Dr. Laura Hart is a post-doctoral research fellow working in the Population Mental Health Group at the University of Melbourne. Dr. Hart has began working in the field with Professor Tony Jorm as a Research Assistant developing guidelines on mental health first aid to Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait people. She completed her doctoral thesis in Mental Health First Aid for Eating Disorders. After her PhD, she began researching and developing the "teen Mental Health First Aid" course, a new training program for adolescents aged 16-18, about how to help their friends. This evidence-based school training was 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 has also been involved in the national evaluation of the first edition of the Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Mental Health First Aid program and its update to the second edition in 2012. Since 2012, Dr. Hart has also been completing a three-year postdoctoral research position at La Trobe University working on a program for parents of preschoolers to prevent body dissatisfaction, overweight and disordered eating developing childhood. The "Confident Body, Confident Child" program is being evaluated using a four-arm randomised controlled trial with 350 Victorian parents of children aged 2-6 years. The winner of multiple awards for outstanding research presentations, she is an experienced public speaker, regular presenter national and international scientific conferences, and often invited to facilitate workshops and planning days for NGOs. Dr. Hart's research interests continue to include community-based mental heal
Dr. Laura Hart is a post-doctoral research fellow working in the Population Mental Health Group at the University of Melbourne. Laura’s research focuses on community-based mental health literacy interventions that aim to prevent or increase early intervention for mental illness. Her recent work has involved developing and evaluating the teen Mental Health First Aid course, a new training program for adolescents aged 16-18, about how to help their friends. This evidence-based training was designed with and for young people with mental health problems and their friends. Along with colleagues at La Trobe University, Dr. Hart has also developed a positive body image and healthy eating program for parents of preschool children to prevent body dissatisfaction and disordered eating.