A/Prof Jackie Curtis recognised for role in mental health reform

February 1, 2023
Keeping the Body in Mind Mental Health Psychosis

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.