Debra Rickwood

Debra Rickwood
University of Canberra · Faculty of Health

Bachelor of Arts (Hons), PhD

About

216
Publications
129,370
Reads
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9,324
Citations
Citations since 2017
88 Research Items
6208 Citations
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Introduction
I am an applied researcher focused on mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan but particularly for young people. I research pathways to care for mental health problems, and development and evaluation of innovations in service delivery for people experiencing mental health issues. Current major research projects - NHMRC partnership grant - Building a Lifeline for the Future https://www.lifeline.org.au/about/our-research/building-a-lifeline-for-the-future-expectations-innovations-outcomes/

Publications

Publications (216)
Article
Purpose Internet child abuse material (I/CAM) offences negatively affect children in our own communities and in the wider virtual world. This study aims to understand the differentiation between online (internet) and offline (contact) offenders. The development of the Estimated Risk for Internet Child Sexual Offending (ERICSO), a proposed instrumen...
Article
Objective: The authors aimed to evaluate changes in use of government-subsidized primary mental health services, through the Medicare Benefits Schedule (MBS), by young people during the first year of the COVID-19 pandemic in Australia and whether changes were associated with age, sex, socioeconomic status, and residence in particular geographical...
Article
Purpose There are a limited number of risk assessment tools relevant to the internet child abuse material (I/CAM) offender cohort. The purpose of this paper is to introduce a new tool, the “Estimated Risk for Internet Child Sexual Offending” (ERICSO). The ERICSO has been developed to assist in the treatment and prevention of sexual crimes against c...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Many young people with mental ill-health do not seek support, and developmental growth in self-reliance may be a barrier to help-seeking. Increasing autonomy is a positive developmental task for youth and a key aspect of resilience. This study examined the influence of perceived social support and resilience on the previously unexamined rel...
Article
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Introduction Opportunities for improved mental health and wellbeing of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children and young people lie in improving the capability of primary healthcare services to identify mental healthcare needs and respond in timely and appropriate ways. The development of culturally appropriate mental health assessment tools...
Preprint
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Australia's headspace initiative is world-leading in nation-wide youth mental healthcare reform for young people aged 12 to 25 years, now with 16 years of implementation. This paper examines changes in the key outcomes of psychological distress, psychosocial functioning, and quality of life for young people accessing headspace centres across Austra...
Article
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Background Emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), have the potential to enhance service responsiveness and quality, improve reach to underserved groups, and help address the lack of workforce capacity in health and mental health care. However, little research has been conducted on the acceptability of AI, particularly in menta...
Article
Suicide remains a leading cause of preventable death worldwide, despite advances in research and decreases in mental health stigma through government health campaigns. Machine learning (ML), a type of artificial intelligence (AI), is the use of algorithms to simulate and imitate human cognition. Given the lack of improvement in clinician-based suic...
Preprint
Background: Substance use remains a barrier to recovery for young people accessing early intervention services for psychosis. While correlates of use have been explored in populations experiencing a First Episode of Psychosis (FEP), sample sizes have been small and less research assesses cohorts at Ultra-High Risk of psychosis (UHR). Methods: This...
Article
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Aims The utility of quality of life (QoL) as an outcome measure in youth-specific primary mental health care settings has yet to be determined. We aimed to determine: (i) whether heterogeneity on individual items of a QoL measure could be used to identify distinct groups of help-seeking young people; and (ii) the validity of these groups based on h...
Article
Introduction: In Australian youth primary mental health settings it is unclear as to the rates and correlates of tobacco use at service entry. Aims and methods: We aimed to delineate the prevalence and correlates of recent tobacco use (eg, cigarettes, chewing tobacco, cigars, etc) in the past 3 months in young people at their first presentation...
Article
Lifeline Australia aims to prevent suicide and support community members in personal crisis via the provision of free anonymous telephone, online chat and text message services. This study aimed to identify the expectations and outcomes of Lifeline help‐seekers, including whether there are differences between suicide‐related and non‐suicide‐related...
Article
In a recent Correspondence in The Lancet Planetary Health, Sampaio and Sequeria [1] state that “climate anxiety is not yet considered a mental health disorder” and might be a risk factor for mental disorders, which is something that we contest. The authors further claim that “climate anxiety occurs mainly in lower-income countries located in areas...
Article
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Backgroundheadspace centres provide enhanced primary mental healthcare for young people. A priority is to provide services for all young people irrespective of a range of social disadvantages or social exclusion. The aims of this study were to: (i) delineate extent of social inclusion across domains of housing, studying/employment, functioning, alc...
