Jane Burns
Jane Burns
2004-05 Harkness Fellow
Senior Manager
National depression initiative of Australia, beyondblue
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Harkness Project Title: Prevention or Treatment in Adolescent Mental Health? A Comparison of U.S. and Australian Strategies and Approaches

Mentors: Charles Irwin, Jr., M.D., and Claire Brindis, Dr.P.H.

Placement: University of California, San Francisco

Biography at time of Harkness Fellowship: Jane Burns, a 2004–05 Harkness Fellow in Health Care Policy, is a senior manager at Australia’s national depression initiative, beyondblue, where she has been instrumental in establishing their nationally and internationally recognized youth agenda. She is a visiting fellow at the Centre for Mental Health Research, Australian National University and an honorary research fellow at the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute, University of Melbourne. Burns holds an ongoing consultancy with Athlete Development Australia as their chief investigator for research exploring the impact of using athletes, musicians and celebrities as role models. She is director and adolescent health advisor to the BounceBack Foundation: Role Models for Youth and a member of the Advisory Committee for the Inspire Foundation. She has a doctorate in public health with training in psychology, psychiatric epidemiology and evidence-based medicine. Her previous appointment as an National Health and Medical Research Council Fellow at the Centre for Adolescent Health (Royal Children's Hospital) covered prevention research in youth suicide, depression, and drug and alcohol use.

Project: Jane Burn’s project explored policy options and strategies to reduce adolescent mental health problems.  She first conducted a literature review, and then used two large datasets (National Survey of Drug Use and Health; Adolescent Health Survey) to examine the prevalence, trajectory, explanatory factors, and associated utilization of adolescent mental health problems.  Finally, she conducted interviews with researchers on different approaches to prevention and treatment.

Career Activity Since Fellowship

  • Chair, STREAT Ltd., 2017
  • CEO, Innowell Pty Ltd., 2017
  • Director, Cooperative Research Centres Association, 2012
  • Chief Executive Officer, Young and Well Co-operative Research Centre, 2011
  • Director, International Partnerships in Research, Practice, and Policy, 2006
  • VicHealth Senior Research Fellowship, Victorian Health Promotion Foundation, 2006
  • Honorary Research Fellow, Brain & Mind Research Institute, University of Sydney, 2006
  • Director of the Sunshine Foundation, and Director of International Health Policy and Research, Inspire Foundation, 2005
  • Policy Manager, Wyeth Australia, 2005
Current Positions: (updated 10/2017)

  • Chair, STREAT Ltd.
  • CEO, Innowell Pty Ltd.

E-Mail: jane@innowell.org

Selected Publications

Hickie IB, McGorry PD, Davenport TA, Rosenberg SP, Mendoza JA, Burns JM, Nicholas J, Christensen H. Getting mental health reform back on track: a leadership challenge for the new Australian Government. Med J Aust. 2014.

Burns J, Menezes M, Finkel RS, Estilow T, Moroni I, Pagliano E, Laurá M, Muntoni F, Herrmann DN, Eichinger K, Shy R, Pareyson D, Reilly MM, Shy ME. Transitioning outcome measures: relationship between the CMTPedS and CMTNSv2 in children, adolescents, and young adults with Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease. J Peripher Nerv Syst. 2013.

Ellis LA, Collin P, Hurley PJ, Davenport TA, Burns JM, Hickie IB. Young men's  attitudes and behaviour in relation to mental health and technology: implications for the development of online mental health services. BMC Psychiatry. 2013.

Monshat K, Khong B, Hassed C, Vella-Brodrick D, Norrish J, Burns J, Herrman H. "A conscious control over life and my emotions:" mindfulness practice and healthy young people. A qualitative study. J Adolesc Health. 2013.

Ellis LA, Collin P, Davenport TA, Hurley PJ, Burns JM, Hickie IB. Young men, mental health, and technology: implications for service design and delivery in the digital age. J Med Internet Res. 2012.

Monshat K, Vella-Brodrick D, Burns J, Herrman H. Mental health promotion in the Internet age: a consultation with Australian young people to inform the design of an online mindfulness training programme. Health Promot Int. 2012.

Yu, J.W. Adams, S.H. Burns, J.M. Brindis, C.D. Irwin, C.E. “Use of Mental Health Counseling as Adolescents Become Young Adults.” Journal of Adolescent Health. 2008.

Burns, J., Boucher, S., Glover, S., Graetz, B., Kay, D., Patton, G., Sawyer, M., Spence, S. “Preventing depression in young people. What does the evidence tell us and how can we use it to inform school based mental health initiatives?” Advances in School Mental Health Promotion. 2008.

Hickie, I. Luscombe, G. Davenport, & Burns. J. “Perspectives of young people on depression: awareness, experiences, attitudes and treatment preferences.” Early Intervention in Psychiatry. 2007.

Murray E, Burns J, See Tai S, Lai R, Nazareth I.  “Interactive Health Communication Applications for Patients with Chronic Disease,” Cochrane Library. 2005.

Burns J., Dudley M., Patton G. and Hazell P., “Clinical management of deliberate self-harm in young people: the need for evidence-based treatments,” Australian and New Zealand Journal of Psychiatr. 2005.

Burns J., Martyres R.M., Clode D., Boldero J., “Overdose in young people using heroin: associations with mental health, prescription drug use and personal circumstances,” Medical Journal of Australia. 2004.

Burgess P., Pirkis J., Buckingham B., Burns J., Eagar K., Eckstein G., “Adult mental health needs and expenditure in Australia,” Social Psychiatry and Psychiatric Epidemiology. 2004.

Martyres R.M., Clode D., Burns J., “Seeking drugs or seeking help? Escalating “doctor shopping” by young heroin users before fatal overdose,” Medical Journal of Australia. 2004.

Pirkis J., Hickie I., Young L., Burns J., Highet N., Davenport T., “An evaluation of beyondblue: the national depression initiative,” International Journal of Mental Health Promotion. 2005.

Burns J., and Marinac A., “Depression. No you’re not a sook,” Sons and Daughters of Vietnam Veterans, Commonwealth Department of Health and Aged Care, 2005.


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