Dr Melissa Petrakis

Senior Lecturer; Course Coordinator BHS (Human Services);

Group Director, Social Work Innovation, Transformation and Collaboration in Health (SWITCH) Research Group

PhD, BA, BSW, MSW Research

Email: melissa.petrakis@monash.edu

Telephone : +61 3 9903 4497

Melissa Petrakis Research: Monash University Research


Dr Melissa Petrakis is a Senior Lecturer at Monash University, Department of Social Work. She has worked in mental health services for over 20 years, as a clinician then practice-based researcher. She has authored over 50 publications; delivered over 80 national/international conference presentations. She is Chief Investigator of a 10-year longitudinal study into evidence-based early psychosis treatment, with St Vincent's Hospital (Melbourne). In 2016 she was awarded The Tom Trauer Evaluation and Research Award, Australian and New Zealand TheMHS Awards, acknowledging excellence in her approach to research, championing co-design, co-production and co-authorship, with clinicians and people with lived experience of mental illness.

Dr Petrakis' career focus in research is to achieve excellence in mental health services research. She has a particular emphasis on the implementation of evidence-based practice (EBP), conducting practice-based research (PBR), and the fostering of practitioner-researcher opportunities for skilled clinicians. She is actively engaged in supporting lived experience voices in research, and in co-production with emerging consumer and carer researchers.


Unit Coordination:

SWM5104 - Critical social work 2: Frameworks for practice in health and mental health

SWM5241 - Mental health practice

SWK4401 - Critical social work 4: Individual, health and society (context and practice)


Family Burden and Social Support in Mental Illness: A Comparative Study in Schizophrenia and Mood Disorders

Josy Thomas, PhD awarded 2018

Family Intervention in Early Psychosis

Katharine (Kate) Day, MSW (Research) awarded 2019

Self-as-mother: the role of a relational self in the development and support of maternal identity and wellbeing in the early years of parenting

Lauren Hansen, PhD awarded 2019

Cultural Humility Training in Mental Health Service Provision

Mayio Konidaris, PhD candidate

How does viewing material on common humanity impact on healthcare workers' level of compassion?

Deborah (Debbie) Ling, PhD candidate

Dual diagnosis interventions in mental health community support services: Outcomes from a national trial to enhance skills in direct practice staff

Kevan Myers, PhD candidate

Opportunities for change: What factors influence non-traditional students to enrol in higher education

Deanna McCall, MPhil candidate

Breaking Bad News on Social Media: an exploratory study of the implications of the use of social networking sites in the trauma hospital environment

Margaret (Margi) Cowgill, PhD candidate

The development and implementation of evidence-based treatments (EBTs) in dual diagnosis practice

Simon Kroes, MPhil candidate

Enhancing LGBTIQ+ Responsiveness in Mental Health Services

Jan Kilicaslan, PhD candidate


Family violence recovery project

Petrakis, M.

1/06/17 → 31/05/18

Project: Research

Mental health peer workforce supervision research project

Petrakis, M.

12/04/17 → 12/04/18

Project: Research

Multicultural Support Facilitation research project

Petrakis, M.

11/04/17 → 1/12/17

Project: Research

Dual Diagnosis Capacity Building Research and Evaluation project

Petrakis, M.

31/03/17 → 31/07/18

Project: Research

Severe and persistent mental illness information resource project

Petrakis, M.

17/09/14 → 17/06/15

Project: Research

Chinese Community Mental Health Engagement & Stigma Reduction Project

Petrakis, M.

26/08/14 → 20/08/16

Project: Research

Select Publications

Challenges in implementing individual placement and support in the Australian mental health service and policy context.

Stirling, Y., Higgins, K. & Petrakis, M., 1 Jan 2018, In : Australian Health Review. 42, 1, p. 82-88 7 p.

Cultural humility training in mental health service provision. Konidaris, M. & Petrakis, M., 2018, In : New Paradigm. Summer 2017/18, p. 30-33 4 p.

Dual diagnosis competencies: A systematic review of staff training literature.

Petrakis, M., Robinson, R., Myers, K., Kroes, S. & O'Connor, S., 1 Jun 2018, In : Addictive Behaviors Reports. 7, p. 53-57 5 p.

Outcomes from a compassion training intervention for health care workers.

Ling, D., Olver, J. & Petrakis, M., 31 Aug 2018, In : Socialni Prace. 18, 4, p. 88-96 9 p.

