Dr Coralie WilsonDr Coralie Wilson

Academic Leader: Personal & Professional Development
Senior Lecturer: Behavioural Sciences



PhD, BA(Hons I), GDipSocSci, GCOP, BEd, DipTch, LTCL, MAPS


Coralie initially trained as a primary and secondary school teacher with endorsements in special education, mathematics and music. Later, she completed post-graduate training in music performance and theory, and organisational, developmental, educational, and abnormal psychology, including an honours degree and PhD in clinical psychology subjects and research.

Go to Coralie's LinkedIn profile for further detail.


Nov 2006-current: Foundation Academic Leader (Head) of the Personal and Professional Development (PPD) Curriculum Theme. PPD includes the Student Mentoring Programme, web-based and face-to-face curriculum, and strong reflective and behavioural assessment components across the entire Graduate Medicine (GM) MBBS Programme. In this senior Faculty role, Coralie has pioneered all aspects of the innovative, integrated and evidence-based PPD curricula since November 2006.

In June 2008, the quality and innovation of the PPD curriculum was praised in a report from the Australian Medical Council. In January 2009, an international review found “the overall impression is one of a well thought out course, which includes internationally recognised key aspects of professionalism and personal development.” (Prof. P. Stark, January 28, 2009). In June 2011, together with other colleagues involved in Phase 1 of the MBBS, Coralie was awarded the UOW Vice-Chancellor’s award for excellence in teaching and learning for the PPD Theme.

Significant contribution to help-seeking science and intervention

Coralie has an international reputation for her help-seeking and suicide prevention research, and her development of evidence-based interventions to promote effective help-seeking behaviour (Editorial, Advances in Mental Health, 2005).

From 2000-2001 Coralie was both a chief investigator and senior researcher on an Australian National Health and Medical Research Council funded project (YS060). The project focussed on promoting help-seeking to prevent suicide, and collaborated with a long list of community agencies and mental health services.

As senior researcher on the NHMRC project, Coralie designed and conducted an ambitious program of school-, university-, and community-based research projects with young people and their gatekeepers. Results were later described as “furthering suicide prevention in this country more than was thought possible” (Communication from the NHMRC, 2002), were published as a full Supplement in Advances in Mental Health [1], and received the highest download rate in the Journal’s history (5000 downloads from December 2005 to May 2006). This early work has been cited in international peer-reviewed journals over 250 times since publication, was cited as foundation research for the successful funding of headspace the Australian National Youth Mental Health Foundation in 2006, and is currently cited in the NHMRC (2011) / beyondblue (2010) Clinical practice guidelines: Depression in adolescents and young adults.

Coralie has an active research programme that comprises translational, theoretical, and applied projects that aim to: (1) identify determinants of help-seeking and help-negation in three populations groups - adolescents, men, and health care professionals; (2) identify mechanisms of symptom and behaviour change specific to each group; (3) develop and evaluate services and interventions to improve medical and mental health and wellbeing in each group.

  1. School-based interventions and research;
  2. Telephone and web-based interventions and research;
  3. Policy, innovation and impact

Help-negation research

A special focus of Coralie’s ongoing help-seeking research program is to identify and understand the mechanisms that drive the help-negation process. Help-negation refers to the process of help avoidance or withdrawal that, prior to Coralie’s PhD [2], had only been found in clinical samples or related specifically to mental health services. In the 14 years that Coralie’s help-negation research programme has been running, she has established the process in samples with low and severe levels of general psychological distress, common mental disorders, alcohol and other drug use disorders, and suicidal thinking.

As lead or sole author, Coralie has extended the help-negation process to informal sources such as parents and friends, community gatekeepers such as teachers, youth workers and religious leaders, and to a range of different primary and secondary mental health services. She has established that the help-negation process is different for different disorders and a function to varying extent of different available help sources. She has also established that the process is not completely explained as a function of sex, hopelessness, lack of prior help, poor results of earlier help seeking, little current desire for help, religious affiliation, attitudes towards counselling, social problem-solving skills, or co-occurring psychological symptoms (see [3] for a review).

Her research findings, together with a battery of recent findings from Coralie’s research team, suggest that biological and developmental processes (e.g., individuation, need for autonomy), when combined with actually being mentally and/or medically unwell, may have greater influence on reluctance to seek help for a mental health or medical problem than beliefs or other purely psychological processes.

Current results are being published as a series of academic articles that are co-authored by Associate Professor Peter Caputi (UOW), Professor David Kavanagh (Queensland University of Technology), Professor Dan Lubman (Monash University), Dr Emma Barkus (UOW), Dr Susan Thomas (UOW), Ms Anna Cavanagh (UOW), Ms Taneile Kitchingman (UOW), Mr Robert Cox (UOW), Ms Ann Badger (UOW), and Mr Alexander Svenson (UOW). (Click here to download a copy of Coralie’s current directions in her help-negation research programme).

