Alumna elected head of World Psychiatric Association

Monash alumna Professor Helen Herrman (MBBS 1970) has been appointed President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) - the first Australian to be elected to the role. The WPA represents...

Monash alumna Professor Helen Herrman (MBBS 1970) has been appointed President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) - the first Australian to be elected to the role.

The WPA represents 200,000 psychiatrists from 120 countries. It aims to increase the knowledge and skills necessary for work in the field of mental health and the care of the mentally ill.

Professor Herrman will assume the role of President in 2017 and will serve as President-elect for two years beginning this year.

A psychiatrist and public health physician, Professor Herrman has had a distinguished career in mental health and is an international expert in her field of mental health promotion. She is currently Professor of Psychiatry and Research Director at Orygen Youth Health Research Centre at the University of Melbourne and Director of the World Health Organisation (WHO) Collaborating Centre for Mental Health in Melbourne.

She is leading a research program on improving mental health for young people in out-of-home care and is also involved in several other research projects exploring youth, technology and mental health, and depression in primary healthcare.

From 1992 to 2005 Professor Herrman was Professor and Director of Psychiatry in St Vincent’s Hospital during which time she was instrumental in developing integrated hospital and community area mental health services under Australia’s national reform of mental health care.

From 2001 to 2002 Professor Herrman was acting regional adviser in mental health for the WHO’s Western Pacific Region.

She is also an NHMRC Practitioner Fellow, and Honorary Fellow of the World Psychiatric Association, President-Elect of the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists, and Vice-President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health. She has been a Fellow of the Royal Australian and New Zealand College of Psychiatrists since 1987.

In 2013 Professor Herrman was inducted into the Victorian Honour Roll of Women in recognition of her leadership in the fields of psychiatry, public health and community mental health service reform.