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Helen Walker

Dr, Senior Lecturer Mental Health

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Personal profile

Area of academic expertise - outline

I have been involved in a variety of research projects over the last twenty years, some local, national and one international. The majority of my recent research (although not exclusively) has been linked to forensic  mental health serivces. One of the recent non-forensic projects was a mixed method design using survey and focus groups to establish the needs of service users with sensory impairment in North and South lanarkshire in collaboration with the two Councils. I led a multi-site Randomised Controlled Trial across four forensic services as part of my PhD studies to evaluate the effectiveness of a psycho-education programme 'Coping With Mental Illness'. I have been involved in a number of national cross-sectional studies and surveys over the past few years, one to assess the effectiveness of the nursing tool Behavioural Status Index and another to establish the use and impact of Clinical Supervision. I also completed a project last year designed to explore the use of seclusion, time out and use of emergency response belts in The State Hospital. The international study was designed to cross validate the Behavioural Status Index against other risk assessment tools. In earlier years I was involved in a few prevalence surveys and needs assessments, designed to capture the number and needs of people with psychosis in particular Health Boards (Lanarkshire and Scittish Borders).   

Current research activities

Projects under development

In collaboration with the Manager and Director of the Forensic Network a team from UWS are aiming to submit a proposal to evaluate the use of Electronic Monitoring with mentally disordered offenders. This is wholly depependent upon the outcome of the current short life working group who are in the midst of exploring this as a potential initiative.

In collaboration with a Consultant Psychiatrist from The State Hospital I am in the process of developing a tool to assess the effectiveness of group reflective practice. I am also developing a prop[osal to evaluate a new initiative to explore the use of supervision to support people undertaking suicide reviews, in collaboration with a Consultant Nurse in Lanarkshire.

Ethics approval

Another project designed to measure the effectiveness of one of our suite of new to Forensic programmes will commence late 2017. Funding has been secured and approval has been given to go ahead with this project.

Other areas of expertise available for knowledge exchange

I have worked in forensic mental health services for the past seventeen years, prior to this in community mental health teams and acute mental health wards. Recent activity in the Forensic Network has focussed on policy and practice development in addition to service development. I have been heavily involved in the creation of educational resources for staff at all levels over the past ten years, in particular: the suite of five practice based New to Forensic programmes; Short Forensic Module at New College Lanarkshire; Graduate Certificate in Personality Disorder at UWS and MSc Forensic Mental Health, formerly at GCU, currently at UWS.

Desired research direction

I am keen to engage with partners from other countries to explore current practice in forensic mental health services.

External positions

External Examiner, Buckinghamshire New University

1 Sep 20169 Sep 2022

Consultant Nurse, Forensic Network

1 Feb 20122017

Fingerprint Fingerprint is based on mining the text of the person's scientific documents to create an index of weighted terms, which defines the key subjects of each individual researcher.

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Research Output 2011 2018


Promoting health

Lobo, C., Evans, D. & Walker, H. Jun 2018 Essentials of Nursing Practice: 2nd Edition. Delves-Yates, C. (ed.). 2nd ed. SAGE Publications, p. 315-334 20 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

The Person with Depression

Walker, H., Fleming, M. & Gillespie, M. May 2018 Art and Science. Norman, I. & Ryrie, I. (eds.). 4 ed.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Art and Science
Book Art

An Exploration of Forensic Patient's Perspectives of the Impact of Psycho-education

Walker, H. & Trenoweth, S. 22 Mar 2017 In : EC Psychology and Psychiatry. 2, 6, p. 214-227 13 p.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Open Access
Randomized Controlled Trials

Patient Education

Walker, H. 2015 Essentials of Nursing Practice. Delves-Yates, C. (ed.). SAGE Publications, p. 313-323 10 p.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


Best article in journal issue

Helen Walker (Recipient), 26 May 2017

Prize: Prize (including medals and awards)


Employee Engagement and Stakeholder Involvement

Helen Walker (Recipient), 6 Dec 2014

Prize: National/international honour

Mental Health


Helen Walker (Recipient), 2015

Prize: Other distinction

Nursing Assessment
Health Occupations

Activities 2013 2016

  • 2 Editorial activity
  • 1 Participation in conference
  • 1 Membership of board

The Journal of Forensic Psychiatry Psychology (Journal)

Walker, H. (Peer reviewer)

Activity: Editorial activity

Lead Forensic Nurses

Walker, H. (Chair)
1 Sep 20151 Mar 2017

Activity: Participation in conference

Journal of Forensic Practice (Journal)

Walker, H. (Peer reviewer)

Activity: Editorial activity


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