Helen has been working with Te Pou o te Whakaaro Nui (Te Pou) since 2013, to initiate and develop the Aotearoa/New Zealand Equally Well collaborative. Helen works with the backbone team at Te Pou on a part-time basis alongside her job as strategic policy advisor to the Wise Group, and the OECD. In working on the Equally Well evidence update, the evidence for the relatively poor health outcomes for people who experience a mental illness and/or addiction became very clear. Through Equally Well, Helen is committed to working with others to find ways to improve outcomes.
Helen's interest and the focus of her work is on connecting research, policy and practice and in particular to address the systemic barriers which create inequities.
Helen has been working in mental health and addiction services for over 20 years, starting her career as a support worker in a small day service in England, where she saw the positive impact getting a job had on people’s lives and learned how better support could be offered to enable people to fulfil their vocational aspirations. She then became interested in service development and research and specialised in understanding the evidence base for implementing effective employment support programmes.
Helen has a degree in psychology and a Masters in Business Administration and is currently a doctoral student at the University of Auckland.