Dr Graeme Browne

Dr Graeme Browne
Research Program:
Research Topics:

What are your research interests?

  • Mental health and young people. Mental health problems often arise in late adolescence/early adulthood. Early intervention can be very effective in improving the lives of people with mental health problems. People, especially young people, are increasingly using social media and other web resources to relate to the world, so my research area of interest is both teaching mental health nursing and offering therapy or treatment using web resources and social media.
  • Children in mental health. Children in kindergarten to Year 2 sometimes find school difficult and create problems at school, for a variety of reasons. These children often don’t come to the attention of authorities until age 11 or 12, by which time they've had many years of difficulty at school. Trialing mental health nurse working with these children is an area of interest. When I speak to teachers about this they are enthusiastic but we haven’t been able to attract funding to trial the idea. 
  • Translational research. As a nurse educator and clinician I work in a wide variety of projects where the question is generated by clinicians. That is, they bring the clinical expertise and myself and my colleagues bring the research expertise to address problems in the clinical practice.

Why did you get into research?

I have been a consumer of mental health services, a carer, and family member of people living with mental health problems. This was my initial motivation for getting involved in mental health care and gives me reason to stay involved.

I know it sounds like cliché but I got involved in research because I wanted to make a difference. My career has been committed to improving the mental health of individuals by addressing prejudice against people with mental illness. When I see my research reflected in public policy, cited by other researchers and impacting on practice I know my work has been useful.

What would be the ultimate goal for your research?

The ultimate goal would be that the community was open to discussing mental health problems and recognised that many people need support to stay well at some time in their life. Also, that non-drug treatment of mental health problems received funding and recognition by government, health departments and mental health professionals as well as the community .


Dr Browne has had a long and varied career in nursing, mostly in mental health nursing. He began as a mental health nurse training under the old system in hospitals. Then as a general nurse. Most of his clinical career was spent in community mental health and non-government organisations. He has also worked in private practice and as a bush nurse. 

More recently Dr Browne began as an academic, with his work focused on teaching mental health to undergraduate nurses and post-graduate specialist mental health nurses. His clinical practice, teaching and research career have been focused on building a better understanding and empathy towards people with mental illness. 

Future Focus

Universities are increasingly focused on blended learning - that is, using information technology including computer simulated learning and web-based courses. Young people have grown up using IT, social media, games etc and it's a natural part of their lives. If we are to support them as students and in their emotional challenges\mental health\mental wellness we need to develop skills and services in the space. Research seems to indicate that young people respond well to online support, counselling and psychotherapy especially when using social media.

Specialised/Technical Skills

Dr Browne has extensive experience in Counselling, Family therapy and other forms of psychotherapy. He has spent many years:

  • Teaching theses skills as originally in distance education programs
  • More recently as blended and online courses.
  • And now using computer simulated learning.