Dr Helen Brooks PhD. MRes BSc

Senior Lecturer

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I am a Senior Lecturer in the Mental Health Research Group at the University of Manchester. My work has a dual focus on the role of social networks in the management of chronic conditions and the implementation of complex interventions designed to improve health experiences. I have a particular interest in the role of pets in the management of physical and mental health.


Helen obtained her 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 models for this population.

Her work has contributed significantly to the body of evidence demonstrating the value of networks in the management of chronic conditions and, in particular, the role of companion animals in this regard. Her 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.

She is an Associate Editor for the Journal BMC Health Services Research, an NIHR RfPB panel member and trustee and research working group lead for the Society of Companion Animal Studies. She is a member of the orgaising committee for the international conference Qualitative Research in Mental Health.


BSc (Hons), MRes, PhD, Certificate in Professional Studies in Learning and Teaching in Higher Education

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