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Prof. David Kavanagh, Chair

David is a psychologist with a strong commitment to improving outcomes for people with problems involving mental health or substance use.

With a keen interest in innovative solutions, David brings over 40 years’ experience in clinical psychology research, education and practice.

His work has mainly focused on prevention of relapse in mental disorders and addressing problems with substance use. It aims to support self-management, drawing on the person’s strengths and achievements, and helping them to meet their own goals.

Over the last 11 years, he has been developing and testing web programs, apps and robotic interventions. He currently leads the Australian Department of Health’s e-Mental Health in Practice initiative. Since 2013, this initiative has been encouraging and supporting primary care practitioners across Australia to use digital resources in their work.

David has also made significant contributions to policy and strategic planning through participation in committees of Queensland Health, the Australian Department of Health and the Australian Psychological Society. He has also held leadership positions in community mental health and in universities.

Throughout his career, he has supported the rights of service users for respectful, minimally restrictive care and support, and for their active participation in treatment decisions.

David also strongly argues for the recognition of family members and carers as partners in the support of people experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders, and for services to address their needs.