Scientia Professor Helen Christensen (AO)
MPsychol, PhD, FASSA, MAPS
Director and Chief Scientist
'Mental health problems are widespread but not well understood. The Black Dog Institute is unique in tackling the big questions around the causes and treatments of mental illness. It is also extraordinary in its commitment to making sure that research findings make their way into healthcare and public health forums. This 'translational' focus is critical. Discoveries that have not been put into practice may as well have not been 'discovered'.'
Helen is a health and medical researcher who specialises in digital mental health technologies, suicide prevention and mental health epidemiology. Since 2012, she has held the roles of Director and Chief Scientist of the Black Dog Institute and Professor of Mental Health, Faculty of Medicine, UNSW Australia (University of New South Wales).
Prior to these roles, Helen was the Director of the Centre for Mental Health Research at the Australian National University. She believes that science is of major importance not only in understanding the causes of mental illness, but in bringing about mental health reform – something that is needed urgently both in Australia and globally.