Academic History: Alan Woodward is a PhD Candidate with the Centre for Mental Health, Melbourne School of Population and Global Health. He has studied across various disciplines previously and holds a Master’s Degree in Social Science and Policy Studies (UNSW), a Bachelor of Business – Public Administration (Charles Sturt University) and a Diploma in Arts/Communications – Journalism.
Current work and interests: Alan’s PhD is on the experiences of callers to the Lifeline telephone helpline – Lifeline 13 11 14 and the impact of this service on caller’s lives. This is an in-depth qualitative study of the uses and benefits of this service from the perspective of the consumer – those who call Lifeline. A cohort of 58 callers has been recruited to for this research and have been interviewed numerous times over 12 months about their patterns of service use, life circumstances and service experiences. This study will provide insights into the mental health and related outcomes of a telephone helpline. For more than 14 years, Alan worked in executive roles at Lifeline Australia, including research and evaluation. He has worked in suicide prevention, mental health and social policy for more than 20 years and currently provides advice to various organisations on policy, planning and program development.
Academic aims: Alan is completing his PhD by Thesis and is now at the stage of bringing together the findings from his data and performing the analysis to prepare this. He has been an author on book chapters and papers relating to helplines, digital mental health services, suicide prevention and mental health and wishes to contribute to improvements that will make a difference to people and communities.