Dr Rachel Baffsky

Dr Rachel Baffsky

Research Associate

Doctor of Philosophy from School of Population Health, Faculty of Medicine (awarded February 2024, UNSW). Thesis: An implementation science approach to early mental health programs for children in Australian schools.

Master of Public Health (2016, The University of Sydney).

Bachelor of Psychology (Honours) (2012, The University of Sydney).

Medicine & Health
School of Population Health

Dr. Rachel Baffsky (BPsych Hons, MPH, PhD) is an implementation scientist and psychology researcher. Her expertise is supporting school-based mental health programs and community interventions in injury prevention, domestic violence, Hepatitis infection control, and cancer care. Dr. Baffsky’s mixed methods research combines co-design approaches and hybrid effectiveness/implementation studies to develop implementation strategies. She has taught postgraduate courses in Public Health at the University of New South Wales. In 2023, she was appointed as a Post-doctoral Fellow to enhance Hepatitis C point-of-care testing practices across Australia.

School of Population Health
  • Book Chapters | 2021
    Baffsky R; Kemp L; Bunde-Birouste A, 2021, 'Theory of Change in Sports-Based Urban Youth Programs: Lessons from Creating Chances', in , Oxford University Press, http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acrefore/9780190632366.013.313
  • Journal articles | 2024
    Baffsky R; Koshiba C; Muna EL; Maua RF; Ivers R; Peden AE, 2024, 'Assessing violence and injury prevention plans, strategies and indicators in eighteen Pacific Islands countries: an environmental scan', The Lancet Regional Health - Western Pacific, 44, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.lanwpc.2023.100985
    Journal articles | 2024
    Baffsky R; Rheinberger D; McGillivray L; Torok M, 2024, 'Factors that influence young people’s experiences of emergency suicide care in Australia: a qualitative study', International Journal of Mental Health, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/00207411.2024.2347678
    Journal articles | 2024
    Rheinberger D; Baffsky R; McGillivray L; Z Q Gan D; Larsen M; Torok M, 2024, 'Digital therapeutics in the hospital for suicide crisis – content and design recommendations from young people and hospital staff', Digital Health, 10, http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/20552076241230072
    Journal articles | 2023
    Baffsky R; Ivers R; Cullen P; McGillivray L; Werner-Seidler A; Calear AL; Batterham PJ; Toumbourou JW; Stokes R; Kotselas P; Prendergast T; Torok M, 2023, 'Co-design and Development of Implementation Strategies: Enhancing the PAX Good Behaviour Game in Australian Schools', Journal of Prevention, 44, pp. 679 - 704, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s10935-023-00749-9
    Journal articles | 2023
    Baffsky R; Ivers R; Cullen P; Wang J; McGillivray L; Torok M, 2023, 'Strategies for Enhancing the Implementation of Universal Mental Health Prevention Programs in Schools: A Systematic Review', Prevention Science, 24, pp. 337 - 352, http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11121-022-01434-9
    Journal articles | 2023
    Cullen P; M'Ller H; Baffsky R; Martiniuk A; Senserrick T; Rogers K; Woodward M; Stevenson MR; McLean R; Sawyer S; Patton G; Ivers RQ; Moeller H, 2023, 'Self-harm in adolescence and risk of crash: A 13-year cohort study of novice drivers in New South Wales, Australia', Injury Prevention, 29, pp. 302 - 308, http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/ip-2022-044807
    Journal articles | 2023
    Rheinberger D; Baffsky R; McGillivray L; Zbukvic I; Dadich A; Larsen ME; Lin PI; Gan DZQ; Kaplun C; Wilcox HC; Eapen V; Middleton PM; Torok M, 2023, 'Examining the Feasibility of Implementing Digital Mental Health Innovations Into Hospitals to Support Youth in Suicide Crisis: Interview Study With Young People and Health Professionals', JMIR Formative Research, 7, http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/51398
    Journal articles | 2023
    Torok M; Burnett ACR; McGillivray L; Qian J; Gan DZQ; Baffsky R; Wong Q, 2023, 'Self-harm in 5-to-24 year olds: Retrospective examination of hospital presentations to emergency departments in New South Wales, Australia, 2012 to 2020', PLoS ONE, 18, http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0289877
    Journal articles | 2022
    Baffsky R; Beek K; Wayland S; Shanthosh J; Henry A; Cullen P, 2022, '“The real pandemic’s been there forever”: qualitative perspectives of domestic and family violence workforce in Australia during COVID-19', BMC Health Services Research, 22, pp. 337, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12913-022-07708-w
    Journal articles | 2022
    Baffsky R; Ivers R; Cullen P; Batterham PJ; Toumbourou J; Calear AL; Werner-Seidler A; McGillivray L; Torok M, 2022, 'A cluster randomised effectiveness-implementation trial of an intervention to increase the adoption of PAX Good Behaviour Game, a mental health prevention program, in Australian primary schools: Study protocol', Contemporary Clinical Trials Communications, 28, pp. 100923, http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.conctc.2022.100923
    Journal articles | 2020
    Baffsky R, 2020, 'Eating disorders in Australia: A commentary on the need to address stigma', Journal of Eating Disorders, 8, pp. 11, http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s40337-020-00287-3
  • Preprints | 2023
    Rheinberger D; Baffsky R; McGillivray L; Zbukvic I; Dadich A; Larsen ME; Lin P-I; Gan DZQ; Kaplun C; Wilcox HC; Eapen V; Middleton PM; Torok M, 2023, Examining the Feasibility of Implementing Digital Mental Health Innovations Into Hospitals to Support Youth in Suicide Crisis: Interview Study With Young People and Health Professionals (Preprint), , http://dx.doi.org/10.2196/preprints.51398
    Conference Papers | 2022
    Reports | 2021
    Cullen P; Baffsky R; Beek K; Wayland S, 2021, How frontline domestic and family violence workforce in Australia kept connected to their clients and each other through the pandemic, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28260
    Reports | 2021
    Cullen P; Stevenson S; Baffsky R; Walker N, 2021, A new model of care for women experiencing trauma from domestic, family and sexual violence: Co-design report, UNSW Sydney, Kensington, http://dx.doi.org/10.26190/unsworks/28259