Help-seeking measures

Coralie is known for her development of help-seeking measures. The General Help-Seeking Questionnaire is now the most widely used measure of help-seeking intentions internationally. There are currently three versions that are freely available for download and use:

  1. The original version of the General Help-Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ) uses stem questions that are one sentence in length and relatively general in expression, to ask respondents about their intentions to seek help from different available help sources for general problems. (Click here to download a copy of the GHSQ). Published studies that have used this measure include: [4-13]
  2. The second version of the General Help-Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ-DSM) uses stem questions that are one sentence in length and which refer to specific DSM-IV-TR criteria to ask respondents about their intentions to seek help from different sources for different disorders. (Click here to download a copy of the GHSQ-DSM). Published studies that have used this measure are forthcoming.
  3. The most recent version of the General Help-Seeking Questionnaire (GHSQ-V) uses short vignettes that describe specific DSM-IV-TR criteria and symptoms of a chronic disease (e.g., Heart Disease), together with stem questions that are one sentence in length, to ask respondents about their intentions to seek help from different sources for different disorders. (Click here to download a copy of the GHSQ-V). Published studies that have used this measure include: [14] Additional publications are forthcoming.

Another widely used measure of help-seeking is the Barriers to Engagement in Treatment Screen (BETS) (Click here to download a copy of the BETS). Studies that have used this measure include: [4, 5 and 7]. Additional publications are forthcoming.

Research student supervision

Coralie supervises research students in the areas of help-seeking, depression, suicide prevention, and related topics in behavioural and psychological medicine, and personal and professional development.

Research collaboration

Coralie is keen to collaborate with academics and others for meaningful research and intervention development that have potential to improve the medical and mental health of vulnerable groups, and in particular, to improve rates of help-seeking and health service use within these groups.

Select searchable RIS publications from 2000 to date

Email addresses are in the form

Email Alias:
Phone: +61 2 4221 5135
Fax: +61 2 4221 4341
Office: B28.109

Webpage references

  1. Rickwood, D., Deane, F. P., Wilson, C. J., & Ciarrochi, J. (2005). Help seeking for mental health problems in adolescence and early adulthood, Ae-JAMH, 4(3: Supplement). Reprinted in Advances in Mental Health, 4(3), 218-251.
  2. Wilson, C. J. (2003). Help-negation for suicidal thoughts in sub-clinical samples of young people (Awarded without correction).
  3. Wilson, C. J., Bushnell, J. A., & Caputi, P. (2011). Early access and help seeking: Practice implications and new initiatives. Early Intervention in Psychiatry, 5 (Suppl. 1), 34-39. DOI: 10.1111/j.1751-7893.2010.00238.x
  4. Wilson, C. J., Bignell, B., & Clancy, H. (2003). Building Bridges to General Practice: a controlled trial of the IDGP “GPs in Schools” program, first edition. PARC Special Issue: Youth Mental Health, 8, 19.
  5. Wilson, C. J., Deane, F. P., Marshall, K. L., & Dalley, A. (2008). Reducing adolescents' perceived barriers to treatment and increasing help-seeking intentions: Effects of classroom presentations by General Practitioners. Journal Youth and Adolescence, 37(10), 1257-1269. DOI 10.1007/s10964 -007-9255-z.
  6. Wilson C. J. (2010). General psychological distress symptoms and help-seeking intentions in young Australians. Advances in Mental Health, 9(1), 63-72.
  7. Wilson, C. J., Deane, F. P., Marshall K. L., & Dalley, A. (2010). Adolescents’ suicidal thinking and reluctance to consult general medical practitioners. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(4), 343-356. DOI 10.1007/s10964-009-9436-6.
  8. Wilson, C. J., & Deane, F. P. (2011). Predicting adolescents’ future intentions to seek help for mental health problems. Youth Studies Australia, 30(1).
  9. Wilson, C. J., & Deane, F. P. (2010). Help-negation and suicidal ideation: The role of depression, anxiety and hopelessness. Journal of Youth and Adolescence, 39(3), 291-305. DOI: 10.1007/s10964-009-9487-8.
  10. Wilson, C. J., Rickwood, D., & Deane, F. P. (2007). Depressive symptoms and help-seeking intentions in young people. Clinical Psychologist, 11(3), 98-107.
  11. Wilson, C. J., Deane, F. P., & Ciarrochi, J. (2005). Can hopelessness and adolescents’ beliefs and attitudes about seeking help account for help negation? Journal of Clinical Psychology, 61(12), 1525-1539.
  12. Wilson, C. J., Deane, F. P. Ciarrochi, J. & Rickwood, D. (2005). Measuring help-seeking intentions: Properties of the General Help-Seeking Questionnaire. Canadian Journal of Counselling, 39(1), 15-28.
  13. Wilson, C. J., & Deane, F. P. (2010). Brief Report: Need for autonomy and other perceived barriers relating to adolescents’ intentions to seek professional mental health care. Journal of Adolescence DOI:10.1016/j.adolescence.2010.06.011
  14. Wilson, C. J., Rickwood, D. J., Bushnell, J., A., Caputi, P., & Thomas, S.J. (2011). The effects of need for autonomy and preference for seeking help from informal sources on emerging adults’ intentions to access mental health services for common mental disorders and suicidal thoughts. Advances in Mental Health, 10(1), 29-38
Last reviewed: 19 August, 2016