The Facilitators

Dr. Helen Austin

MBChB MRNZCGP FRANZCP Cert Forensic Psych

Dr. Vikram Yadav

MBBS MRCPsych CCT Child and Adolescent Psych PGCME

Dr. Amanda Smith

MA (Honours) Psychology D Clin Psych

Chris Betts

NZ Cert Health and Wellbeing

Dr. Helen Austin

MBChB MRNZCGP FRANZCP Cert Forensic Psych

Helen obtained her medical degree in 1988 from the University of Otago. She completed GP Registrar training and worked as a GP for ten years. She then retrained in Psychiatry and obtained sub-specialist qualifications in Forensic Psychiatry. She worked for ten years as a Forensic Psychiatrist in Christchurch and during this time developed an interest in the topic of vicarious trauma. She has conducted research in this area and has written articles for the NZ Law Society on this topic. She has also presented on vicarious trauma at a number of conferences, most recently at the New Zealand Paediatric Society Child Protection Group Annual Meeting. She also has an interest in professional supervision and has provided supervision to doctors and lawyers for several years (www.mindfix.nz). She has had a longstanding interest in physician wellness and has written an article for the NZMJ on the role of supervision for senior doctors (Austin H. Supervision for superheroes: the case for reflective professional supervision for senior doctors. New Zealand Med J 2016;129 ), as well as attended a number of international conferences on this topic.

Dr. Vikram Yadav

MBBS MRCPsych CCT Child and Adolescent Psych PGCME

Vikram obtained his medical degree from The University College of Medical Sciences, Delhi University, Delhi, India in 2000. He then went to the UK and obtained Membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists in London in 2005. He completed sub-specialist training in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and then worked as a consultant psychiatrist in Wales for several years, also obtaining a Post Graduate Certificate in Medical Education in 2014. He and his family moved to New Zealand in 2016. Vikram has practiced yoga for 26 years and has taught yoga teachers the philosophy underpinning yoga from a traditional perspective. He brings both a traditional and a contemporary narrative of the practice of yoga which is informed by his experience as a psychiatrist.

Dr. Amanda Smith

MA (Honours) Psychology D Clin Psych

Amanda received her degree in Psychology (MA hons) from Edinburgh University in 1996. She became interested in mental health towards the end of her degree and decided she wanted to train as a Clinical Psychologist. Getting into the training programme is extremely difficult so she worked as much as she could in mental health to gain experience. She had stints as a volunteer in drop in centres, as a nursing assistant in a psychiatric hospital and as a support worker in a mental health team before becoming an assistant psychologist in a Clinical Psychology Department. Looking back, these experiences were invaluable in terms of meeting and working with so many people on their mental health journey. She qualified as a Clinical Psychologist (D.Clin. Psych) in 2005 after 3 years of clinical training and research and started working in Glasgow before deciding on a move to New Zealand in 2008.  Her current post is Senior Psychologist in an Adult Mental Health team.

Until recently Amanda and her partner ran a business so she had to learn a range of new skills and also found out first-hand how stressful it is being an employer, accountant, office manager, marketing manager,  laundry maid and dishwasher. She has 2 young children so she is very aware that there are times of high stress in our lives and times where burnout can feel inevitable.

Amanda has had an interest in mindfulness since her training and still clearly remembers her first mindfulness exercise (she was asked to eat a tomato and didn’t like it!). Mindfulness has become part of her life and an important part of her work. Amanda teaches clients these skills on a daily basis and notices that most people can get something out of this approach, whatever their circumstances.

Chris Betts

NZ Cert Health and Wellbeing

Chris has obtained a New Zealand Certificate in Health and Wellbeing and works as a mental health support worker.

Chris is a self-taught artist who believes you can teach an old dog new tricks. Chris has found the most important elements that have enabled him to get to where he is now are practice and ongoing self-analysis (learning by his mistakes).

School offered Chris few opportunities to engage in art, so he naturally gravitated towards appreciating gallery collections in both England and Europe. He also received inspiration from his father through his use of colour as a painter and decorator and the beautiful countryside which surrounded him growing up in East Anglia in the United Kingdom.

Chris and his wife moved to New Zealand during 2008 and for the first three years they lived in Invercargill where Chris happened upon an exhibition of printmakers. Printmaking captured his attention in a way no other medium had previously, from the conception of an idea, the first drawing, the carving and finally the first glimpse of the print on paper.

Chancing upon the printmaking exhibition took Chris upon a journey which allowed him to explore not only the medium but also his own creativity as a new migrant to a new land. Being a new migrant provided him with a unique view point from which launched a dialogue in the printed image of the world around him.

An accomplishment as a printmaker was achieved when Chris won the Southland Art Society’s Provincial Pride award for the most original art work and The Essence of Southland in 2010. The awards provided a great boost for Chris’s confidence and spurred him to continue on.

During 2011 Chris was invited to be a guest artist at Invercargill’s Anderson Park art gallery which he accepted with great enthusiasm. The Work on Paper exhibition provided him with an opportunity to display his work with three established New Zealand printmakers.

In 2011 Chris and his wife moved to Blenheim where he joined the Marlborough Arts Society. He achieved success in the Member’s Annual Exhibition 2012 where he received a merit award.

More recently Chris has been concentrating on life drawing and portraiture, both of which are challenging but ultimately rewarding. Chris enjoys studying value and tone which naturally leads him to utilize form and colour, so watch this space as Chris has more colour contemporary portraits waiting to be exhibited.