Mental Health

Associate Professor Samantha Battams has worked on mental health policy, programs, projects and research since 1995. Her PhD in Public Health was on the topic of housing for people with a psychiatric disability, and she has an undergraduate degree with majors in psychology and sociology. She has served as a panel assessor on the District Court of South Australia hearing appeals against the Mental Health and Guardianship Acts. She has also been co-convenor of the Public Health Association’s Mental Health Special Interest Group, advocacy on mental health policy and services at national and state levels. She has also volunteered in the Mental Health and Substance Abuse branch at the World Health Organization, researching and writing a resource on Mental Health and Development (launched at the UN, New York). A/Prof Battams has also researched topics such as mental health and human rights, mental health promotion and mental health disorders in male dominated industries. Her publications in this field include:

Alcohol and Other Drugs & Workforce

A/Prof Battams has worked as a research and consultant to the National Research Centre for Alchohol and Other Drugs, Flinders University, where she had a central role in developing research and writing national workforce development resources for the alcohol and other drugs sector. Publications include the following:

  • Lee, N, Cameron, J, Battams, S, Roche, A. (2016). What works in school based alcohol education?: A systematic review, Health Education Journal, 75, 7, 2016
  • Roche, A., Lee, N., Battams, S., Fischer, J. & Cameron, J. (2015) Alcohol use among workers in male-dominated industries: A systematic review of risk factors. Safety Science, 78, 124-141
  • Roche, Ann, Duraisingam, V, Trifonoff, A, Battams, S, Freeman, T, Tovell, A, Weetra, D, Bates, N, (2013) ‘Sharing stories: Indigenous AOD workers’ wellbeing, stress and burnout,’ Drug and alcohol review, 32 (5), 527-535
  • Roche, A, Trifonoff, A, White, M, Evans, K, Battams, S, Adams, V, Scarfe, A. (2014). From policy to implementation: child and family sensitive practice in the alcohol and other drugs sector. ANCD: ACT.
  • White, M., Roche, AM., Long, C., Nicholas, R., Gruenert, S. & Battams, S (2013). Can I Ask…? An alcohol and other drug clinician’s guide to addressing family and domestic violence. National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction (NCETA). Flinders University, Adelaide, SA.
  • Gleadle, F, Freeman, T, Duraisingam, V, Roche, A, Battams, S, Marshall, B, Tovell, A, Trifonoff, A, Weetra, D (2011) Indigenous Alcohol and Drug Workforce Challenges: A Literature Review of Issues Related to Indigenous AOD Workers’ Wellbeing, Stress and Burnout, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University.
  • Battams, S & Roche, A (2011) Child wellbeing and protection concerns and the response of the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector in Australia, Advances in Mental Health, 10, 1, 2011.
  • Battams, S, Roche, A, Duvnjak, A, Trifonoff, A, Bywood, P (2010) For Kids’ Sake: A workforce development resource for Family Sensitive Policy and Practice in the Alcohol and Other Drugs Sector, National Centre for Education and Training on Addiction, Flinders University, Adelaide. (Launched by the Minister of Health, Hon. John Hill, Dec 2010)

Global Health Policy, Governance for Health

A/Prof Battams worked in Geneva for 3 years where she attended the World Health Assembly and wrote for the Health Diplomacy Monitor. She worked on The Global Health Program (now Centre) at The Graduate Institute, Geneva, with Professors Ilona Kickbusch & Stephen Matlin, and developed global health conference sessions, events and resources. She also conducted research on the European Union’s role in global health and the reform of the World Health Organization, with the Dr Louise van Schaik and Dr Remco van de Pas, Clingendael Institute. At the University of Geneva, as Course Director she developed one of the first MOOCs on global health: Global Health, an Interdisciplinary Overview.

