Associate Professor Samuel Harvey leads the Workplace Mental Health Research Program at the Black Dog Institute. He is a psychiatrist and epidemiologist with a particular interest in the overlap between mental health, physical health and work.
Associate Professor Harvey’s main research focus is the relationship between work and mental health. His research in this area 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. Together with Professor Mitchell and Professor Bryant, Dr Harvey is currently leading a five year program of research examining some of the specific mental health problems encountered by police, fire and ambulance officers.
Initially, the Workplace Mental Health Research Program will focus on the mental health of NSW emergency workers, but over time it will expand to consider the entire working age population. Emergency workers have a key role in our society, but their work is often dangerous and significant numbers of emergency workers have difficulties with mental illness as a result. The aims of this program of research are relatively broad, but include trying to better understand how work can cause mental health problems, considering ways of increasing worker resilience and preventing mental disorders and testing new interventions to help promote early return to work following mental illness.