding of how mental health services operate including telepsychiatry, having previously worked across inpatient and community settings.

 

Research Interests

  • All aspects of mental health research from specific disorders (e.g. depression, anxiety, personality disorders, comorbidity, psychosis, eating disorders) to clinical aspects (e.g. risk and lifestyle factors, assessment, interventions, and service use)
  • Developing and evaluating interventions and models of care within hospital and community settings   to improve the health outcomes of people with serious mental illness
  • Use of technology to improve equity, service access and delivery for people with serious mental illness
  • Research design, measurement, and data analysis

 

Why did you get into research?

Earlier in my career, I worked as a clinician and had the opportunity to witness the impact of serious mental illness not only on patients but also on their families. I always found myself wondering, whether there is anything that we can do differently to improve the care we provide to our clients and their families. That’s why I got into research.

 

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

I would like to see that every person with mental illness has access to a seamless mental health service which offers the best evidence-based treatment that is personalised and meets the mental health needs of the person.
 

Future Focus

Improving outcomes for people with serious mental illness through –  technology use, evidence  based interventions,  seamless access to more equitable and diverse services

 

Specialised/Technical Skills

  • Psychological interventions
  • Clinical trials
  • Data analysis
     

Affiliations

  • Faculty of Health, University of Newcastle (School of Medicine and Public Health)
  • HMRI Healthy Minds Research Program
  • Everymind
  • Society for Mental Health Research (SMHR)
  • Australian Psychological Association (APS)
  • APS College of Clinical Psychologists