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Professor Zachary Steel

Photo Zachary Steele RectangularZachary Steel holds the St John of God Professorial Chair of Trauma and Mental Health a partnership between Richmond Hospital, the School of Psychiatry UNSW and the Black Dog Institute. Prof. Steel’s program of research has examined the prevalence, social determinants, and intervention models for mental health problems across diverse communities and settings with a particular focus on traumatic stress, forced displacement, conflict and culturally specific symptoms of mental disorder and distress.

Within the Asia-Pacific region he is currently involved in collaborative mental health research programs in Vietnam, Aceh-Indonesia, and Timor-Leste as well as with asylum seeker and refugee communities in Australia and amongst Aboriginal communities in Far West New South Wales.

The work of Dr Steel with asylum seeker populations in Australia has helped to develop an evidence base on the adverse mental health consequences of harsh asylum policies including the use of immigration detention and temporary protection visas. He has worked with legal colleagues to develop best practice guidelines for the better recognition of mental health conditions in the assessment of asylum claims.