Article
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There are concerns that involving adolescents bereaved by suicide and other traumatic death in research may cause distress and harm. However, no study has investigated such bereaved adolescents’ research experiences. In addition, no study has looked at the experiences of parents and clinicians as participants in adolescent suicide and traumatic dea...
Article
Aims Services for individuals with a first episode of psychosis or at ultra-high risk of psychosis have become a treatment model of choice in mental health care. The longitudinal changes in clinical and functional outcomes as a result of real-world treatment remain under-reported. Methods We analysed data from first episode of psychosis and ultra-...
Article
Full-text available
Background Many adolescents struggle with their grief and mental health issues after the death of a close person, such as a family member or a friend. Given the potentially devastating impact of the loss on the adolescent and their family, professional help can be warranted. However, little is known about how to best help these adolescents. This st...
Article
Crisis lines provide a critical first line of mental wellbeing support for community members in distress. Given the increasing referral to such services, there is a need to understand what the expectations of the community are around the role of such services in our public health responses. A computer assisted telephone interview was undertaken bet...
Article
Experiencing a death by suicide is a devastating event in the lives of adolescents; however, little is known about what makes help helpful according to their experiences. Thematic analysis of individual and group interview data (N = 18) yielded four themes: feeling connected with, and understood by a helper, having a sense of control over, and acce...
Article
This is the first study to describe psychometric properties of the Kessler Psychological Distress Scale (K6) in a large cohort of help-seeking young people presenting to primary mental health care services. The aim was to determine whether the K6 was appropriate for monitoring outcomes in such settings. 1067 young people were recruited from Austral...
Article
Background : Suicidal ideation is common in young people. Assessment and monitoring can help to understand its dynamic nature and inform treatment planning. Aims : The aims were to evaluate psychometric properties of a brief screening tool - the Youth Suicide Ideation Screen-3 item (YSIS-3) and determine its correlation with the Suicidal Ideation...
Preprint
Background: Quality Adjusted Life Years (QALYs) are often used in economic evaluations, yet utility weights for deriving them are rarely directly measured in mental health services. Objectives: We aimed to: (i) identify the best Transfer To Utility (TTU) algorithms and predictors for an adolescent specific Multi-Attribute Utility Instrument - the A...
Technical Report
Full-text available
Position Statement of International Union for Health Promotion and Education (2021). Critical Actions for Mental Health Promotion
Article
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PurposeHeadspace services provide treatment options to young people seeking mental healthcare. To obtain a better understanding of needs and characteristics of this population, and effectively evaluate services, we require novel youth-specific outcome measures. As part of our broad research program to establish such measures, a sample of young peop...
Article
Background: Subjective cognitive symptoms are common in young people receiving mental health treatment and are associated with poorer outcomes. The aim of this study was to determine the psychometric properties of the Neuropsychological Symptoms Self-Report (NSSR), an eight-item measure recently developed to provide a snapshot of young people's pe...
Article
Full-text available
Background Young people, aged 15-25 years, are at a critical stage of life when they need to navigate vocational pathways and achieve work and study outcomes. Those with mental health problems are particularly at risk of disengagement with work and study and need effective support. The headspace Work and Study (hWS) service is an innovative online...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Having someone close die through suicide or another form of traumatic death is a distressing event in the lives of adolescents, putting them at risk of grief and mental health ramifications. As most research in this field has been focused on intrapersonal grief reactions, this study aimed to broaden the perspective by exploring the imp...
Article
Background: Crisis support services play an important role in providing free, immediate access to support people in the community experiencing a personal crisis. Recently, services have expanded from telephone to digital modalities including online chat and text message services. This raises the question of what outcomes are being achieved for incr...
Article
Full-text available
Background Informal carers suffer from worse health outcomes than non-carers due to their caregiving role. Yet, in a society carers health is as important as that of their care recipients. This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal soci...
Article
Purpose Timely access to effective treatment is a primary goal for mental health services; however, when demand exceeds available resources, services may place clients on a waitlist or restrict services. This paper aims to identify approaches used by mental health services to manage service demand and waitlists. Design/methodology/approach A revie...
Article
Young drivers exhibit high levels of risky driving behaviour, including texting while driving (TWD). The aim of this study was to examine the influence of personality (rash impulsivity, reward seeking), fear of missing out (FOMO) and mobile phone involvement (MPI) on frequency of TWD. Six hundred and twelve young drivers aged 17 to 24 years complet...
Article
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Objective: Measurement feedback systems provide clinicians with regular snapshots of a client’s mental health status, which can be used in treatment planning and client feedback. There are numerous barriers to clinicians using outcome measures routinely. This study aimed to investigate factors affecting the use of a measurement feedback system acro...