Recovery co-design and peer workforce development in the acute inpatient setting.

Chavulak, J., Buckley, L. & Petrakis, M., 2018, In : New Paradigm. Summer 2017/18, p. 34-39 6 p.

Somewhere to be safe: women’s experiences of a women-only Prevention and Recovery Care (PARC) service.

Dixon, K. J., Boase, A., Fossey, E. M. & Petrakis, M., 2018, In : New Paradigm. 2017/18, Summer, p. 45-48

Vocational support in mental health service delivery in Australia.

Petrakis, M., Stirling, Y. & Higgins, K., 9 Oct 2018, (Accepted/In press) In : Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy.


Early intervention in psychosis: Health of the Nation Outcome Scales (HoNOS) outcomes from a five-year prospective study.

Penno, S. J., Hamilton, B. & Petrakis, M., Dec 2017, In : Archives of Psychiatric Nursing. 31, 6, p. 553-560 8 p.

Family group interventions in an early psychosis program: A re-evaluation of practice after 10 years of service delivery.

Day, K., Starbuck, R. & Petrakis, M., 1 Aug 2017, In : International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 63, 5, p. 433-438 6 p.

Family interventions in early psychosis service delivery: A systematized review.

Day, K. & Petrakis, M., 2017, In : Social Work in Mental Health. 15, 6, p. 632-650 19 p.

Who experiences seclusion? An examination of demographics and duration in a public acute inpatient mental health service.

Chavulak, J. & Petrakis, M., 2017, In : Social Work in Health Care. 56, 6, p. 524-540 17 p.


Uses of strength-based interventions for people with serious mental illness: A critical review.

Tse, S., Tsoi, E. W. S., Hamilton, B. E., O'Hagan, M., Shepherd, G., Slade, M., Whitley, R. & Petrakis, M., 1 Feb 2016, In: International Journal of Social Psychiatry. 62, 3, p. 281-291 11 p.


Consumer measures and research co-production: A pilot study evaluating the recovery orientation of a mental health program collaboration.

Petrakis, M., Brophy, L., Lewis, J., Stylianou, M., Scott, M., Cocks, N., Buckley, L. & Halloran, K., 2014, In : Asia Pacific Journal of Social Work and Development. 24, 1-2, p. 94 - 108 15 p.

Evaluation of a four-week rehabilitation assessment program introduced at an Australian Community Care Units setting: mental health patient and clinician perspectives.

Nguy, J., Petrakis, M. & Wilson, M., 2014, In : European Journal for Person Centered Healthcare. 2, 3, p. 359 - 366 8 p.

Family perceptions of benefits and barriers to first episode psychosis carer group participation.

Petrakis, M., Bloom, H. & Oxley, J., 2014, In : Social Work in Mental Health. 12, 2, p. 99 - 116 18 p.

Books/Book Chapters

A foundation for dual diagnosis practice: wisdom, tools and resources.

Myers, K., Kroes, S. & Petrakis, M., 2018, Social Work Practice in Health: An introduction to contexts, theories and skills. Petrakis, M. (ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin, p. 135-152 19 p.

An introduction to health and health services practice, and the social determinants of health.

Petrakis, M. & Lethborg, C., 2018, Social Work Practice in Health: An introduction to contexts, theories and skills. Petrakis, M. (ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin, p. 3-20 18 p.

Early intervention in mental health: opportunities and challenges.

Day, K. & Petrakis, M., 2018, Social Work Practice in Health: An introduction to contexts, theories and skills. Petrakis, M. (ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin, p. 100-115 16 p.

Hospital-based trauma social work.

Cowgill, M. & Petrakis, M., 2018, Social Work Practice in Health: An introduction to contexts, theories and skills. Petrakis, M. (ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin, p. 50-66 17 p.

Social Work Practice in Mental Health Care Settings.

Petrakis, M. & Sheehan, R., 28 Jun 2018, Social Work: Fields of Practice. Alston, M., McCurdy, S. & McKinnon, J. (eds.). 3rd ed. Oxford UK: Oxford University Press, p. 149-164 16 p.

The social worker’s role within an adult mental health inter-professional collaborative team.

Alakus, C. & Petrakis, M., 2018, Social Work Practice in Health: An introduction to contexts, theories and skills. Petrakis, M. (ed.). Crows Nest NSW: Allen & Unwin, p. 116-134 20 p.