  • Battams, S & van Schaik, L (2016) ‘The European Union as a Global Health Actor: A critical view,’ chapter 16 in Emmerling, T, Kickbusch, I, Told, M. (eds) The European Union as a global health actor, World Scientific
  • Matlin, S & Battams, S, (2016) ‘Research, Development and Innovation for Global Health,’ chapter 8 in Emmerling, T, Kickbusch, I, Told, M. (eds) The European Union as a global health actor, World Scientific
  • Kickbusch, I, Matlin, S, Battams, S, Jahn, A.(2015). ‘The EU’s Role and Potential in Research and Innovation for Global Health‘, chapter in Kaddous, C. (ed) The EU in international organisations and Global governance, Hart Publishing, Oxford.
  • Van Schaik, L, Battams, (2014) ‘The European Union’s role in creating a more effective World Health Organisation,’ chapter 3 in Drieskens, E., & van Schaik, L. (2014) (eds.), The EU and Effective Multilateralism: Internal and External Reform Practices. London: Palgrave. (Book launched at the Netherlands Permanent Representation to the EU, March 2014).
  • Battams, S, (2014). What can the WHO learn from EU lessons in civil society engagement and participation for health? International Journal of Health Services, 44 (4).
  • Battams, S, van Schaik, L, van der Pas, R. (2014). The EU as a global health actor: policy coherence, health diplomacy and WHO reform, European Foreign Affairs Review, 19, 4.
  • Battams, S, (2014) Developing a Global Health MOOC: what does it take?, October, 2014, The Croakey Health Blog. what-does-it-take/
  • Battams, S & Matlin, S (2013) Discussing a definition of global health, Global Health Diplomacy Policy Brief, Global Health Programme, The Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies. (Translated into Chinese for The Graduate Institute’s Global Health Diplomacy Course).
  • Battams, van Schaik, van Der Pas, (2012) ‘The European Union’s voice and influence on global health and the reform of the World Health Organisation: the role of diplomacy,’ The European Union in International Affairs 3, 3-5 May, Brussels.
  • Battams, S, Van de Pas, R, Van Schaik, L, (2012), The EU’s role in global health and the WHO reform; between health and foreign policy. Lisboan workshop, ‘EU external representation and the reform of international contexts: practices after Lisbon,’ Clingendael Institute, The Hague, February 2012.
  • Battams, S & Matlin, S (2012) World Health Summit: Research for Health and Sustainable Development, World Health Summit Symposium Report.
  • Battams, S & Luchesi, T (2012) Global Health Governance and Financing Mechanisms, Working Paper. Global Health Europe & World Vision International. (based on World Health Summit session 2011).

Social Determinants of Health, Social Determinants of Indigenous Health

A/Prof Battams’ policy research has also focused on non-communicable disease strategy, the relationship between trade and health, social determinants of health, and social determinants of Indigenous Health and incarceration. Publications have included:

  • Battams, S, Delany-Crowe, T, Fisher, M, Wright, L, Krieg, A, McDermott, D, Baum, F. “What needs to happen to reduce incarceration rates for Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander populations?” International Indigenous Policy Journal, 12, 2, 2021. (accepted, forthcoming)
  • Battams, S, Delany-Crowe, T, Fisher, M, Wright, L, McGreevy, M, McDermott, D, Baum, F. Criminal Justice Policy Review (accepted, forthcoming).
  • Battams, S. (2020). Neo-Liberalism, Policy Incoherence and Discourse Coalitions Influencing Non-Communicable Disease Strategy. Comment on “How Neoliberalism Is Shaping the Supply of Unhealthy Commodities and What This Means for NCD Prevention”. International Journal of Health Policy and Management, 9, 3.
  • Battams, S & Townsend, B. (2019). Power asymmetries, policy incoherence and noncommunicable disease control – a qualitative study of policy actor views. Critical Public Health, 29, 5
  • Fisher, Battams, McDermott, McDougall, Baum. (2019). How the Social Determinants of Indigenous Health became Policy Reality for Australia’s National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health Plan, Journal of Social Policy. Volume 48, Issue 1, January 2019 , pp. 169-189.



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