Article
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Background This study aimed to investigate what therapeutic interventions were being applied by clinicians working with young people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or borderline traits in Australian primary mental health care settings. Given the current lack of evidence-based guidelines for treatment with this client population...
Article
Full-text available
Background Subjective cognitive difficulties are common in mental illness and have a negative impact on role functioning. Little is understood about subjective cognition and the longitudinal relationship with depression and anxiety symptoms in young people. Aims To examine the relationship between changes in levels of depression and anxiety and ch...
Article
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Objective: Young people (ages 12-25) experience the highest risk of developing mental disorders; however, their uptake of and engagement with treatment is low. The study explored sociodemographic predictors of attendance and discontinuation of mental health services in a large, population-based sample. Methods: Data were from the minimum data se...
Article
Objective: Young people (ages 12–25) experience the highest risk of developing mental disorders; however, their uptake of and engagement with treatment is low. The study explored sociodemographic predictors of attendance and discontinuation of mental health services in a large, population-based sample. Methods: Data were from the minimum data set c...
Article
Full-text available
Aim MyLifeTracker is a session‐by‐session mental health outcome measure for young people aged 12 to 25 years. The aim of this study was to determine clinically significant change indexes for this measure that would identify developmentally appropriate thresholds. The study also aimed to determine expected change trajectories to enable clinicians to...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Young people, aged 15-25 years, are at a critical stage of life when they need to navigate vocational pathways and achieve work and study outcomes. Those with mental health problems are particularly at risk of disengagement with work and study and need effective support. The headspace Work and Study (hWS) service is an innovative online...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background This study aimed to investigate what therapeutic interventions are currently being applied by clinicians working with young people who have a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or borderline traits. Given the current lack of evidence-based guidelines with this client population, investigating what is occurring currently is need...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background This study aimed to investigate what therapeutic interventions were being applied by clinicians working with young people with a diagnosis of Borderline Personality Disorder or borderline traits in Australian primary mental health care settings. Given the current lack of evidence-based guidelines for treatment with this client population...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal social capital- a logically linked sequence of their social behaviour such as community participation, social support and trust in others- on their health outcomes while controlling...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Informal carers suffer from worse health outcomes than non-carers due to their caregiving role. Yet, in a society carers health is as important as that of their care recipients. This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal soc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Informal carers suffer from worse health outcomes than non-carers due to their caregiving role. Yet, in a society carers health is as important as that of their care recipients. This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal soc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Informal carers suffer from worse health outcomes than non-carers due to their caregiving role. Yet, in a society carers health is as important as that of their care recipients. This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal soc...
Preprint
Full-text available
Background: Informal carers suffer from worse health outcomes than non-carers due to their caregiving role. Yet, in a society carers health is as important as that of their care recipients. This study investigated the self-assessed mental and general health outcomes of informal carers in Australia. It evaluated the influence of carers’ personal soc...
Article
Peer support programs offer a promising approach to addressing the high levels of stress and psychological distress reported by university students. However, few studies have considered the impact of implemented programs on the wellbeing and skill development of student facilitators. This study examines the experiences of student facilitators of a...
Article
Aim: Over the past two decades, the youth mental health field has expanded and advanced considerably. Yet, mental disorders continue to disproportionately affect adolescents and young adults. Their prevalence and associated morbidity and mortality in young people have not substantially reduced, with high levels of unmet need and poor access to evi...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Depression is highly prevalent and the leading contributor to the burden of disease in young people worldwide, making it an ongoing priority for early intervention. As the current evidence-based interventions of medication and psychological therapy are only modestly effective, there is an urgent need for additional treatment strategies...
Article
Aim: A growing number of quantitative studies have investigated the utility of neuropsychological assessment in mental health settings. However, to the best of our knowledge, no previous study has qualitatively explored youth mental health providers' perceptions of neuropsychological assessment services. A more in-depth understanding of the percei...
Article
Background: Systematic reviews and meta-analyses (reviews) conflict regarding the efficacy and feasibility of substance disorder treatments for young people (YP). This overview of reviews, synthesizes, and methodologically assesses reviews examining substance disorder interventions for YP in outpatient settings. Methods: Reviews published betwee...
Article
Recent studies have shown that neuropsychological assessment is a scarce resource in youth mental health settings. The need for neuropsychological assessment might differ in metropolitan and nonmetropolitan areas due to characteristics inherent to these different regions. However, no formal studies have investigated this question. The aim of this r...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Two common barriers to help-seeking are lack of awareness of appropriate services, and low mental health literacy. The headspace awareness campaigns are designed to address these factors. Aims: To examine whether distance from a headspace centre affects community awareness of headspace, and whether general awareness of headspace change...
