Dr Julia Lappin is a senior lecturer at UNSW Sydney in the School of Psychiatry and at the National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre (NDARC). She has recently been appointed co-lead of the Children and Adolescent Wellbeing sub-theme of the UNSW Medicine Neuroscience, Mental Health and Addiction Theme and SPHERE Clinical Academic Group (CAG).
Dr Lappin joined NDARC in 2014 from the Institute of Psychiatry, Kings College London, UK where she led service development of the South London and Maudsley NHS Trust’s Early Intervention Pathway. In the UK she was an investigator on the AESOP-10 study, which tracked outcomes over 10 years in over 500 individuals with first episode psychosis. Dr Lappin cites physical healthcare and holistic care in severe mental illness as key interests for translation of research into practice.
Concurrent with her research position, Dr Lappin is a consultant psychiatrist and clinical lead for the Bondi Junction Early Psychosis Program, South Eastern Sydney Local Health District. She works as part of a multi-disciplinary team providing holistic care for youth who experience severe mental health issues.
Her clinical practice is informed by evidence-based research: early intervention, promotion of physical healthcare in recognition of the mortality gap faced by individuals with severe mental illness, and provision of pharmacological, psychological and vocational care to improve clinical and social outcomes. The team collaborates closely with Headspace and with community sector youth organisations and youth mental health early intervention services nationally.
Dr Lappin’s research focuses on improving outcomes in severe mental illness, particularly psychotic illnesses. She is interested in improving physical health outcomes in individuals with mental illness and is part of the Keeping Body In Mind (KBIM) team which has rolled out physical healthcare initiatives across mental health services within SESLHD under the leadership of A/Prof Jackie Curtis (SESLHD & School of Psychiatry, UNSW). At NDARC, Dr Lappin has led a number of projects on substance use and mental health comorbidity, including methamphetamine psychosis.