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Townsend, Michelle Dr

Senior Research Fellow

  • School of Psychology
  • Faculty of the Arts, Social Sciences and Humanities
  • Research Fellow Illawarra Born: cross generation health study - Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute 2012 -
  • Research Manager - Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders 2016 -

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Dr Townsend is a Senior Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders at the University of Wollongong. Dr Townsend’s research areas include the long-term outcomes from adverse childhood experiences and child and adolescent well-being particularly, in the areas of mental health, self-harm, suicidal behaviours and education. Much of her current work is with NSW government department bringing together evidence based research to collaboratively improve outcomes for children and young people.

Available as Research Supervisor

Selected Publications


Other Research Activities


Impact Story


  • The importance of intervening early for young people with complex mental health difficulties has been recommended by research and clinical guidelines.  The school environment offers an ideal opportunity for early identification and intervention. Project Air Strategy for Schools is a collaborative partnership between NSW Ministry of Health and NSW Department of Education and Project Air Strategy at the University of Wollongong. Together we developed a whole of school framework and provided guidelines, accredited training, resources and opportunities to  collaborate together as educational professionals, targeted at enhancing their identification, understanding and capacity to respond to complex mental health issues, such as personality disorder and associated behaviours such as self-harm. Research undertaken pre and post program implementation demonstrated improvements in education professionals confidence, knowledge and skills in working with young people with complex mental health issues. The intervention also improved the capacity of schools to plan and implement strategies to reduce the impact of mental health problems on the young person and their peers. A stay-at-school psychological care approach was fostered by enhancing partnerships between class teachers and school counsellors.

Available as Research Supervisor

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) The Impact of Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Others: A Study of Romantic Partners and Family Members Day, Nicholas
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Exploring the implementation of a culturally situated trauma informed therapeutic approach for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Illawarra living in Out of Home Care or being restored to their family. Lukey, Samantha
    Doctor of Philosophy Effective Early Intervention in Adolescent to Parent Violence Through an Attachment Theory and Insight Oriented Parenting Program. Toole-Anstey, Chye
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Stemming the Tide of Personality Disorders AcrossFamilies: Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention to Modify the Risk for the Transgenerational Transmission of Attachment Trauma Steele, Kayla
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Evaluation of a peer-led group treatment of borderline personality disorder: Increasing trust and engagement through peer support Barr, Karlen
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Personality Disorders, Likelihood of Sexual Offending, and Diagnostic Manifestations: A Three-Part Dissertation Study Hashworth, Talia
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Beneath the bump: Women's experiences of mental health and bonding during pregnancy. McNamara, Josie
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Borderline Personality Disorder in Males: A study of Gender Differences and Implications for Improving Treatment Outcomes Qian, Xinyu

Keywords


  • Mental health
    Children and young people
    Education
    Child maltreatment
    Out-of-home care
    Self-harm
    Suicide

Full Name


  • M Michelle Townsend, L

Mailing Address


  • Project Air, Building 22, Northfields Clinic

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • M-9667-2017

Top Publications


Research Overview


  • Dr Townsend is a Senior Research Fellow at the Illawarra Health and Medical Research Institute and Project Air Strategy for Personality Disorders at the University of Wollongong. Dr Townsend’s research areas include the long-term outcomes from adverse childhood experiences and child and adolescent well-being particularly, in the areas of mental health, self-harm, suicidal behaviours and education. Much of her current work is with NSW government department bringing together evidence based research to collaboratively improve outcomes for children and young people.

Selected Publications


Other Research Activities


Impact Story


  • The importance of intervening early for young people with complex mental health difficulties has been recommended by research and clinical guidelines.  The school environment offers an ideal opportunity for early identification and intervention. Project Air Strategy for Schools is a collaborative partnership between NSW Ministry of Health and NSW Department of Education and Project Air Strategy at the University of Wollongong. Together we developed a whole of school framework and provided guidelines, accredited training, resources and opportunities to  collaborate together as educational professionals, targeted at enhancing their identification, understanding and capacity to respond to complex mental health issues, such as personality disorder and associated behaviours such as self-harm. Research undertaken pre and post program implementation demonstrated improvements in education professionals confidence, knowledge and skills in working with young people with complex mental health issues. The intervention also improved the capacity of schools to plan and implement strategies to reduce the impact of mental health problems on the young person and their peers. A stay-at-school psychological care approach was fostered by enhancing partnerships between class teachers and school counsellors.

Advisees


  • Graduate Advising Relationship

    Degree Research Title Advisee
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) The Impact of Narcissistic Personality Disorder on Others: A Study of Romantic Partners and Family Members Day, Nicholas
    Doctor of Philosophy (Integrated) Exploring the implementation of a culturally situated trauma informed therapeutic approach for supporting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander children in the Illawarra living in Out of Home Care or being restored to their family. Lukey, Samantha
    Doctor of Philosophy Effective Early Intervention in Adolescent to Parent Violence Through an Attachment Theory and Insight Oriented Parenting Program. Toole-Anstey, Chye
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Stemming the Tide of Personality Disorders AcrossFamilies: Evaluation of a Parenting Intervention to Modify the Risk for the Transgenerational Transmission of Attachment Trauma Steele, Kayla
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Evaluation of a peer-led group treatment of borderline personality disorder: Increasing trust and engagement through peer support Barr, Karlen
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Personality Disorders, Likelihood of Sexual Offending, and Diagnostic Manifestations: A Three-Part Dissertation Study Hashworth, Talia
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Beneath the bump: Women's experiences of mental health and bonding during pregnancy. McNamara, Josie
    Doctor of Philosophy (Clinical Psychology) Borderline Personality Disorder in Males: A study of Gender Differences and Implications for Improving Treatment Outcomes Qian, Xinyu

Keywords


  • Mental health
    Children and young people
    Education
    Child maltreatment
    Out-of-home care
    Self-harm
    Suicide

Full Name


  • M Michelle Townsend, L

Mailing Address


  • Project Air, Building 22, Northfields Clinic

    University of Wollongong

    Wollongong

    NSW

    2522

    Australia

Web Of Science Researcher Id


  • M-9667-2017