Dr Fiona Charlson

Head of the Mental Health and Development Group

+61 3271 8685


Dawson House, The Park Centre for Mental Health

Locked Bag 500, Archerfield, 4108, Australia


Dr Fiona Charlson is a psychiatric epidemiology and health services researcher with strong commitment to and experience in the development of mental health services, systems and policy in low- and middle-income countries.

Dr Charlson currently leads the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research’s Mental Health and Development Group. She holds affiliate positions with The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health, the University of New South Wales’s National Drug and Alcohol Research Centre, and the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation.

Dr Charlson has completed a Masters in International Public Health and a PhD on the epidemiological modelling of mental disorders in conflict-affected populations. Her original training was as a pharmacist and she has 18 years’ experience, including work as a community pharmacist in Australia and New Zealand, project pharmacist for Medecins Sans Frontieres’ in West Africa, and a referral pharmacist for Medecins Sans Frontieres’ ‘Campaign for Access to Essential Medicines’ in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr Charlson holds ongoing collaborations with and provides technical expertise to national and international partners including the World Health Organization, Fiji National University, Clinton Health Access Initiative, the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation, US National Institutes of Health, Alan Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health (University of Cape Town), the China-India Alliance for Mental Health, and various low- and middle-income countries. She is also a core member of the Mental Disorders and Illicit Drug Use Research Group for the Global Burden of Disease Studies.

Dr Charlson has ongoing teaching commitments including as course coordinator for Mental Health Across the Globe (PUBH7026) delivered annually at The University of Queensland’s School of Population Health.



B Pharm, MPH, PhD


Dr Charlson has a strong track record of disseminating her research findings and translation into policy and practice. She has published numerous peer-reviewed papers, many in top tier journals (e.g. The Lancet, Lancet Psychiatry, JAMA Pediatrics, World Psychiatry). She has been an invited author on Volume 4 of the Disease Control Priorities book series devoted to mental, neurological and substance use disorders – a seminal publication for the development of improved approaches in management and treatment of mental disorders in low- and middle-income countries. She is a peer-reviewer for numerous academic journals and a sub-Editor for BMC Public Health.