Profiles

David Lees

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David Lees

Lecturer in Nursing

Newnham Campus

(03) 6324 3997 (phone)

D.B.Lees@utas.edu.au

Dr David Lees’ lecturing, higher degree research supervision, and community engagement activities focus on the development and practical application of contemporary approaches to mental health care. 

In teaching nursing students, Dr Lees emphasises the importance of mental health care for all future nurses, whichever area they end up working in. He believes that nurses are an essential part of a healthcare team, and a broader society, that supports people to better look after themselves and each other.

Contemporary approaches to mental health care embrace a recovery model of mental health, which is based on empowerment of the person receiving care, holistic thinking, hope, the fostering of positive relationships, fulfilment of personal goals and meaningful involvement in society. 

‘Mental health care doesn’t stop and start at a hospital door. The person needs, as much as possible, to learn how to make the most of their lives and to be in control of their lives, when it comes to their mental health. When nurses use the recovery model they are there to assist rather than leading or directing. This restores the power to the patient,’ says Dr Lees.

Dr Lees emphasises the importance of helping students to develop essential skills such as empathy, self-awareness and emotional intelligence, to develop relationships that can be vehicles for recovery.  

‘Clinicians need to have hope and optimism that the therapeutic relationships they form are worthwhile. There is the potential for nurses to help others in so many ways, including in the transference of empowerment and hope from the nurse to the patient via a therapeutic relationship.

‘It is vital that nurses develop the skills of self awareness and the ability to self-reflect, to seek and receive effective support from colleagues, to know when they need counselling or debriefing themselves, and to do those things outside of work that sustain them. In these ways, both the patient and the clinician use the recovery model in their own lives to maintain and improve their own mental health, and the clinician is able to maintain their hope and optimism and avoid burnout.’

In supervising higher degree research students, Dr Lees notes that ‘Any higher degree student is operating at the forefront of issues and creating new knowledge. I find it immensely satisfying to work in an environment that allows me to be exposed to current ideas in the field of mental health, through my students, senior colleagues and other people in the field.

‘It’s a privilege to support students. Having been through my own PhD studies, I know how challenging it can be. It’s wonderful to have a connection to all their interesting projects and to see how they can help develop approaches to care and ultimately make a positive difference in people’s lives,’ says Dr Lees.

‘Research can sometimes feel distant from the real world and community. Higher degree research can, in many ways, take us deeply into that world. I do my job because I believe and hope that what we do as teachers and researchers helps to improve how health care is delivered. It affects people’s lives. At its basis, mental health care is about helping people to flourish and reach their human potential. I want everyone, especially vulnerable people, to have meaningful and satisfying lives. Ultimately that would lead to us having a more peaceful, connected and healthier society.’

Dr Lees is involved in numerous community engagement activities, including the facilitation of a staff–student mindfulness group, and the development and evaluation of a three-year national suicide prevention trial across northern regions of Tasmania, where the suicide rate is unfortunately higher than the national average. This work will see the University of Tasmania playing a key role in evaluating the community-led activities that form part of the trial.

View more on Mr David Lees in WARP

Fields of Research

  • Mental Health Nursing (111005)
  • Mental Health (111714)
  • Health and Community Services (111708)
  • Public Health and Health Services (111799)
  • Health Promotion (111712)

Research Objectives

  • Mental Health Services (920209)
  • Nursing (920210)
  • Mental Health (920410)
  • Evaluation of Health Outcomes (920204)
  • Health Education and Promotion (920205)
  • Rural Health (920506)
  • Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Health - Health System Performance (incl. Effectiveness of Interventions) (920303)
  • Social Class and Inequalities (940116)
  • Community Service (excl. Work) (940199)
  • Health Policy Evaluation (920208)

Publications

Total publications

38

Journal Article

(21 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Cleary M, Lees D, 'The Role of Conscience in Nursing Practice', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 40, (3) pp. 281-283. ISSN 0161-2840 (2019) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1548852 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Cleary M

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2019Cleary M, Lees D, Sayers J, 'Leadership, thought diversity, and the influence of groupthink', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 40, (8) pp. 731-733. ISSN 0161-2840 (2019) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1604050 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

