Associate Professor Jackie Curtis

15 March 2022

The Executive Director of Mindgardens Neuroscience Network, A/Prof Jackie Curtis, is included in a new book that describes the contribution of female leaders in mental health reform in NSW.

A/Prof Curtis’s advocacy and influence on the physical health care of people who experience mental ill health is the focus of her profile in Hope, strength and determination: Celebrating 50 years of women activists and reformers in mental health in NSW, 1970 – 2020, which is published by the NSW Mental Health Commission.

The profile features A/Prof Curtis’ work over two decades, including:

  • The Bondi Early Psychosis Program
  • The Positive Cardiometabolic Health Algorithm, which has been adapted and adopted in seven countries as: Don’t Just Screen, Intervene
  • The Keeping the Body in Mind service, which embeds lifestyle interventions into first episode psychosis services
  • The Healthy Active Lives (HeAL) declaration, an international consensus statement on improving the physical health of young people with psychosis.

A/Prof Curtis said she had been influenced in her choice of career by the experience of a family member with schizophrenia who died prematurely.

People who live with severe mental illness are some of the most vulnerable in our community and we have an obligation as a society to ensure they can live as well as possible, she said. It has been exceptionally rewarding to see the work that I and my colleagues are doing in physical health care adopted across Australia and internationally, and I am honoured to be recognised in this way by the NSW Mental Health Commission.