Code of conduct

Before continuing, please take the time to read our code of conduct.

1 Introduction

This code of conduct is a document that explains and makes explicit the values and expectations of members of the Society of Mental Health Research. In agreeing to be part of the SMHR, each member must also agree to adhere to the values and behaviour described in this code of conduct.

Core values members of the society share are:

  • Respect

  • Honesty

  • Integrity

Members support:

  • promotion of evidence based mental health research

  • research and researchers of different disciplines of psychiatric and mental health research

  • responsible and ethical behaviour in research

  • education, training and raising awareness of mental health issues, particularly developments arising from research

  • early career researchers to sustain long term excellence and innovation in mental health research

2 Purpose

The purpose of this document is to set out the standards of behaviour expected of members and outlines behaviour which is in breach of this Code.

3 Code of conduct

It is expected that members agree to act in good faith and abide by the policies and procedures that are currently being developed by SMHR. These policies will be provided to members as they are finalised. Specific expectations for members are provided below:

3.1 Support for SMHR mission and strategic objectives


3.1.1 Members will support the mission and values of the SMHR

3.1.2 Members will support the SMHR strategic objectives

3.1.3 Members will participate cooperatively with fellow members and stakeholders to achieve agreed goals.

3.2 Privacy and Confidentiality

No Expectation

3.2.1 Members will act in a way that protects the intellectual property rights of the institution, the researcher and sponsors of the researcher

3.2.2 Members will not access or disclose confidential information and or intellectual property of SMHR without written consent of the Committee

3.3 Conflict of Interest No Expectation

3.3.1 Members will avoid perceived or actual conflicts of interest

3.3.2 Members will declare perceived or actual conflicts of interest

3.4 Media and Communications

No Expectation

3.4.1 Members will seek approval of the Committee in writing prior to communication with the media or transmission of any public position statement/s which represent the SMHR. This includes public statements in newspapers, television, social media and any other electronic platforms.

3.4.2 Members will seek written approval before interviewed by the media, invited to participate in debates, and approached by individuals for comment regarding SMHR

3.5 Interpersonal conduct of members

No Expectation

3.5.1 Members will work cooperatively with fellow members and stakeholders

3.5.2 Members will treat all people associated with the SMHR, including members, volunteers, sponsors, external stakeholders, and Committee Members with respect

3.5.3 Members will act in the best interests of the SMHR rather than to promote individualinterest or gain

3.5.4 Members will respect the views and opinions of other members

3.5.5 Members will be honest at all times

3.5.6 Members will respect the equipment and resources of the SMHR and only use these in SMHR related business

3.5.7 Members Act in the best interests of the SMHR rather than promote individual interest or gain

3.6 Unacceptable conduct of members

The following behaviour is not acceptable:

No Expectation

3.6.1 Members will not harass, discriminate or bully other members, or operational staff

3.6.2 Members will not encourage or support harassment, discriminating or bullying of staff, committee members, partners sponsors or the public

3.6.3 Members will not discriminate against someone because of their sex, race, ethnic or ethno-religious background, political affiliation, occupation, marital status, pregnancy, disability, age, sex, sexuality or gender diversity

3.6.4 Members will not transmit, communicate or access any material that may discriminate against, harass or vilify other members.

3.6.5 Members will not make malicious or vexatious allegations

4 Breach of the code of conduct

Complaints regarding the conduct of a member and allegations of impropriety will be taken

seriously. A complaint that a member has not acted responsibly in breach of this code may

include the following actions:

  • provision of information

  • an informal discussion with the member

  • a formal inquiry by the Committee

  • the imposition of a sanction or penalty

  • advice to expert groups and public statements as appropriate.

The action taken will depend on the nature and severity of the specific complaint.