Our History

The Hunter Institute of Mental Health commenced operations in 1992 as a locally focused education and training organisation. 

Initially, the focus of the our organisation was to provide continuing professional development training for those working in the mental health sector, and in the community who provide services to individuals and families experiencing or impacted by mental ill-health and suicide.

In 1997, the Hunter Institute broadened its focus and took on the development of national promotion and prevention programs.  Since then, the organisation and its staff have developed a national and international reputation for translating and applying the evidence for mental health promotion, prevention of mental ill-health and the prevention of suicide.

Our leadership

The founding directors of the Hunter Institute in 1992 were Professor Vaughan Carr and Professor Trevor Waring.

The organisation was led by well-respected psychologist, educator and community leader Professor Trevor Waring until 2004, creating a solid platform for the organisation with a reputation for high-quality work at the local and national level. 

Between 2004 and 2012, the organisation was led by Mr Trevor Hazell, bringing to the organisation an expertise in population health and health promotion approaches. This extended the organisations capacity and skill to develop and deliver scalable mental health and suicide prevention programs.

From 2012, the Hunter Institute has been led by Ms Jaelea Skehan, an internationally respected leader in the prevention of suicide and the prevention of mental ill-health.

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