Helen M. Farrell, M.D., is a Harvard Medical School Instructor in psychiatry and a staff psychiatrist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston. Dr. Farrell is a medical graduate of Trinity College Dublin, where she was moved by the lyrical and sensitive prose of its former literary geniuses like Jonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde. She discovered that effective writing and education have the power to give mental illness an acceptable voice, break stereotypes, and quell fears of the unknown.
Fascinated by the dynamic factors contributing to a person’s motivations, thoughts and behaviors, Dr. Farrell pursued her interests in psychiatry at the University of Cincinnati, where she graduated from its general psychiatry training program and its forensic psychiatry fellowship program.
Integrating interests in literature, medicine and law with the skillful art of formulating psychiatric impressions, Dr. Farrell has presented publicly to diverse groups including the American Psychiatric Association, the American Academy of Psychiatry and Law, the American Academy of Forensic Sciences, and the American Bar Association. She authored a monthly column, “BookCase” for the American Psychiatric Association’s national publication, Psychiatric News. Her original human-interest pieces have been published in JAMA and various newspaper and media outlets. Dr. Farrell has published widely on the topics of psychiatry and forensic psychiatry.
Dr. Farrell enjoys traveling back to Ireland and agrees with George Bernard Shaw who said, “Life isn’t about finding yourself…Life is about creating yourself.” She is optimistic about the progress of mental health and believes that everyone can create his or her own bright future, and everyone can use a little help along the way.