Dr Louise Birrell


image - Louise Birrell

Louise is a current Postdoctoral Research Fellow at NDARC where she manages an NHMRC funded project to evaluate the long-term effectiveness of school-based substance use, depression and anxiety prevention program. Louise's postdoctoral research focuses on comorbid mental health and substance use problems in adolescents and young adults.

Louise completed her PhD in 2017, which focused on the development of anxiety disorders, mood disorders and alcohol use during adolescence, using population-level and prevention trial data. During her time at NDARC Louise has worked on large school-based randomised controlled trials of online substance use and mental health prevention programs, and lead the launch of an online toolkit to disseminate evidence-based information about crystal methamphetamine "ice" to the Australian community (www.cracksintheice.org.au). Her research focuses on the links between alcohol use and mental health in adolescents. She also has experience in systematic reviews of substance use related mobile apps and app development.

Broad research areas:

Adolescence, Prevention, Anxiety, Depression, Alcohol and Other Drugs, Translation, School-based research, eMentalhealth


BPsych (Hons), BSocSc

University role: 
Postdoctoral Fellow

PhD, BPsy(Hons), BSocSc

  1. Teesson, M., Newton, N., Slade, T., Chapman, C., Mewton L, Hides, L., McBride, N., Chatterton, M.L., Birrell L. & Allsop, S. Healthy, wealthy and wise: the long-term effectiveness of an online universal program to prevent substance use and mental health problems among Australian youth. National Health and Medical Research Council. (2018 - 2022) ($1,472,709)
  2. Birrell, L., Recipient of the Postgraduate Research Support Scheme, University of New South Wales (2015) ($1,819)
  3. Birrell, L., Australian Postgraduate Award, University of New South Wales (2014 - 2017) ($77,529)
  4. Birrell, L., David Henning Memorial PhD Scholarship, Rotary Club of Parramatta and Australia Rotary Health (2014- 2017) ($9,731)
  • Chapman, C., Birrell., L., Champion, K., Stapinski, L., Kay-Lambkin, F., Deen, H., Brierley, M.E., Teesson, M., Newton, N. Cracks in the Ice Online Toolkit. Australian Rotary Health Knowledge Dissemination Award (Team Award; 2017).
  • Innovation in the Prevention and Education, 2017 National Alcohol and other Drug Excellence and Innovation awards. Alcohol and Drug Foundation for Climate Schools.
  • Jennifer McLaren Award for Outstanding Research Achievement, National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, UNSW (2015)
  • Best Overall Oral Presentation, Society for Mental Health Research Conference, Brisbane (2015)
  • Australian Rotary Health “Knowledge Dissemination Award 2014” to CREMS Prevention stream for translation of Climate Schools and Positive Choices (Team award; 2014)