Article
Full-text available
Aim headspace is Australia's innovation in youth mental healthcare and comprises the largest national network of enhanced primary care, youth mental health centres world‐wide. headspace centres aim to intervene early in the development of mental ill‐health for young people aged 12 to 25 years by breaking down the barriers to service access experien...
Article
Background Young people's vulnerability to developing mental illness makes it important to understand therapeutic change, integrating the views of both young people and their therapists, to improve treatment effectiveness. To date, qualitative research aiming to triangulate experiences of therapeutic change in young people has not clearly different...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Online youth mental health services are an expanding approach to meeting service need, and can be used as the first step in a stepped-care approach. Limited evidence exists, however, regarding satisfaction with online services and there is no standardised service satisfaction measure. OBJECTIVE This study implemented an online youth men...
Article
Full-text available
Background: Online youth mental health services are an expanding approach to meeting service need and can be used as the first step in a stepped-care approach. However, limited evidence exists regarding satisfaction with online services, and there is no standardized service satisfaction measure. Objective: This study implemented an online youth...
Article
Objective To determine the perceived met and unmet need for clinical neuropsychological assessment (CNA) in headspace youth mental health services Australia wide. Method Brief online survey of headspace service providers exploring the number and types of clients seen, confidence in identifying neurocognitive impairments, and need, availability and...
Article
Full-text available
Given the ubiquity and interactive power of smartphones, there are opportunities to develop smartphone applications (apps) that provide novel, highly accessible mental health supports. This paper details the development of a smartphone app, “MoodMission,” that aims to provide evidence-based Cognitive Behavior Therapy (CBT) strategies for mood- and...
Article
Many smartphone applications (apps) for mental health (MHapps) are available to the public. However, few have been the subject of a randomized controlled trial (RCT), and the change processes that are hypothesized to mediate claimed effects have not been previously studied. This RCT compared the efficacy of three publicly available MHapps to a wait...
Article
Background Mobile phone use while driving is a well-recognized area of concern. However, while texting/calling among young adult drivers has received much research attention, more research is needed regarding other phone functions used by young adults while driving. Study aim To explore mobile phone functions used by young adult drivers while dr...
Article
Full-text available
Rationale: Many young people turn to music as a way of exploring and managing their moods and emotions. The literature is replete with studies that correlate music preferences and mental health, as well as a small but increasing interest in uses of music to promote well-being. Recent studies have shown that music use is often unconscious, thus dif...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose Routine outcome measures are now being designed for session-by-session use, with emphasis on clinically meaningful items and sensitivity to change. Despite an increasing mental health service focus for young people aged 12–25 years, there is a lack of outcome measures that are designed to be used across this age group. Consequently, MyLifeT...
Article
Full-text available
Today’s young people have integrated the online world into their everyday reality and schools have generally accepted the importance of technology in the education process. However, there has been limited use in schools of technology to counsel young people, although early indications suggest that school counsellors may be prepared to offer synchro...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to collate the available research into the characteristics of child abuse material (CAM) offenders to inform future assessment and treatment options. This systematic review collates the contribution and directionality of variables from existing research assessing an offenders’ use of CAM. Design/methodology/ap...
Article
Purpose The purpose of this paper is to summarise the available risk and assessment tools for child abuse material (CAM) offenders. Noting the rise of internet-based offences surrounding CAM, it has been proposed that there may be substantial differences between internet only (IO) offenders, contact only and mixed profile sexual offenders. Design...
Article
Full-text available
Although mental health problems represent the largest burden of disease in young people, access to mental health care has been poor for this group. Integrated youth health care services have been proposed as an innovative solution. Integrated care joins up physical health, mental health and social care services, ideally in one location, so that a y...
Article
The current study extends the Activity Restriction Model of Depressed Affect (Williamson, 1998) by exploring the relationship between parental caregiving burden, activity restriction, and depressive symptoms. It investigated the mediating role of restriction on three types of activities (daily routine, personal control, and social) in the relations...
Article
Suicide-related behaviours are relatively common among school-aged young people, and schools are an appropriate setting for activities that aim to prevent and assist recovery after suicide. headspace School Support is a specialist service that assists Australian secondary schools to be prepared for and recover from suicide. Through the responses of...
Article
A substantial body of research has reported negative outcomes due to caregiving, however, little is known about how caring for a young person with mental ill-health impacts on parents and carers. This study aims to examine whether, like carers of older people, they experience elevated levels of caregiver burden and stress. It expands on earlier stu...