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2019Cleary M, West S, Saghafi F, Lees D, Kornhaber R, 'Finding common ground for the common good: compromise in health care', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 40, (10) pp. 926-928. ISSN 0161-2840 (2019) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2019.1643630 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Cleary M; West S; Saghafi F; Kornhaber R

Tweet

2019Farshi MR, Valizadeh L, Zamanzadeh V, Rassouli M, Lees D, et al., 'A qualitative study of Iranian parents' experiences of interacting with their adolescent children', Journal of Transcultural Nursing, 30, (6) pp. 569- 575. ISSN 1043-6596 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1177/1043659618823916 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M

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2019Molloy L, Walker KN, Lakeman R, Lees D, 'Encounters with difference: Mental health nurses and Indigenous Australian users of mental health services', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 28, (4) pp. 922-929. ISSN 1445-8330 (2019) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12592 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Walker KN

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2019Cleary M, Lees D, Sayers J, 'The Art of Negotiation', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (2) pp. 1-3. ISSN 0161-2840 (2019) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1507596 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

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2018Cleary M, Lees D, Lopez V, ''Saying Sorry': Some Strategies for Effective Apology within the Workplace', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (11) pp. 980-982. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1507571 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M

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2018Cleary M, Lees D, Sayers J, 'Friendship and Mental Health', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (3) pp. 279-281. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1431444 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

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2018Cleary M, Lees D, Sayers J, 'Loyalty in the Workplace: Some Considerations for Mental Health Nurses', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (4) pp. 366-368. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1458470 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

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2018Cleary M, Lees D, Sayers J, 'Rule Breaking: Some Positive and Negative Implications for Professional Standards and Clinical Practice', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (8) pp. 717-718. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1500840 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

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2018Molloy L, Walker K, Lakeman R, Lees D, 'Mental Health Nursing Practice and Indigenous Australians: A Multi-Sited Ethnography', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 40, (1) pp. 21-27. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1488902 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Tweet

2018Vahidi M, Ebrahimi H, Areshtanab HN, Jafarabadi MA, Lees D, et al., 'Therapeutic relationships and safety of care in Iranian psychiatric inpatient units', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 39, (11) pp. 967-976. ISSN 0161-2840 (2018) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2018.1485795 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 1

Co-authors: Foong A; Cleary M

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2017Cleary M, Escott P, Lees D, Sayers J, 'High Hopes and Expectations: Consumer Disappointment and Recovery', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38, (3) pp. 280-282. ISSN 0161-2840 (2017) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2017.1297073 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1

Co-authors: Cleary M; Sayers J

Tweet

2017Cleary M, Lees D, Molloy L, Escott P, Sayers J, 'Recovery-oriented Care and Leadership in Mental Health Nursing', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 38, (5) pp. 458-460. ISSN 0161-2840 (2017) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2017.1314738 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Cleary M; Molloy L; Escott P; Sayers J

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2017Molloy L, Lakeman R, Walker K, Lees D, 'Lip service: Public mental health services and the care of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples', International journal of mental health nursing pp. 1-9. ISSN 1445-8330 (2017) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12424 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 3Web of Science - 3

Co-authors: Molloy L

Tweet

2016Cleary M, Lees D, Escott P, 'Mental Health Week - The value of consumer involvement in mental health services', Infusion, (October) (2016) [Professional, Non Refereed Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Escott P

2016Cleary M, Lees DB, Escott P, Molloy L, 'Leadership and mental health recovery: Rhetoric or reality', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 25 pp. 267-269. ISSN 1445-8330 (2016) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12250 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 1Web of Science - 2

Co-authors: Cleary M; Molloy L

Tweet

2016Cleary M, Lees DB, Escott P, Sayers JM, 'Capitalising on Engagement: An Underutilised and Undervalued Resource in Healthcare', Issues in Mental Health Nursing, 37 pp. 983-985. ISSN 0161-2840 (2016) [Non Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1080/01612840.2016.1249697 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Cleary M; Escott P; Sayers JM

