Harriet MacMillan is a psychiatrist and pediatrician conducting family violence research. She is a member of the Offord Centre for Child Studies, a Distinguished University Professor in the Departments of Psychiatry and Behavioural Neurosciences, and of Pediatrics at McMaster University with associate membership in the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence, and Impact. She holds the Chedoke Health Chair in Child Psychiatry.
Harriet’s research focuses on the epidemiology of violence against children and women; she has led randomized controlled trials evaluating interventions to reduce child maltreatment and intimate partner violence and associated mental health impairment. Funding for this work has been provided by organizations such as the WT Grant Foundation, the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR), the Brain and Behavior Research Foundation, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC). From 2009 to 2019, Harriet was co-principal investigator of the Centre for Research Development in Gender, Mental Health and Violence across the Lifespan (PreVAiL) funded by CIHR and PHAC. PreVAiL involved an international Network made up of researchers in the areas of mental health, gender and violence, and of partner organizations with service, research and policy mandates in these areas. Through PreVAiL, Harriet worked closely with organizations such as PHAC and the World Health Organization (WHO). Examples of her work with WHO include co-chairing the Guideline Development Group (GDG) for the WHO Clinical Guidelines on Responding to Children and Adolescents who have been Sexually Abused, and the GDG for the WHO Clinical Guidelines on the Health Sector Response to Child Maltreatment.
From 1993 to 2004, Harriet was the founding Director of the Child Advocacy and Assessment Program (CAAP) at McMaster Children’s Hospital, a multidisciplinary team committed to reducing the burden of suffering associated with family violence. She continues to see patients as an active staff member of CAAP and provides consultations to child protection agencies.
Harriet was appointed as a member of the Order of Canada in 2016.