Dr Laura Hart selected as a 2016 Rising Star by APS

Dr. Laura Hart, a post-doctoral research fellow at the Centre for Mental Health, has been selected as a 2016 Rising Star by the Association for Psychological Science (APS), an international society based in the U.S.  

APS Rising Stars are early career researchers who “reflect the best and brightest of psychological science”.  Dr. Hart was the only Australian among the international list of awardees. She joins Dr. Amy Morgan from the Centre for Mental Health who was awarded an APS Rising Star in 2015. 

Dr. Hart has been working with Professor Tony Jorm’s mental health literacy team since 2007. Her work initially focused on Mental Health First Aid for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, as well as for people with eating disorders.

After completing her PhD, Dr. Hart began researching and developing the "teen Mental Health First Aid" course, a new training program for adolescents aged 16-18, designed with and for young people with mental health problems and their friends.

Dr. Hart was awarded a beyondblue Early Career Researcher grant to evaluate the program in 2013 and an Australian Rotary Health Project Grant to conduct a randomised controlled trial from 2014-2016 in four Victorian Secondary Schools. She has been working closely with Mental Health First Aid Australia to launch the teen MHFA program nationally in 2014.

Dr. Hart’s research interests continue to include community-based mental health literacy programs to increase early intervention and prevention of mental illness. Her work also involves youth mental health, research translation, eating disorders and body image, parenting and suicide prevention.