Helen Coughlan
Clinical Research Fellow

After qualifying as a social worker in 1997, Helen worked for over ten years supporting individuals and families in both child and adolescent and adult mental health. For three years, she also held the position of lecturer in social work with the School of Social Work and Social Policy in Trinity College Dublin, where she continues to provide adjunct lecturing on the area of youth mental health.

Later, she worked with Headstrong, the National Centre for Youth Mental Health, supporting their work in developing youth mental health services across Ireland, after which she returned to clinical practice in the field of palliative care.

In 2012, Helen joined the Psychiatric Epidemiology Research across the Lifespan (PERL) Group in the Department of Psychiatry, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland as a Clinical Research Fellow. Initially, her work focused on disseminating research findings under a HRB KEDS Scheme award but she was later awarded her own HRB Health Professionals Fellowship to complete her PhD with the PERL group.

Her mixed methods research study is focused on understanding the relationship between early adverse life experiences and the evolution of unusual perceptual experiences (e.g. phenomena that have hallucination-like and delusional qualities) in young people.

Outside of her own research, Helen is actively involved in the youth mental health movement at both a national and international level. She was the lead writer of the International Declaration on Youth Mental Health and held the position of Chairperson of the ACAMH Special Interest Group in Youth Mental Health from 2012-2015.