Professor Helen Herrman AO

Professor Helen Herrman AO

Professor Helen Herrman AO picture


AO, MD, MBBS, BMedSc, FFPHM, FRANZCP, FAFPHM
Chair - Orygen Clinical Governance Committee

Helen is Professor Emeritus of Psychiatry at Orygen and the Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne and Director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Mental Health in Melbourne. She is a psychiatrist and public health physician with national and international experience in mental health research and its translation, and service provision. She is appointed Officer of the Order of Australia (AO) and included in the Victorian Honour Roll of Women.

Helen was elected President of the World Psychiatric Association (WPA) 2017-2020 and has received an honorary degree of Doctor of Medical Science from The University of Melbourne.

As Professor and Director of Psychiatry in St. Vincent’s Health Melbourne, Helen had a leadership role in developing an integrated area mental health service under Australia’s national reform of mental health care, 1994-2007. For one year she acted as regional adviser in mental health for the World Health Organization (WHO) Western Pacific Region, based in Manila. 

Helen has led and contributed to national and international research programs in community mental health care, promoting mental health, and women’s mental health. She contributes as an investigator with an indigenous-led program on culturally safe and responsive programs for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander parents, as well as other programs related to trauma and mental health in communities.

She is strategic advisor to Orygen Global and​ advisor to WHO/Western Pacific Regional Office on the re-development of a strategic plan for mental health in the region.

Helen chairs The Lancet-WPA Commission on depression (2022) and is a member of The Lancet Commission on Global Mental Health (2018), The Lancet Commission on Mental Health in China (2022) and the World Economic Forum Global Future Council on Mental Health 2018-22.

She is past President of the International Association of Women’s Mental Health and the Pacific Rim College of Psychiatrists. Helen was awarded NHMRC Practitioner Fellowships 2008-2019.

Research Interests

Vulnerable and disengaged youth, community mental health, mental health promotion.