How we promote a healthy emotional life

Our research has a particular focus on:

  • describing the major milestones in emotional life
  • understanding how our social and emotional development early in life impacts on our mental health and wellbeing across the lifespan
  • advising on the most effective approaches to intervening at the earliest opportunities in troubled pathways
  • engaging systems for translating this knowledge into communities, clinical and public health settings.

Our research areas

SEED Lifespan is the only research program of its kind across Australia with a focus on promoting mental health and preventing mental disorders across the entire lifecourse; from early childhood to adulthood and into the next generation. SEED Lifespan’s research is categorised into six research themes:

Be a life-changing thought leader in the prevention of mental disorders

A PhD or Masters opportunity with SEED Lifespan will set the scene for you to go deep into world-leading research in the vital area of mental health. Be part of a supportive and vibrant research environment that is committed to making a difference in many people’s lives.

At its core, SEED Lifespan is about bringing research to life in communities in ways that promote a healthy emotional life from early life to old age.

Alfred Deakin Professor Craig Olsson

Director of the Centre for Social and Early Emotional Development

Our research leaders

Our researchers and research students specialise in preventive mental health care and clinical treatment of mental health problems. Many of our members are registered psychologists. All researchers have extensive knowledge about social and emotional development.

Alfred Deakin Professor Craig Olsson, Director

Professor Craig Olsson works to map the major milestones in human development, using this research to inform the design of targeted mental health interventions in both clinical and public health settings.

Associate Professor Rebecca Giallo, Deputy Director

Associate Professor Rebecca Giallo leads a productive lifecourse epidemiological and clinical intervention research program. It’s focused on optimising the mental health of children and families affected by social adversity and intergenerational trauma.

Featured projects

SEED Lifespan is undertaking a number of flagship projects to understand the early origins of mental health disorders. We collect data and samples from people over the course of years, decades and even generations and use that evidence to develop new interventions and resources and inform policy.

The comprehensive monitoring system

The comprehensive monitoring system

The comprehensive monitoring system is a series of eight surveys that tracks the mental health and wellbeing of young people up to the age of 21. Participating communities receive comprehensive reports and access to a free database of evidence-based programs for responding to the outcomes  identified in the reports.

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism

Transcranial magnetic stimulation in autism

We are recruiting volunteer participants for the first large-scale clinical trial to test whether transcranial magnetic stimulation – a painless, non-invasive treatment already widely used to treat depression – can be effective in improving social communication and mental health in your people with autism.

Systematic review library

Systematic review library

Systematic reviews help us make sense of an ever-growing body of scientific literature. Our systematic review library hosts all reviews published by researchers in the Deakin University School of Psychology. We focus on identifying gaps in research on social and emotional development across the early lifecourse.

Our partners

SEED Lifespan has strong national and international networks of collaborators who work with us on jointly funded research, data analysis and research publications. We partner with:

  • health providers
  • education providers
  • government
  • industry
  • research organisations.

Contact us

Stay in touch to hear about the latest alumni opportunities, research news, partnership opportunities and much more. Have a question? Get in touch with the team.

Email the SEED Lifespan team

Follow SEED Lifespan on Twitter