Faculty of Health

Christine Handley

Christine Handley

Ms Christine Handley

Senior Lecturer (Faculty of Health); ADON (CAMHS/DHHS)

RGN; RPN; Ba. App. Sc.; M.Ed; FCNA; FACMHN

Contact Details

Contact Campus Hobart CBD Campuses
Telephone +61 3 6233 8612, 0417367987
Fax +61 3 6228 0090
Email Christine.Handley@utas.edu.au , Christine.Handley@dhhs.tas.gov.au

Career Path 

Ms Handley has been employed in a formal academic/clinical conjoint position with the University of Tasmania and Child and Adolescent Mental Health (DHHS) for over 15 years. Prior to this she worked in acute and rehabilitation contexts in general and psychiatric hospitals. She has also coordinated the mental health stream of the Graduate Diploma of Nursing for over 15 years. Ms Handley is an experienced Practical Development facilitator and a member of PD Tas which, in 2013, successfully applied for membership of the IPDC (International Practice Development Collaborative). Her clinical experience is with children, young people and families and she has worked in individual, group and family therapy contexts.

Ms Handley is a winner of the prestigious Stan Alchin for outstanding clinical contribution and has worked with academic and clinical colleagues to introduce Tasmania to COPMI (Children of Parents with a Mental Illness). She, along with a clinical CAMHS colleague commenced the first peer support groups for children of parents with a mental illness and was also a key collaborative partner in developing Champs Camps for children/families where a parent/s has a mental illness. Ms Handley's conjoint position enables her to provide a Statewide leadership role in mental health generally and in child and adolescent mental health nursing. 

Teaching Interests 

Ms Handley's postgraduate teaching addresses a broad range of mental health topics including, assessment, recovery and trauma informed care. In addition, students are introduced to mental health subspecialties such as alcohol and other drugs, forensic; older persons in mental health and child and adolescent mental health nursing.

She teaches Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Theory 1 (CNA740), Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Theory 2 (CNA741), Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Practice 1 (CNA742), Foundations of Mental Health Nursing Practice 2 (CNA743) and Psychological Therapies in Mental Health Care (CNA739). The latter provides students with an intensive 1 week workshop on Cognitive Behaviour Therapy.

Ms Handley has recently co-authored two chapters for an Australian text addressing health and well-being in children, young people and families. The chapters were a result of successful collaborative partnership with a senior academic colleague from CQU (Central Queensland University) and drew on her clinical expertise/experience in CAMHS. The most recently published was McAllister, M. and Handley, C. 2013, Chapter 12, "Promoting Mental Health", in Barnes, M. (Editor), Child, Youth and Family Health: Strengthening Communities 2e, Elsevier, Australia. 

Ms Handley regularly presents at the Australian College of Mental Health Nursing Conferences, in addition to being a regular reviewer of abstracts for this international conference and a reviewer of papers for the Stan Alchin Award.

Research Interests

Ms Handley's research interests are: Children of parents with mental illness, Early intervention and Prevention including school based, Trauma Informed Care, Attachment, Group Work, Role of the Child and Adolescent Mental Health Nurse, Self-injury in young people, resilience/coping, Recovery Frameworks, and Consumer/Carer participation in mental health. 

She is currently the lead research investigator in Tasmania for the iCARE Project; a project addressing awareness, resilience and enhanced mental health for young people in Year 9 at High School. The project has been developed in collaboration with the author of iCARE, Professor Margaret McAllister (CQU). In 2014, Chris worked with Professor McAllister to develop iCARE training vignettes and in 2015, she will collaborate with the CQU based iCARE Research Team to develop training resources for iCARE facilitators and will educate teachers in rural Queensland about the iCARE program, prior to a roll-out of the program across 20 Schools. 

Ms Handley has been successful in achieving two Tasmanian grants to support the iCARE project - one from the Tasmanian Community Fund (TCF) and the other from the mental health services of the Southern Tas. Health Organisation (DHHS).

Research Expertise and Specific Skills

  • Phenomenology
  • Survey
  • Interview
  • Focus groups
  • Interdisciplinary and inter-sectorial collaboration (e.g. university, clinical practice and schools)

Web Access Research Portal (WARP) for Ms Christine Handley