New Centre in Substance Use, Mental Disorders in Young People

November 12, 2018
The University of Sydney will soon be home to a world-first centre tackling substance use and mental disorders in young people.
Headed by Professor Maree Teesson AC, the centre for the prevention, early intervention and treatment of co-occurring substance use and mental disorders will have 60 staff and commence operations from 10 December.

With youth mental health and addiction a current area of increasing international focus, the new centre will bring together researchers nationally and internationally across addiction, mental health and youth health.

Professor Maree Teesson AC

The centre will be a platform to share skills, synergise data, and harness new technologies to develop and trial innovative prevention and early-intervention programs for substance use and mental disorders.

“We are delighted to be joining the University of Sydney,” said Professor Maree Teesson AC.

“The vision of the University in driving innovative world-class research is outstanding and its dedication to translating that research into real-world change is what attracted us to the University.”

Professor Teesson is currently Director of the NHMRC Centre of Research Excellence in Mental Health and Substance Use (CREMS) and NHMRC Principal Research Fellow at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC), based at the University of New South Wales.

“I’m delighted to welcome Maree and her team to the University and look forward to working with her as we work together, along with colleagues in the Brain and Mind Centre and our local health districts, to address this vital issue in our community – the mental well-being of our young people,” said Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research) Professor Duncan Ivison.

“Maree and her team will make a huge contribution to the University’s deep commitment to research excellence and social impact in mental health – indeed, our ambition is to help lead not only in Australia but globally in this complex, challenging area.”

About the centre

Substance use and mental disorders are the leading global causes of burden of disease in young people. The new centre will work closely with the Brain and Mind Centre and other University of Sydney academics addressing mental health and addiction issues and will provide the key focus on the intersection of these issues in young people.

Professor Teesson’s team will be comprised of strong academic leadership, including Associate Professor Katherine Mills, Associate Professor Tim Slade, Associate Professor Nicola Newton and Associate Professor Catherine Chapman. Their expertise spans the fields of psychiatric epidemiology, post-traumatic stress disorder, adolescent and young adult health, and preventative interventions into adolescent alcohol and drug use.

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