Prof. Agnes Higgins
Prof Agnes Higgins is Professor in Mental Health Nursing at the School of Nursing and Midwifery Trinity College Dublin. She is a qualified mental health nurse, general nurse and nurse tutor. She holds a primary degree from UCD, an MSc from DCU and a PhD from Trinity College Dublin. Following a career in mental health, general nursing and palliative care, she joined the School of Nursing and Midwifery in Trinity College in 2000. Since joining the school she has held key administrative positions, including Director of Postgraduate, Head of Mental Health Nursing and Head of School.
Agnes is recognised nationally and internationally for her research in the area of mental health recovery, service user involvement, gender and sexualities. She leads the School’s Mental Health Research Theme and has completed studies on service users’ recovery journeys, impact of different models of recovery on users’ and family members’ experiences of recovery, factors influencing recover-oriented education, impact of peer-support on recovery outcomes, sexualities and LGBT mental health. One of her current research projects is the EOLAS programme, as collaborative project between service users, family members, practitioners and academia that is focused on evaluating the impact of a co-produced and co-facilitated model of recovery education on service user and family outcomes (www.eolasproject.ie/). She is experienced in Grounded theory methods, mixed methods and evaluation research and has held grants from a wide range of funding bodies including the Health Research Board, Mental Health Commission, GENIO, GLEN, Belongto, HSE and EU. She is widely published in her areas of expertise and is co-author of the book ‘Mental Health in Ireland: Policy Practice and Law’ published by Gill and Macmillan (2014), and co-author of ‘Narratives of Recovery; the role of peer support’ published by Rutledge (2016).
Agnes has been at the forefront of mental health nurse education in Ireland and has a strong track record in curriculum development and in teaching and learning. She teaches and assesses across programmes at undergraduate and postgraduate level, and supervise Masters and PhD students. She was awarded the Provost Award for teaching in 2002, elected to Trinity Fellowship in 2014. She was the founding chairperson of the Irish Institute of Mental Health Nursing, and is currently Chairperson of Mental Health Reform; a Recovery advisor to Mental Health Ireland and Visiting Professor at University of Ulster. Agnes has been nominated to a number of policy development groups set up by the Department of Health and other bodies and is currently involved in a number of National and International research groups in the area of mental health and mental health nursing, including the national steering group responsible for implementing a strategy for mental health nursing that is underpinned by recovery principles.