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Dr Melissa Raven - Deputy Editor of PsychWatch Australia 

Melissa is a psychiatric epidemiologist and policy analyst. She is a postdoctoral research fellow in the Critical and Ethical Mental Health research group at the University of Adelaide.  Melissa can be contacted by email at ravenpsychwatchaustralia@gmail.com and she tweets as @psychepi.

 

Originally qualified as a clinical psychologist, Melissa then worked as a lecturer and researcher in public health and primary health care. Her current mental health research and advocacy is informed by a strong social determinants perspective and a strong critical orientation, which she applies to a range of topics, including suicide prevention, workplace mental health, (over)diagnosis, (inappropriate) prescribing, and financial/nonfinancial conflicts of interest in mental health and the broader health/welfare arena.

Melissa completed her PhD thesis, 'Depression and antidepressants in Australia and beyond: A critical public health analysis', at the University of Wollongong in 2012.

Melissa has collaborated with Dr Martin Whitely on research demonstrating that the youngest children in a classroom across the globe are much more likely than their older classmates to be medicated for ADHD (the ' late birthdate effect').  https://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4320

Melissa also collaborated on the RIAT (restoring invisible and abandoned trials) reanalysis of Study 329, which evaluated the efficacy and safety of paroxetine and imipramine compared with placebo for adolescents diagnosed with major depression. Funded by SmithKline Beecham (SKB; subsequently GlaxoSmithKline, GSK), Study 329 was misreported in a ghost-written article claiming efficacy and safety for paroxetine that was at odds with the data. In contrast, the RIAT reanalysis found that neither paroxetine nor high dose imipramine showed efficacy, and there was an increase in harms with both drugs.  Currently, she is one of an international team conducting a RIAT reanalysis of the Treatment for Adolescents with Depression Study (TADS).

 

Melissa's publications include:

  • Whitely M, Raven M, Timimi S, Jureidini J, Phillimore J, Leo J, Moncrieff J, & Landman P, (2019). Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder late birthdate effect common in both high and low prescribing international jurisdictions: a systematic review. Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, 60(4), 380–391. https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/full/10.1111/jcpp.12991 (28 May 2019).

  • Le Noury J, Nardo JM, Healy D, Jureidini J, Raven M, Tufanaru C, & Abi-Jaoude E. (2015). Restoring Study 329: efficacy and harms of paroxetine and imipramine in treatment of major depression in adolescence. BMJ, 351, h4320. doi:10.1136/bmj.h4320. http://www.bmj.com/content/351/bmj.h4320 (28 May 2019).

  • Raven M. (2012). Depression and antidepressants in Australia and beyond: A critical public health analysis. PhD thesis. University of Wollongong. http://ro.uow.edu.au/theses/3686/ (28 May 2019).