2023-2024, National Health & Medical Research Council/Clinical Trials Activity (MRFF), Enhancing point-of-care testing for hepatitis C infection: the OPTIMISE study, $134,625 over 1 year. Taylor, N., Mazariego, C, Baffsky R, 

2020-2023, Prevention is better than cure: Accelerating implementation of the Good Behaviour Game in primary schools, at scale. Tye, M., Baffsky, R., Ivers, R., Cullen, P., McGillivray L., Werner-Seidler, A., Calear, A., Batterham, P. J., Toumbourou, J.

2021-2023, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), PhD Scholarship. $81,597 over 3 years. Baffsky, R. 

2022-2023, World Health Organisation, Scoping review on injury prevention initiatives in the Western Pacific. $65799 over 9 months.  Peden, A., Baffsky, R., Swamy, K., Ivers, R. 

2022-2023, Co-designing an implementation strategy for a youth suicide prevention digital health intervention in hospitals: A scoping study. Tye, M., Rheinberger, D., McGillivray L., Baffsky, R. 

2022-2023, The co-design of a youth road safety web-based education intervention. Ivers, R., Wang, A., Baffsky, R., Cullen, P., Peden, A., Moeller, H., George, E., MacMillan, F. 

2021-2022, Exploring the data and governance of clinical registries in Australia through an equity lens. Ivers, R., Baffsky, R., Ryder, C., Severin, J.  

2020-2021, UNSW COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Initiative, Responses to domestic and family violence during the COVID-19 pandemic. Cullen, P, Beek, K., Wayland, S., Baffsky, R. 

2020-2021, NSW Ministry of Health, Transforming Domestic and Family Violence Response and Recovery Services, $60,000 over 1 year. Cullen, P., Stevenson, S., Longbottom, M., Walker, N., Baffsky, R. 

2018-2020, Creating Chances, $144,956 over 3 years. Bunde-Birouste, A., Baffsky R., Nathan, S., Rawstorne, P 

2018-2020, The Laureus Sport for Good Foundation, Football United to deliver multinational youth life skills and leadership programs, $294,223 over 3 years. Bunde-Birouste, A., Baffsky, R., Shwe, T. 

2019-2022, The Macquarie Group Foundation, Creating Chances to implement Future Pathways programs to build young people’s capacity to successfully transition out of school to employment or education, $450,000 over 3 years. McCarroll B., Meney, S., Helal, A., Busby, M., Bunde-Birouste, A., Baffsky R. 

2018-2020, FIFA Foundation Community Programme, UNSW to deliver its Football United program to promote social inclusion, $174,000 over 3 years.  Bunde-Birouste, A., Baffsky, R., Shwe, T.

2019, Bloomberg Extra Mile Project, UNSW to deliver its Football United program at community sites. $16,311 over 1 year, Bunde-Birouste, A, Helal, A, Hill, N., Baffsky, R. 

2019, The French Embassy in Myanmar, UNSW to deliver its Football United Myanmar program to build youth capacity and promote community cohesion, and peace-building in war-torn Yangon region. $38,200 over 1 year. Shwe, T., Bunde-Birouste, A, Baffsky, R. 

2021-2023, National Health and Medical Research Council (NHMRC), PhD Scholarship. $81,597 over 3 years. Baffsky, R.

2022, Black Dog Institute, Knowledge Translation Award, $2989 to present PhD findings at the 22nd International Association for Adolescent Health European Regional Conference in Athens. Baffsky, R.

2022, Black Dog Institute, Emerge Research Award, $4596.86 to cover open-access fees. Baffsky, R. 

2022, Black Dog Institute, Open Access Funding, $2613.88. Baffsky, R. 

2021, Australian Health Promotion Association, Student Personal Development Award. Baffsky, R. 

2012, Charles Perkins Centre, Summer Research Scholarship. Baffsky, R. 

Between 2018-2020, Dr Baffsky led the monitoring and evaluation of sports-based positive youth development program, Creating Chances, serving over 2,500 children and adolescents who experienced disadvantage across New South Wales. The program was found to improve young people's wellbeing and engagement with school. From 2021-2023, she worked with the NSW Department of Education and educators to support the uptake of internationally renowned socio-emotional learning program, PAX Good Behaviour Game, into over 300 primary schools in New South Wales. This led to improvements in emotional and behavioural symptoms for over 3,000 children. Dr Baffsky also contributed to the co-design of a world-first trauma recovery centre for women with experience of long-term domestic and family violence in the Illawarra region.