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2016Lees D, Procter N, Fassett D, Handley C, 'Involving mental health service users in suicide-related research: a qualitative inquiry model', Nurse Researcher, 23, (4) pp. 30-34. ISSN 1351-5578 (2016) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.7748/nr.23.4.30.s7 [eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Fassett D; Handley C

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2015Cutcliffe JR, Santos JC, Kozel B, Taylor P, Lees D, 'Raiders of the Lost Art: A review of published evaluations of inpatient mental health care experiences emanating from the United Kingdom, Portugal, Canada, Switzerland, Germany and Australia', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 24, (5) pp. 375-385. ISSN 1445-8330 (2015) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12159 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 16

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2014Lees D, Procter N, Fassett D, 'Therapeutic engagement between consumers in suicidal crisis and mental health nurses', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing, 23, (4) pp. 306-315. ISSN 1445-8330 (2014) [Refereed Article]

DOI: 10.1111/inm.12061 [eCite] [Details]

Citations: Scopus - 19Web of Science - 17

Co-authors: Fassett D

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Conference Publication

(11 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2019Auckland S, Smith L, Mond J, Purton Terry, Lees D, 'Local Evaluation of the Tasmanian Component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial (NSPT) - Preliminary learnings', Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, 28 - 30 October, Adelaide, South Australia (2019) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Auckland S; Smith L; Mond J; Purton Terry

2019Auckland S, Smith L, Mond J, Purton Terry, Lees D, 'Local Evaluation of the Tasmanian Component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial (NSPT) - Preliminary learnings', Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium, 28 - 30 October, Adelaide, South Australia (2019) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Auckland S; Smith L; Mond J; Purton Terry

2016Bridgman H, Smith AV, Salter V, Lees DB, Taylor E, et al., 'STUDENT PERSPECTIVES OF RECOVERY CAMP TASMANIA: An Experiential Learning Opportunity for Students of Health Disciplines and Mental Health Consumers', 8th Australian Rural and Remote Mental Health Symposium 2016, 2 - 4 November, 2016, Kingscliffe, Australia (2016) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bridgman H; Smith AV

2015Chidarikire S, Bridgman H, Lees DB, Smith AV, Kevan KJ, 'Recovery Camp Tasmania: A novel way of enhancing experiential learning opportunities for students of health disciplines', University of Tasmania Teaching Matters Conference 2015, 2 December 2015, Hobart, Tasmania (2015) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Chidarikire S; Bridgman H; Smith AV; Kevan KJ

2015Lees DB, 'Professional Development Workshop for Suicide Intervention', The Fifth Asian Conference on Psychology & the Behavioural Sciences, 28 March 2015, Osaka, Japan (2015) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Lees D, Schofield C, 'Professional development workshop model for suicide intervention', International Journal of Mental Health Nursing - Oral paper to the Australian College of Mental Health Nurses International Conference, October, Melbourne, Australia, pp. 21, 23 (Suppl 1). ISSN 1445-8330 (2014) [Plenary Presentation]

[eCite] [Details]

2014Lees DB, 'Resilience, recovery', School of Health Sciences - Resilience, Recovery and Mental Health Conference 2014, 29 October, 2014, Hobart, Tasmania (2014) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2013Lees DB, Fassett D, Procter N, 'Research and clinical engagement with consumers who have lived experience of suicidal crisis', Australian College of Mental Health Nursing 39th International Mental Health Nursing Conference - Collaboration and Partnership in Mental Health Nursing, 22-24 October, Pan Pacific Hotel, Perth, Western Australia, pp. 16. (2013) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Fassett D

2012Lees DB, 'Engagement between people experiencing suicidal crisis and mental health nurses', 2012 Graduate Research Symposium, 16-17 July 2012, Launceston, Tasmania, pp. 11. (2012) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Lees DB, Fassett D, Procter NG, 'A critical exploration of interactions and engagement between people in suicidal crisis and registered nurses within a public mental health service', 4th Asia Pacific Regional Conference of the International Association for Suicide Prevention, 17 - 20 November, Brisbane (2010) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Fassett D; Procter NG

2009Lees DB, 'Ethical considerations during research into clinical engagement between people with a mental illness who have experienced suicidal crisis and mental health nurses in Australia', XXV International Association for Suicide Prevention World Congress, 27-31 October, Montevideo, Uruguay (2009) [Conference Extract]

