Helen Herrman

Job role: 
Research Director - Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health
Member type: 
Brief Biography: 

Helen Herrman is Director, Research at Orygen. She is also Professor of Psychiatry at the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health in Melbourne. 

At Orygen she leads the Research Division and is also currently leading her own new research program, funded through the National Health and Medical Research Council, designed to improve the mental health of young people in out of home care. Her other research programs include youth, technology and mental health, and depression in primary health care.

Helen Herrman has a background of clinical, academic and service development work in the fields of community mental health care for people with psychosis, the assessment of outcomes and quality of life for people with disabilities, and mental health promotion. 

Helen is President Elect of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA), President of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists, and President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health.  

She received the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists’ College Citation in 2010 for contributions to national and international psychiatry, and International Distinguished Fellowship of the American Psychiatric Association in 2009. She was inducted to the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in 2013.

From 1992 to 2005, she was Professor and Director of Psychiatry in St. Vincent’s Health Melbourne during development of an integrated hospital and community area mental health service under Australia’s national reform of mental health care. In 2001-2002 she was acting regional adviser in mental health for the WHO’s Western Pacific Region.

She is dually qualified in public health and psychiatry and has special interests in community mental health care and mental health promotion. She is a research practitioner fellow of the Australian National Health and Medical Research Council. She has conducted research in the mental health of marginalised groups, including homeless people, prisoners and young people in out of home care, as well as psychosis, depression and psychosocial aspects of care.


Policy and legislation
Human rights
Empowerment and service user involvement
Prevention and promotion
Training, education and capacity building
Regions of interest: 
Maternal and neonatal health
Children and adolescents
Families and carers
Disorders of interest: 
Depression/anxiety/stress-related disorders

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