Phillipa Huynh
Phillipa Huynh
Phillipa Huynh

Phillipa Huynh

‘Risk and Protective Factors for Complex Trauma in Australian Rural and Urban Men’

Swinburne University of Technology, Vic
Awarded 2023
Co-funded by the Rotary Club of Victor Harbor

“ An increased risk of suicide in people experiencing complex trauma and the pronounced disparity in suicide rates between urban and regional areas of Australia, particularly in men, underscores a critical gap in our understanding of how to effectively address men’s mental health needs.”

General Health PhD Scholarship

Researcher Profile

With a background in Information Technology in the corporate world, Phillipa changed careers around 2015, delving into the world of natural therapies. Building upon a passion for helping others, Phillipa completed a Graduate Diploma in Psychology at Monash University in 2021 and went on to undertake an honours degree in Psychological Sciences at Swinburne University in 2022. During her honours degree, Phillipa discovered a passion for research that was nurtured by her supervisors.

Phillipa is now undertaking a PhD in Clinical Psychology at Swinburne University with a particular interest in complex trauma, men’s mental health, and the mental health experiences of Australians living in regional and/or rural areas.

Project Summary

The aim of this project is to investigate the risk factors for complex trauma in cisgender men who have experienced prolonged or repetitive traumatic events. Complex trauma is a mental illness with symptoms including negative self-concept, difficulties regulating emotions, and difficulties forming healthy relationships. The project also aims to identify what protects men from experiencing these symptoms or what helps them to manage their symptoms.

The project will comprise three stages:

  • A review of the existing literature to determine what and if any sex or gender differences exist in complex trauma research. If possible, any risk and/or protective factors emerging from the research for men experiencing complex trauma symptoms will also be investigated.
  • A study examining the lived experiences of cisgender men, living in both urban and rural/regional areas of Australia, who have experienced prolonged or repetitive trauma. Participants will be interviewed and asked about their experiences around emotion regulation, relationships, self-esteem, and accessing treatment (if applicable).
  • An online questionnaire will be developed to investigate Australian cisgender men who have been exposed to prolonged or repetitive traumatic events. This study will attempt to identify any differences in risk and protective factors between men living in urban vs rural or regional areas. The questionnaire will be largely guided by outcomes from the first and second stages of the project.

Supervisors: Professor Maja Nedelikovic, Professor Glen Bates and Dr Stephanie Miles.

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