IHMRI affiliation

Theme:Mental health and the ageing brain
Level:IHMRI Senior Fellow

Research focus

Dr Vella is the most published researcher in the world on the topic of mental health and sport. His work spans mental health programs and guidelines, and psychological safety.  His “Ahead of the Game” program is being scaled globally including as the official program of the Rugby League World Cup.

Publications and funding


  • Member of the review panel of the International Sport Coaching Journal

Other roles

  • Associate Editor at the Journal of Applied Sport Psychology

IHMRI research team

Research fellows

Research associates

Dr Caitlin Liddelow E: Caitlinl@uow.edu.au
Dr Matthew Schweickle E: mschweic@uow.edu.au

PhD candidates

Kevin Dominic Fernandez The Effect of Continuum Conceptualisations of Mental Illness on Stigma in Adolescents
Jordan Sutcliffe Investigating the relations of organised youth sport participation and parental mental health and wellbeing