Committed to Research

BMDH Mental Heath Research

General Practice

The Blacktown City Mental Health Service provides assessment and treatment for acutely unwell and more stable patients suffering from psychiatric disorders. The service delivers care in a variety of settings. These include the emergency department and medical wards, the psychiatric emergency care centre, the 6 bed short stay ward, the 30 bed acute psychiatric unit called Bungarribee House, the 20 bed step down psychiatric unit called Melaleuca, the Embark building for outpatient and follow-up services and outpatient clinics at Seven Hills and Mt Druitt. The mental health service has speciality services for young people with mental illness, old age psychiatry, obsessive-compulsive and related disorders, Indigenous Australians, families and for patients on clozapine. The mental health service provides training for trainees with the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists and teaching for medical students studying at the Western Sydney University.


Our People

  • Professor Vlasios Brakoulias (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Ramanathan Ganapathy (psychiatrist and medical director)
  • Dr Gordon Sloss (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Anoop Sankaranarayanan (psychiatrist)
  • Dr Jane Pineda (clinical psychologist)
  • Thato Jarczyk (clinical psychologist)
  • Trent Hammond (clinical psychologist)
  • Selina Leung (pharmacist)


Current Research

  1. Early intervention for people with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  2. Text messaging project to save lives after self-harming – the SMS SOS project
  3. Understanding the characteristics of strongly held beliefs – the delusion project
  4. Using brain waves and heart beats to diagnose obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  5. Using OCD symptoms to subtype obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  6. Developing a better understanding of perinatal anxiety disorders
  7. Demoralisation and rates of anxiety and depression in women of non-English speaking backgrounds
  8. Diabetes case conferences to improve diabetes management in people with severe mental illness
  9. The testing and validation of a scale to measure belief
  10. Is there a relationship between where a stroke occurs and the development of depression
  11. Can cough medicine be used to settle agitated patients?
  12. Using repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation to treat obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD)
  13. A new medication for schizophrenia – a randomised double-blind placebo controlled trial
  14. A trial of using an online calculation of monetary savings tool to help people quit smoking


Publications and Reports

Effect of impulse control disorders on disability and quality of life in Parkinson’s disease patients
AL Phu, Z Xu, V Brakoulias, N Mahant, VSC Fung, G De Moore, A Martin, ... Journal of Clinical Neuroscience 21 (1), 63-66, 2015 (CITED 48 TIMES)

An experimental investigation of mentalization ability in borderline personality disorder
R Petersen, V Brakoulias, R Langdon
Comprehensive psychiatry 64, 12-21, 2016 (CITED 38 TIMES)

Comorbidity, age of onset and suicidality in obsessive–compulsive disorder (OCD): an international collaboration
V Brakoulias, V Starcevic, A Belloch, C Brown, YA Ferrao, LF Fontenelle, ...
Comprehensive psychiatry 76, 79-86, 2017 (CITED 25 TIMES)

A meta-analysis of the response of pathological hoarding to pharmacotherapy
V Brakoulias, GD Eslick, V Starcevic
Psychiatry research 229 (1-2), 272-276, 2015 (CITED 24 TIMES)

The relationships between obsessive–compulsive symptom dimensions and cognitions in obsessive–compulsive disorder
V Brakoulias, V Starcevic, D Berle, D Milicevic, A Hannan, A Martin
Psychiatric Quarterly 85 (2), 133-142, 2014 (CITED 22 TIMES)

Dr Pravin Dullur

  1. van Rooij AJ, Ferguson CJ, Colder Carras M, Kardefelt-Winther D, Shi J, Aarseth E, Bean AM, Bergmark KH, Brus A, Coulson M, Deleuze J, Dullur P et al. A weak scientific basis for gaming disorder: Let us err on the side of caution. J Behav Addict. 2018 Mar 1;7(1):1-9. doi: 10.1556/2006.7.2018.19. Epub 2018 Mar 13.
  2. Pravin Dullur, Vladan Starcevic. Internet gaming disorder does not qualify as a mental disorder. Australia and New Zealand journal of Psychiatry. 2018 Feb;52(2):110-111
  3. Pravin Dullur, Phillipa Hay. Problem Internet Use and Internet Gaming Disorder: a survey of health literacy among psychiatrists from Australia and New Zealand. Australas Psychiatry. 2017 Apr;25(2):140-145
  4. Valsamma Eapen, Gerard Faure-Brac, Philip B. Ward, Philip Hazell, Giles Barton, Mona Asghari-Fard and Pravin Dullur. Evaluation of Weight Gain and Metabolic Parameters among Adolescent Psychiatric Inpatients: Role of Health Promotion and Life Style Intervention Programs. J Metabol Syndrome 2012, 1:109. doi:10.4172/2167-0943.1000109
  5. Jairam R, Prabhuswamy M, Pravin Dullur, "Do We Really Know How to Treat a Child with Bipolar Disorder or One with Severe Mood Dysregulation? Is There a Magic Bullet?" Depression Research and Treatment, vol. 2012, Article ID 967302.


A/Prof A. Sankaranarayanan

  1. Sankaranarayanan A, Wilding H, Neill E, Castle D. A critical systematic review of evidence for Cannabinoids in the treatment of Schizophrenia. Psychiatric Annals; 48 (5): 214-223.
  2. Ponirakis G, Alhamad H, Sankaranarayanan A, Ramadan M, Tosino R et al., Association of Corneal Nerve Fiber Measures with Cognitive Function in Dementia. Accepted for publication in Annals of Clinical and Translational Neurology.
  3. Ross V, Sankaranarayanan A, Lewin TJ, Hunter M. Mental Health Workers’ Views About Their Suicide Prevention Role. Psychology, Community & Health; 5 (1), 1-15. Doi:10.5964/pch.v5i1.174.
  4. Sankaranarayanan A, Castle D. Burden associated with smoking as suicidal risk factor in an Australian sample of patients with psychosis. Australasian Psychiatry. Apr 29. pii: 1039856216646232.
  5. Sankaranarayanan A, Clark V, Baker A, Palazzi K, Lewin T, Richmond R, Kay-Lambkin F, Filia S, Castle D, Williams J. Reducing smoking reduces suicidality among individuals with psychosis: Complementary outcomes from a Healthy Lifestyles intervention study. Psychiatry Research; 243: 407-412.


Trent Hammond
  • Hammond, T.E., Crowther, A., & Drummond, S. (in press). A thematic exploratory study of Australian clinical psychologists’ experiences: Treatments for overcoming burnout, Frontiers in Psychology, 2018
  • Stevens, GJ., Hammond, TE., Brownhill, S., Anand, M., De La Riva, A., Hawkins, J., Chapman, T., Baldacchino, R., Micallef, J., Andepalli, J., Kotak, A., Gunja, N., Page, A., Gould, G., Ryan, CJ., Whyte, IM., Carter, GL., and Jones, A. (in press). Study Protocol. SMS SOS: A randomized controlled trial to reduce self-harm and suicide attempts using SMS text messaging. BMC Psychiatry, 2019
  • Hammond, T.E., Crowther, A., & Drummond, S. (2018). A thematic inquiry into the burnout experience of Australian solo-practicing clinical psychologists, Frontiers in Psychology, doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2017.01996



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