Dr Jaelea Skehan OAM is an internationally respected leader in the prevention of mental ill-health and the prevention of suicide. Jaelea has worked at Everymind since 2001 and was appointed as the Director in 2012.
Between 2019 and 2020, Jaelea took leave from her substantive position at Everymind to lead the National Suicide Prevention Taskforce, supporting the work of the Prime Minister's Adviser on Suicide Prevention.
Jaelea is passionate about translating evidence into practice and building the capacity of individuals, families, services and communities to be involved in mental health and suicide prevention. She is an advocate for finding better connections between research and practice and for ensuring a national focus on the promotion of mental health and wellbeing, the prevention of mental ill-health and the prevention of suicide to complement treatment and recovery approaches.
She is a registered psychologist and holds a conjoint appointment with the School of Medicine and Public Health at the University of Newcastle. She is co-lead of the Prevention Hub, contributes to local national and global reform through advisory roles and is an investigator on a number of research grants, including a Million Minds research grant focused on suicide prevention for men and boys.
Jaelea has worked across a range of settings and sectors and has been instrumental in the development of flagship programs for Everymind including national work with the media under Mindframe, workplace mental health programs, suicide prevention programs and many others.
In 2014 Jaelea was announced as one of Australia's 100 Women of Influence, a national honour sponsored by the Australian Financial Review and Westpac highlighting the important contribution women make in creating a bold and diverse future for Australia.
In 2020 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal (OAM) for services to community mental health and wellbeing and won the University of Newcastle Alumni Award for Regional Leadership.