Photo of Dr Helen Brooks

Dr Helen Brooks BSc, MRes, PhD

Senior Lecturer ZZ (DO NOT USE) was Health Services Research


Personal Statement

I joined the Institute of Psychology, Health and Society as a Lecturer in November 2017. I obtained my PhD from the University of Manchester in 2013 which explored perceptions of recovery and prognosis from the perspective of people with long-term physical conditions and was the first study to examine the utility and transferability of mental health recovery for this population. Since then my work has had a dual focus on the role of social networks and the implementation of programmes designed to improve health experiences.

My work has contributed significantly to the body of work demonstrating the value of networks in the management of chronic conditions and, in particular, the role of companion animals in this regard. My lead authored creature comforts paper was included in material sent to the Joint Select Committee on the Care and Support Bill and the paper along with its policy implications, was quoted in the House of Lords by Lord Black. My recent BMC Psychiatry publication, the first article to document the role of companion animals within the social support networks of those living with severe mental illness, received significant media coverage from across the world (Express, i, ABC News Australia, Reuters, New York Daily News). I am currently Principal Investigator on a MRC Health Systems Research Initiative award exploring the potential for civic engagement to strengthen mental health systems in Indonesia.

Prizes or Honours

  • Animation developed as part of EQUIP won the NIHR Let’s Get Digital Competition (animation category) for a video exploring carer involvement in mental health care planning ( (NIHR, 2017)
  • MHRN award for exemplary carer involvement for the NIHR CLAHRC-GM Community Mental Health Festival, engaging over 500 stakeholders living or working with Mental Illness across the North West - awarded to EQUIP team (MHRN, 2016)
  • CRN award for public engagement - awarded to EQUIP team (CRN , 2015)