Research is an important part of the Werry Centre.  An exciting programme of research is underway which will underpin policy and practice for the assessment and treatment of infants, children and adolescents with mental health problems. We participate in international research and regularly invite international academics to present workshops and presentations and our own academics present at international conferences.

At present we have several projects under-way:

SPARX related research. SPARX is a online self-help tool for depression which is now freely available in New Zealand. We have tested SPARX in New Zealand in several ways and we currently have collaborations  under way to explore aspects of SPARX in the USA, Japan, the Netherlands, Australia and elsewhere. For example collaborators from the University of Tasmania is exploring the use of SPARX for young people in rural and remote areas. New Zealand clinical teams have tested the use of SPARX in inpatient mental health services for young people (see

SPARX-R for young people in a program for youth offenders. Dr Terry (Theresa) Fleming has modified SPARX to be relevant for young people who do not identify as having depression. This study is currently underway with community partners in Auckland.

The TrACY Study The TrACY study has been funded by the Health Research Council of New Zealand and it will involve carrying out a rigorous real world clinical trial to test whether training in MATCH-ADTC (Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma or Conduct problems) results in the delivery of more EBT and better mental health outcomes for children and adolescents than usual care. The co-principal investigators for the TrACY study are Associate Professor Sally Merry and Dr Sue Crengle.

Mana Moana. Dr Karlo Mila has developed a Pacific model of healing which can be used in therapy. She is currently working on testing the feasibility of this approach with groups of young people.

Other research projects include projects regarding infant wellbeing.

The research team is based in the Department of Psychological Medicine in the Medical School of the University of Auckland and is supervised by Dr Sally Merry.

We welcome clinicians, students and services who are interested in Masters/ PhD or Post-Graduate study or Research Projects in their work places. Please contact Dr Terry (Theresa) Fleming to discuss opportunities or you can approach a potential supervisor who is working in the area of interest to you. Currently researchers at the Werry Centre would welcome enquires about research many areas including:

  • adolescent mental health in collaboration with the Adolescent Health Research Group (Youth2000 series) e.g re mental health care access, the mental health needs of specific population groups or re family relationships, connectedness and mental wellbeing (look at or contact Terry Fleming)
  • adolescent mental health and e-therapy. There are re specific questions including questions or how SPARX or related programs can be used in clinical services
  • adolescent mental health and clinical mental health service provision.
  • Mana Moana project specifically for clinicians with skills and experiences in working with Pacific young people.

Find out more about our current research projects and research publications

Check out our Masters and Doctorate students' projects