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The Australian National University

Helen Benassi

Position: PhD Candidate


Phone: 02 6125 9044

Location: HC Coombs Building, Room 2029


Bachelor of Arts/Science

Graduate Diploma in Psychology


Helen’s research will explore e-health solutions to support early identification and self-management of mental health in the Australian Defence Force. Her research will examine stigma and barriers to care, the role of mental health screening as a means of enabling treatment-seeking behaviour and identify the role that technology plays in supporting screening, early intervention, and self-management in a workplace context.


Prior to beginning her PhD Helen worked in mental health screening, surveillance and unit climate, epidemiology and personnel selection research for the Department of Defence since. Ms Benassi completed a psychology internship with Defence, registering as a psychologist in 2010. Prior to starting her PhD, Helen was responsible for the coordination of strategic mental health research within Defence, working on projects such as the Longitudinal ADF Study Evaluating Resilience, the Australian Defence Force Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study and the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme.

Research Interests

  • Military mental health
  • Stigma and barriers to mental health care
  • Mental health care service utilisation
  • Mental health screening


Searle, A., Van Hooff, M., McFarlane, A. C., Davies, C.E. Fairweather-Schmidt, A.K., Hodson, S.E., Benassi, H.P. & Steele, N.M. (2015). The validity of military screening for mental health problems: Diagnostic accuracy of the PCL, K10 and AUDIT scales in an entire military population. International Journal of Methods in Psychiatric Research. 16;24(1):32-45. DOI: 10.1002/mpr.1460

Steele, N.M., Benassi, H.P., Chesney, C.J., Nicholson, C, & Fogarty, G.J. (2014) Evaluating the Merits of Using Brief Measures of PTSD or General Mental Health Measures in Two-Stage PTSD Screening. Military Medicine, 179(12): 1497-1502, DOI: 10.7205/MILMED-D-14-00183

Van Hooff, M., McFarlane, A.C., Davies, C.E., Searle, A. K., Fairweather-Schmidt,  K., Verhagen, A., Benassi, H., and Hodson, S.E. (2014) The Australian Defence Force Mental Health Prevalence and Wellbeing Study: Design and methods. European Journal of Psychotraumatology; 5: 10.3402/ejpt.v5.23950.  DOI:  10.3402/ejpt.v5.23950PMCID: PMC4138701

Projects and Grants

Helen is an investigator on the Transition and Wellbeing Research Programme. The Programme examines the mental, physical and social health of current and former ADF members and their families.

Helen is also an investigator on the Longitudinal ADF Study Evaluating Resilience (LASER-Resilience). LASER-Resilience is investigating the psychological and behavioural attributes that contribute to psychological resilience in the ADF by studying new members as they adjust and progress in their military career. The results of this study will inform resilience training programs, such as BattleSMART

Updated: 19 September 2017/ Responsible Officer:  Head, School of Demography / Page Contact:  Website Administrator