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About the centre

A world-first centre tackling substance use and mental disorders
The Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use is a multidisciplinary research centre committed to improving the health and wellbeing of people affected by co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

Established in 2018, the Matilda Centre for Research in Mental Health and Substance Use aims to generate innovative and workable solutions to address substance use and mental disorders, which are currently the leading global causes of burden and disease in young people.

We work closely with research collaborators to share skills, synergise data and harness new technologies to develop and trial innovative prevention and early-intervention programs for co-occurring substance use and mental disorders.

We’re committed to

  • bringing together globally recognised researchers with a shared commitment to the prevention, early intervention and treatment of mental and substance use disorders
  • leading research to build the evidence base for a thriving and empowered younger generation
  • engaging with decision-makers and people with lived experience to enact real change
  • acting as a focal point and link between University of Sydney researchers, policy leaders and clinicians.

We facilitate collaboration

Our people are leading Australian and international researchers in addiction, mental health and youth health and our work builds dynamic, creative and global collaborations.

We invite those who share our mission to find workable solutions to prevent and treat comorbid mental health and substance use disorders to contact us.

We’re supervisors and mentors too

As leaders in our fields, we are proud to be educating a new generation of researchers, practitioners and teachers so that they too can think differently about substance use and mental health disorders.

We offer a range of opportunities for research students and early career researchers to study or work with us and receive mentorship from our internationally recognised researchers.

We can help you upskill

We also offer a range of training programs and resources for clinicians, school staff, families and the community to facilitate knowledge exchange around mental health and substance use, with the aim of improving support and changing lives.


Join us in our mission to help youth across the globe who are struggling with substance use or mental health by getting in touch.

Related articles

13 August 2020

BHP Foundation supports COVID-19 Mental Health Think Tank

COVID-19 Mental Health Response Independent Think Tank brings together a broad range of expertise to pursue evidence-based mental health policy.
05 August 2020

Research funding to further support the mental health of Australians

More than $3million in funding has been awarded to two Matilda Centre academics for projects on unifying prevention of substance use and mental disorders; and treatment of child and adolescent trauma.

05 August 2020

Childhood adversity and substance use: exploring the connection and how to prevent harms

Roughly 40% of people have experienced childhood adversity and subsequently, have a substantially greater risk of developing substance use problems than those who have not had these experiences. Matilda Centre PhD candidate, Lucy Grummitt, is currently investigating why these exposures may cause substance use problems to inform the next stage of her work in substance use prevention.

05 August 2020

Empowering young people to support each other and develop lifelong skills

We speak to Dr Louise Birrell about her work in adolescent mental health and alcohol prevention and the new app she is developing called Mind your Mate.
05 August 2020

2020 PREMISE Career Development Support Grants awarded

The Matilda Centre has awarded a third round of PREMISE Career Development Support Grants, providing support for career development activities for early to mid-career researchers or research students.

03 August 2020

New culturally inclusive program for school-based drug prevention

An upcoming trial provides an exciting opportunity for 24 Australian high schools to be among the first to implement a new, culturally inclusive, school-based, drug and alcohol program for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander, and non-Indigenous students.

06 May 2020

The Matilda Centre to receive additional funds to address the impact of COVID-19

The Matilda Centre is to receive additional funding from the federal government to enhance online support services for people experience drug and alcohol problems during the COVID-19 pandemic.
17 April 2020

Revealing the hidden epidemic of child and adolescent trauma in Australia

Senior Research Fellow and Psychologist, Dr Emma Barrett, shares some of the projects she is working on at the Matilda Centre.
17 April 2020

Tackling mental ill-health and substance use: starting with prevention

A new module has been added to the Climate Schools online prevention program the success of the Climate Schools Combined study showing the benefits of combining mental health and drug education in the classroom.
17 April 2020

Decision-support needs of people with co-occurring depression and problematic alcohol use

Researchers at the Matilda Centre conducted a needs assessment to help us better understand and address the unmet needs of people with problematic alcohol use and comorbid depression when making decisions about early intervention and treatments.