5 October 2014

Professor Helen Herrman Elected as President of the World Psychiatric Association in Madrid

Professor Helen Herrman Elected as President of the World Psychiatric Association in Madrid

In September at the World Psychiatric Congress in Madrid Professor Helen Herrman, Director of Research at Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health and also Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Melbourne was elected by a large majority to the Presidency of the World Psychiatric Association. She is the first Australian to be elected to this role.

Professor Herrman, who is dually qualified in public health and psychiatry, has already had a distinguished career in mental health including many years as Director of Psychiatry at St Vincents’ Hospital in Melbourne, as a Regional Advisor to the World Health Organisation, and currently as the Director of Research at Orygen, Australia’s leading Youth Mental Health Research Centre. She has been a professor of psychiatry at The University of Melbourne for over two decades and 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.

Professor Patrick McGorry AO, Executive Director of Orygen believes, ‘Professor Herrman’s personal qualities mean that she is ideally placed to lead the psychiatric profession worldwide during a challenging time when psychiatry needs to find a more confident way forward balancing humanity with a more effective search for novel therapies and implementation of evidence-based care.’  

‘Most people with mental illness in the world still receive no care or poor quality care and this represents a huge challenge for humanity. Professor Herrman is a great humanitarian with warmth, intelligence, research skills, extensive international networks, and deep integrity.’  

‘This is also a reflection of the strength and quality of Australian leadership in psychiatry and it is very positive indeed that a female Australian psychiatrist has achieved this special and richly deserved honour.’ 

She will assume the Presidency in 2017 and will serve as President-Elect prior to this.

World Psychiatric Association

Melbourne academic Helen Herrman elected World Psychiatric Association president