Mental Health

Mindgardens Clinic for Depression

Project Lead
Professor Samuel Harvey

Professor Samuel Harvey


Professor Samuel Harvey


Professor Samuel Harvey is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist with a particular interest in the overlap between mental health, physical health and work.

After initially working as a general practitioner, Professor Harvey trained in both general adult and consultation liaison psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry in London. He completed his PhD with the University of London, with a thesis titled Does physical activity protect against common mental disorders? And in 2009, was awarded the UK Royal Society of Medicine Young Epidemiologist of the Year award.

Professor Harvey’s research considers the role work and workplace trauma may have in precipitating mental illness, the occupational outcomes of those already suffering from mental disorders, predictors of sickness absence and workplace based interventions for both the treatment and prevention of mental disorders. He co-leads a five year program of research at UNSW examining specific mental health problems encountered by police, fire and ambulance officers.

Professor Harvey also studies the overlap between physical and mental health, including chronic fatigue syndrome, the impact of depression on chronic medical conditions and the role of lifestyle factors in common mental disorders. He works as a consultation liaison psychiatrist at St George Hospital in Kogarah, where he runs a specialist service for patients with chronic renal disease.

Every year, more than a million adults receive treatment from a GP for depression. It is becoming increasingly clear that some depression is too complicated for a GP to manage alone, but not so complex that the person needs in-patient care or support from a community mental health team. The Depression Clinic is for this “missing middle”.

About the project

The Care Navigation model of care was co-designed with people with a lived experience of depression, working with clinicians and researchers, and may help people living with more complex depression to benefit from comprehensive, coordinated support. The Clinic for Depression will offer Care Navigation which includes:

  • A shared treatment plan including an integrated range of therapies, such as medication, psychological therapy and exercise physiology.
  • Review sessions by a psychiatrist, working in collaboration with a person’s GP.
  • Regular follow-up calls by a non-clinician Patient Care Navigator, to assist people with putting into practice their treatment plan and navigating the mental health system.

A pilot trial in the Depression Clinic aims to evaluate how acceptable and feasible the Care Navigation program is, whether any changes are required, and whether the model leads to improvements in mental health. If it is found to benefit patients, researchers could investigate whether Care Navigation represents value for money and should be made available more widely through the healthcare system. Because it can be delivered via telehealth, Care Navigation could also be used in rural, regional and remote areas.

Funding Sources

  • Commonwealth grant funding awarded by the Australian Government Department of Health and Aged Care

Other Projects

Learn about other Mindgardens research projects.

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