Teaching and learning for innovation excellence

MindLabs is where we develop the skills and capacities to translate the original findings of our research into actions that make a real difference in people’s lives: new models of care, redeveloped support practices, multidisciplinary collaborations and investment that responds directly to the needs and priorities of consumers.

With MindLabs at the centre of everything we do, our work stays grounded in the everyday reality of living with mental health, drug and alcohol or neurological disorders.

In this video, MindLabs Co-Lead Rachel Morell describes what’s new about this initiative.

What MindLabs does

MindLabs brings together skills, knowledge and expertise from across our Member organisations to enable collaboration and accelerate the transformation of ideas into innovative new treatments and supports. MindLabs offers:

  • Support and guidance to researchers
  • A learning hub for research training
  • A consulting and advisory service

Each of our Flagship research programs works through MindLabs to optimise its research agenda and identify new opportunities for synergies and collaborations across the entire Mindgardens ‘ecosystem’ of staff, people with lived experience and funded research teams.

Research support
MindLabs offers support to plan, design and conduct collaborative research projects in mental health, drug and alcohol and neurological disorders.
Types of support:
Team composition in cross-disciplinary collaborations
Skill matching and mentoring
Bringing in the voice of lived experience through consumer engagement
Ethics applications and grant writing
Connections to potential funders
Advocacy for system and policy change
Seed funding and scholarships
Learning hub
MindLabs supports skills development and strengthens the capacity of researchers, consumers, peer workers and clinicians to create change across mental health, drug and alcohol and neurological disorders.
What we offer:
Training and workshops
Advisory panels and incubator sessions
Research skills and impact
See Events
Consultancy
MindLabs consultancy services are tailored to meet the needs of the evolving mental health, drug and alcohol and neurological disorders healthcare sector.
We offer consultancy in:
Research design
Co-design support
Consumer engagement advice
Grant advice and review
Health services review and evaluation

MindLabs Co-Leads

Rachel Morell

Director Of Business Operations & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Rachel Morell

Director Of Business Operations & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Rachel transitioned from a career in accounting and finance spanning more than 18 years to retrain as an exercise physiologist, joining the Keeping the Body In Mind (KBIM) team as research co-ordinator in 2016 before completing a Master of Science by Research in Psychiatry in 2021. Rachel’s expertise in business operations and governance, together with a wealth of experience in the translation of mental health research into practice, brings a highly specialised skill set to the Mindgardens team, which is vital to the organisation’s mission. She is passionate about providing a supportive and commercially-aware environment to enable collaboration within the Mindgardens Neuroscience Network.

During 2022 Rachel was also appointed Co-Lead of MindLabs, in preparation for an intensified focus on training, research support and seeding grants to build skills across the Mindgardens network for effective multi-disciplinary research collaboration.

Catherine O’Donnell

Director Of Lived Experience Engagement & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Catherine O’Donnell

Director Of Lived Experience Engagement & Mindlabs Co-Lead

Catherine is responsible for ensuring the integration of lived experience perspectives in all Mindgardens research, clinical and education work programs. With a degree in adult education and qualifications in counselling, Catherine’s earlier career was in corporate training and human resources management. She brings her own lived experience of mental health challenges to her role, which involves developing the capacity and diversity of consumer representation and engaging with Mindgardens Members to support lived experience inclusion in their work.

During 2022 Catherine was also appointed Co-Lead of MindLabs, in preparation for an intensified focus on training, research support and seeding grants to build skills across the Mindgardens network for effective multi-disciplinary research collaboration.