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Personal profile


Dr Keith Sutton is Lecturer in Rural Mental Health with Monash Rural Health. He has extensive experience in quantitative, qualitative and mixed methods research in relation to mental health services, suicide prevention and health workforce in rural areas. Keith’s PhD, completed in 2016, examined the impact of a brief intervention designed to orientate allied health and nursing students, studying in Melbourne, to behavioural health sector employment and career opportunities in Gippsland, Victoria. Implications arising from his PhD and involvement on two national projects that explored health professional student rural placement experiences, informed his lead role in conceptualising, developing and implementing the Nursing and Allied Health Graduate Outcomes (NAHGOT) study. In collaboration with the Burnet Institute, Keith is a Chief Investigator on an $2.4 million 5-year NHMRC funded prospective study of people who use methamphetamine. The largest study of its kind in Australia, the study is exploring the natural trajectory of a community recruited of cohort of metropolitan and rurally based people who principally smoke methamphetamine on entry to the study.

Keith has attracted grants of AUD 3.3M in the last five years, has >30 publications, and has successfully led a number of multi-stakeholder collaborative research projects. He is a member of Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium organising committee and the TheMHS Learning Network’s annual Awards program judging panel.  Keith has sought to support improve access to behavioural health services through his involvement with the Australian Rural Health Education Network’s Mental Health Academic forum and the National Alliance of Rural and Remote Mental Health Network advocacy for improved access to mental health services in rural and remote Australia.

Keith coordinates an online Masters level introduction to health research unit and facilitates tutorials for students in their first year of the graduate entry medical program delivered by Monash Rural Health (Churchill). Keith’s engagement with the broader community includes facilitating Mental Health First Aid training for the Burnett Institute, Monash Rural Health and other community organisations.  He is also a member of the research advisory committees for Royal Flying Doctor Service Victoria and Latrobe Community Health Service. Keith also served as a member of the Lifeline Gippsland Board from 2012 – 2018.

Research interests

  • Rural Health & Mental Health Workforce
  • Mental Health Workforce
  • Recovery
  • Social Inclusion
  • Mental Health Policy
  • Dual Diagnosis
  • Suicide Prevention

Expertise related to UN Sustainable Development Goals

In 2015, UN member states agreed to 17 global Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) to end poverty, protect the planet and ensure prosperity for all. This person’s work contributes towards the following SDG(s):

  • SDG 3 - Good Health and Well-being

Research area keywords

  • Mental Disorders/Illness
  • Mental Health Services
  • Mental health
  • Rural Planning/Policy
  • Rural health


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