Dr Jo Robinson is a Senior Research Fellow at Orygen the National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, where she leads the suicide prevention research unit. Under her leadership the unit has sustained a consistent upward trajectory. It supports one project manager, four full time research assistants, five part time research assistants, and two students. The unit is regarded as the leading centre of youth suicide research in the world.
Dr Robinson’s work focuses on the development, and rigorous testing, of novel interventions that specifically target at risk youth across settings, on evidence synthesis, and on the translation of research evidence into practice and policy. Examples of some current projects include the development of a multi-layered and systematic approach to youth suicide prevention across north-west Melbourne, the establishment of a self-harm monitoring program in six emergency departments across Victoria, and a suite of studies examining the potential utility of social media platforms in suicide prevention. The latter includes a national study, funded by the Commonwealth Department of Health that will lead to the development of evidence-based best practice guidelines for safe peer-peer communication about suicide online and a national social media-based suicide prevention campaign designed by, and for, young people. Dr Robinson has also led the production of a series of systematic reviews that have informed clinical practice and service development.
She has a keen interest in policy development and evaluation and has led the development of two major policy reports and is regularly called upon to provide advice to both state and federal government.