Meet the people behind MISTLab and learn about our current students and alumni.
Dr Chris Groot - Director
Chris is a Senior Lecturer in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. His work spans research, teaching, and public engagement programs that focus on stigma about severe and complex experiences of mental ill-health. This work addresses personal and perceived (public) stigma, the lived experience of stigma for those with mental ill-health, and stigma intervention methods. Authentic collaboration with community organisations and individuals with lived experience of severe and complex mental ill-health is a hallmark of his practice. He has recently produced commissioned reports for the National Mental Health Commission to support the National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy and is a member of the Strategy’s Measurement Technical Advisory Group. Chris co-founded the Mental Ill-Health Stigma Researchers Australia Network (MISRA) with colleague Dr Amy Morgan and is a member of the Global Anti-Stigma Alliance.
Ms Beth Hobern - PhD Candidate and Lab Coordinator
Beth Hobern is a PhD Candidate in the Mental Ill-Health Stigma and Telehealth Lab in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD research focusses on stigma about schizophrenia spectrum and alcohol and other drug disorders, which she is investigating both from the perspective of general public and those with lived experiences. Beth was previously the lead research assistant on the National Stigma Report Card, which was a collaboration between SANE Australia and the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences. She also completed her Honours degree in psychology with a thesis examining the public’s stigmatised personal responses to positive symptoms of psychosis. Beth also plays an instrumental role in MISTLab and works closely with Chris to coordinate its operations across research, teaching, and engagement. Beth's PhD supervision team includes Dr Chris Groot (Primary), Dr Michelle Blanchard (Co-supervisor), and Dr Imogen Rehm (Co-supervisor).
Ms Elise Carrotte - PhD Candidate
Elise Carrotte is a PhD Candidate in the Mental Ill-Health Stigma and Telehealth Lab in the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at the University of Melbourne. Her PhD commenced in 2020, and involves exploring novel interventions to reduce stigma against people living with complex mental health issues, specifically through the development of a new podcast focusing on lived experience. Elise holds a Master of Psychology (Clinical), and has worked as a psychologist to deliver assessments and psychological therapies across a range of settings. For the past five years, she has worked at SANE, a national mental health charity supporting Australians living with complex mental health needs. Her role at SANE spans research and evaluation, clinical governance, and content development and review. Her research interests include social equity, new media and novel interventions, and co-design. Elise's supervision team includes Professor Lisa Phillips (Primary), Dr Michelle Blanchard (Co-supervisor), Dr Fincina Hopgood (Co-supervisor) and Dr Chris Groot (Co-supervisor).
Dr Imogen Rehm - Honorary Senior Fellow
Dr Imogen Rehm is a Senior Lecturer and Chair of the Master of Professional Psychology program at Victoria University. She holds broad clinical and research interests in the areas of psychosocial recovery, stigma, digital mental health, anxiety, and obsessive-compulsive and related disorders. As a member of the self-stigma technical advisory committee, Imogen is currently advising the National Mental Health Commission regarding their development of Australia’s first National Stigma and Discrimination Reduction Strategy. She also holds a position as Honorary Fellow with the Melbourne School of Psychological Sciences at University of Melbourne and is an Associate Editor for the Australian Psychological Society journal, Clinical Psychologist. Imogen is a practising Clinical Psychologist and registered supervisor with the Psychology Board of Australia.
Ms Jessica Westfold
Jess is a psychologist currently undertaking her clinical registrar program. She has clinical experience in youth mental health, early intervention for psychosis, as well as psychological treatment for a range of mental health concerns in adulthood. Jess’ primary clinical modalities include CBT, ACT, self-compassion, mindfulness, and EMDR therapies. Jess completed her psychology studies at the University of Melbourne, and she has also enjoyed teaching into undergraduate psychology programs. She has been engaged in MISTLab through research looking at clinician stigma towards borderline personality disorder, as well as through meeting with individuals to take part in the National Stigma Report Card. Jess is currently involved in curriculum development in MISTLab's clinical psychology clinical telehealth training program. She has a passion for decreasing stigma towards mental health issues, as well as increasing lived experience voices in the psychology curriculum.
MISTLab Alumni and Theses
Ernest Wang - Masters thesis "Exploring the Effect of Biopsychosocial Education on Personal Stereotypes about People with Schizophrenia".
Kayla Matisi - Masters thesis "The Influence of Familiarity with Mental Illness on the Desire for Social Distances".
Ashley Milosevska - Masters thesis "Levels of Personal and Perceived Stigmatised Attitudes Associated with Depression, Anxiety, and Schizophrenia".
Robyn Young - Masters thesis "Personality Bias and Stereotyping as Predictors of Desire for Social Distance from Individuals with Anxiety, Depression, and Schizophrenia".
Alsa Wu - Honours thesis "The Stigma of Borderline Personality Disorder in Intimate Relationships: An Investigation of Self-Reported Experiences and Anticipation of Stigma and Discrimination, and their Association with Interpersonal Withdrawal".
Kelton Hardingham - PhD Thesis (Prof. Nick Haslam primary supervisor, Dr Chris Groot co-supervisor) "The Effects of Television and Internet News on Stigmatisation of Schizophrenia".
Mengjie Cai - Honours thesis "The Lived Experience of Borderline Personality Disorder in Australian Mental Healthcare Services: An Investigation of Self-Reported Experiences and Anticipation of Stigma, and their Relationship with Withdrawal from Help-Seeking".
Jessica Westfold - Masters thesis "Stigmatising Responses to Borderline Personality Disorder in a Telehealth Context".
Ellen Rankin - Honours thesis "Public Stigmatised Responses to Schizophrenia: An Investigation of the Role of Negative Symptoms and Sex".
Emma Waldron - Honours thesis "Understanding stigma towards Borderline Personality Disorder in telephone counselling settings".
Jessica Westfold - Honours thesis "Hallucinations and Unusual Sensory Experiences: Examining the Psychosis-Proneness-Persistent-Impairment Model in a Non-clinical Sample".
Beth Hobern - Honours thesis "The Roles of Positive Symptoms, Gender, and Positive Schizotypy in the Elicitation of Public Stigma Towards Schizophrenia".
Kelton Hardingham - Honours thesis "The Effects of Relabelling, Symptomatology, and Illness Course on Public Stigma about Schizophrenia".
Anna Orzech - Honours thesis (Co-supervised with A/Prof Simon Cropper) "Hallucination-Proneness, Sensory Processing and Schizotypal Personality: Associations in Healthy Individuals".
Elle Pattenden - Honours thesis (Co-supervised with A/Prof Simon Cropper) "Hallucination Proneness in a Non-Clinical Population: Associations with Hypomanic Personality and Perceptual Factors".