[eCite] [Details]

Thesis

(1 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2013Lees DB, 'Therapeutic engagement between people experiencing suicidal crisis and mental health nurses' (2013) [PhD]

[eCite] [Details]

Other Public Output

(5 outputs)
YearCitationAltmetrics
2016Bridgman H, Lees DB, Smith AV, Salter V, 'Winner: TAHPAC Allied Health Award (category - Health Promotion), 2016 'Recovery Camp Tasmania'' (2016) [Award]

[eCite] [Details]

Co-authors: Bridgman H; Smith AV

2013Lees DB, 'In profile: David Lees', Australian College of Mental Health Nurses News Quarterly, Sept-Nov, p. 19. (2013) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Lees DB, 'Suicide and Suicide Research in Tasmania', Northern Area Health Service Newsletter, 17 (2010) [Magazine Article]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Lees DB, 'Tasmania's mental health nurses want to do more to help people in danger of suicide', Southern Cross Network News, 22 October (2010) [Media Interview]

[eCite] [Details]

2010Lees DB, 'Suicide research to give nurses new workplace tool', Examiner Newspaper, 25 October (2010) [Newspaper Article]

[eCite] [Details]

Grants & Funding

Funding Summary

Number of grants

3

Total funding

$335,918

Projects

LGBTI training evaluation (2019)$3,112
Description
The proposal relates to the evaluation of activities associated with the establishment and operation of the two newly established Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES) networks (programs) namely Devonport and Launceston. The focus of the evaluation is on how the two Tasmanian programs and associated networks operate in the context of the Tasmanian component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial (NSPT) with a special focus on the LGBTI community. The evaluation provides a timely opportunity to assess the processrelated aspects of the program including the extent to which the establishment and delivery processes reflect best practice in enhancing community awareness, capacity and ownership. The evaluation also provides an opportunity to identify baseline indicators that can be used for on-going monitoring and evaluation of the program.
Funding
Kentish Regional Clinic Inc ($3,112)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Auckland SRJ; Mond JM; Lees DB; Smith LA; Purton T
Year
2019
Evaluation of the National Suicide Prevention Trial - Tasmania (2018 - 2020)$320,306
Description
This Request for Proposal (RFP) is in response to an invitation by Primary Health Tasmania for suitably qualified suppliers to submit a proposal & quote for the Evaluation of the Tasmanian Component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial.
Funding
Primary Health Tasmania ($320,306)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Mond JM; Auckland SRJ; Lees DB; Smith LA; Purton T; Skromanis S
Period
2018 - 2020
Evaluation of the CORES Devonport and Launceston Networks (2018 - 2020)$12,500
Description
The proposal relates to the evaluation of activities associated with the establishment and operation of the two newly established Community Response to Eliminating Suicide (CORES) networks (programs) namely Devonport and Launceston. The focus of the evaluation is on how the two Tasmanian programs and associated networks operate in the context of the Tasmanian component of the National Suicide Prevention Trial (NSPT). The evaluation provides a timely opportunity to assess the processrelated aspects of the program including the extent to which the establishment and delivery processes reflect best practice in enhancing community awareness, capacity and ownership. The evaluation also provides an opportunity to identify baseline indicators that can be used for on-going monitoring and evaluation of the program.
Funding
Kentish Regional Clinic Inc ($12,500)
Scheme
Contract Research
Administered By
University of Tasmania
Research Team
Auckland SRJ; Mond JM; Lees DB; Smith LA; Purton T; Skromanis S
Period
2018 - 2020

Research Supervision

Current

2

Completed

1

Current

DegreeTitleCommenced
PhDDoes Strengths-Based Training for Mental Health Professionals and Managers, Improve Personal Recovery Outcomes for Service Users with Serious Mental Illness?2015
PhDThe Role of Health Organizations on Increasing the Health Care Awareness Among the Community2019

Completed

DegreeTitleCompleted
PhDMental Health Nursing and its Practice with Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Peoples in Public Mental Health Services: A multi-sited ethnography
Candidate: Luke Molloy
2018