Dr Melissa Petrakis
Senior Lecturer / Acting Undergraduate Co-ordinator
Telephone : +61 3 9903 4497
Fax : +61 3 9903 1141
Dr Melissa Petrakis (PhD), is an international expert in practice-based social work research in mental health services. Her Master of Social Work established her as an action research leader in crisis counseling in community services and the not-for-profit sector. Her PhD established her as an emerging international practitioner-researcher in suicide prevention, particularly at the emergency department-community interface. She has delivered more than 60 national and international conference presentations.
Melissa holds concurrent appointments as a Senior Lecturer with Monash University, Department of Social Work, and as the Senior Research Fellow (Early Psychosis and Mental Health) with the Mental Health Service, St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne). This enables her to combine teaching and practice-based research interests. Melissa coordinates the health and mental health unit in the undergraduate and postgraduate social work programs and the mental health practice elective.
For the last 9 years she has been the Chief Investigator of a longitudinal cohort study into evidence-based public mental health early psychosis treatment. The team won a national award for 'Exceptional Care - Research Excellence' (2012). Melissa's strengths-based mental health research contributed to a Silver Award win at the Australian and New Zealand Mental Health Service Achievement Awards (2011), a 'Special Judges' Commendation' (2013) and 'Highly Commended' at the Victorian Public Healthcare Awards (2011).
Her profile internationally has resulted in emerging collaborations with world recovery leaders in the USA, UK, New Zealand and Canada. Melissa reviews for journals in her own social work discipline and in psychiatry and nursing. She has reviewed proposals and manuscripts for international book publishers.
For over 20 years, Melissa has worked in various roles in public mental health service provision, management and research; in the community-managed sector, crisis telephone counselling and referral, and adult inpatient acute psychiatry. Melissa now support clinicians and management to implement and evaluate evidence-based practices in clinical and community-managed mental health services. She is engaged in, and committed to, research co-production with people with lived experience of mental illness and their families.
Research interests: practice-based research, mental health, early psychosis, Strengths Model and recovery-oriented practice, solution-focused brief therapy, consumer/service user co-production, suicide prevention, and program evaluations.
Melissa Petrakis Research: Monash University Research