Associate Professor Meredith Harris

Principal Research Fellow

School of Public Health
Faculty of Medicine
+61 7 3271 8675


Meredith Harris is a researcher in the field of mental health services research and evaluation. She is a Senior Research Fellow with the School of Public Health at the University of Queensland, and is the Deputy Director/Principal Researcher of the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research.

Meredith holds qualifications in psychology, policy and applied social research, and public health. She has over 25 years of experience in the management and administration of research projects, including systematic literature reviews, cross-sectional and longitudinal studies, studies based on epidemiological survey data, and evaluations of health programs and interventions using observational, quasi-experimental and experimental research designs.

Meredith's research focuses on how the health system can be designed to maximise reduction in the burden of mental and substance use disorders. Her current research interests include:

  • investigating clinical and psychosocial outcomes of mental health treatment services and models;
  • evaluating primary mental health care reforms;
  • understanding population patterns of health service utilisation for mental health problems; and
  • using epidemiological and policy analyses to inform mental health service planning decisions.

Meredith's current role is with the Analysis and Reporting Component of the Australian Mental Health Outcomes and Classification Network (AMHOCN), which leads the design, analysis and reporting of the National Outcomes and Casemix Collection ( In this role, she is leading a range of projects designed to improve the measurement of patient- and service-level outcomes in Australia's specialised public sector mental health services.

Research Impacts

Meredith has led several major research projects that have directly informed mental health policy and service planning. For example, she undertook two empirical mental health planning studies that developed service planning targets for public sector mental health services and community support services funded by the Queensland government. The recommendations from these studies were taken up directly in the subsequent Queensland Mental Health Plan 2007-17 and informed the Queensland Department of Communities’ Supporting Recovery: Mental Health Community Services Plan 2011-2017.

She has led or contributed to a number of projects related to initiatives implemented under the National Mental Health Strategy. For example, she was an investigator on several components of a government-funded evaluation of the Better Access initiative; particularly, she led Component B which involved an in-depth analysis of patterns of use of mental health services delivered subsidised via the Medicare Benefits Schedule. The evaluation contributed evidence that has been widely used in ongoing national debate about access, equity and outcomes associated with this major national mental health reform, and informed refinements to the program guidelines.

Meredith’s research has involved novel applications of epidemiological survey data to answer policy-relevant questions about the performance of Australia’s mental health system. Using these data, for example, she published the first study to quantify minimally adequate treatment for affective and anxiety disorders in the Australian mental health system, the first published independent evaluation of a major primary mental health care initiative (the Better Access program), and the first study to examine the match between practice guideline recommendations and treatment of subthreshold depression in Australian primary care settings. Collectively, these studies have contributed to ongoing debates and efforts to understand the impact of policy and service impacts of measures of disease burden related to mental disorders.


  • Doctor of Philosophy, The University of Queensland
  • Master of Policy and Applied Social Research, Macquarie University
  • Master of Public Health, The University of Sydney
  • Bachelor of Arts (Hons), Macquarie University


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Book Chapter

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Other Outputs

PhD and MPhil Supervision

Current Supervision

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

  • Doctor Philosophy — Associate Advisor

    Other advisors:

Completed Supervision