Skip to content

When you choose to publish with PLOS, your research makes an impact. Make your work accessible to all, without restrictions, and accelerate scientific discovery with options like preprints and published peer review that make your work more Open.

PLOS BLOGS Speaking of Medicine and Health

Meet the Editors of PLOS Mental Health

We sat down with some of our recently appointed PLOS Mental Health Academic Editors and Section Editors to share their thoughts and experiences on some of the core principles of our new journal including collaboration, intersectionality, inclusivity, and the importance of addressing mental health challenges worldwide.

Get to know who’s helping lead mental health research at PLOS below:

Andre Faro, Academic Editor

What background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Mental Health?

I am a researcher of Health Psychology and Public Health in Brazil. Currently, my studies focus on common mental disorders and suicidal or self-harm behaviors, both among individuals with chronic illnesses and in the broader population. My primary goal is to integrate mental health with public health by understanding the role of psychological adjustment within general health.

Why did you decide to become part of PLOS Mental Health?

Serving as an Academic Editor offers a unique opportunity to deepen my engagement in the field of mental health studies. I recognize the crucial impact that competent editors and reviewers have on the quality of scientific work. At PLOS Mental Health, I see a promising way to actively contribute to the global growth and validation of scientific knowledge. So, this role marks a significant achievement and represents a pivotal step in my professional journey.

Ahmed Hankir, Section Editor,
Lived Experience and Advocacy

What background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Mental Health?

I am Visiting Professor at the Cardiff University School of Medicine (UK), an Assistant Professor at the Department of Psychiatry at Western University (Canada), and the Public Engagement and Education Lead at the World Health Organisation – Collaborating Centre for Mental Health and Human Rights, Institute of Mental Health, Nottingham University (UK). Above all else, I’m a person living with a mental health condition and identity as a trauma survivor.

My research interests include pioneering and evaluating innovative interventions that challenge and reject mental health-related stigma with a focus on brief video interventions featuring persons living with a mental health condition. My clinical expertise is in the assessment and treatment of trauma-related conditions and the provision of mental healthcare to persons from marginalized communities, i.e. refugee populations.

Why did you decide to become part of PLOS Mental Health?

The whole point of mental healthcare and psychiatry more specifically is to improve the lives of persons living with mental health conditions. How do we do this? By pioneering innovative interventions – psychosocial and biological. But also by promoting recovery and giving people living with mental health conditions hope and by dignifying and empowering them. How can we tell if interventions are helping and persons living with mental health conditions are getting better? By administering validated tools and psychometric scales before and after receiving said interventions. Such quantitative data no doubt is important but it is only through the qualitative – the voices, experiences, and stories of persons living with a mental health condition – that we can obtain deeper insights about, for example, how stigma and shame affect us and how many of us feel shunned, ostracised and even dehumanized by society and yes segments of the psychiatric profession.

That’s why I’m honored, thrilled, and excited to work as Section Editor of Lived Experience. I can’t think of a more interesting and important role. I know of no other journal that has a similar role and this will be an opportunity to amplify the voices of persons living with a mental health condition who, for far too long, have been ridiculed, rejected, discarded, and silenced. By providing persons living with a mental health condition a platform we can dignify, empower, and humanize them.

Amanda Kirby, Section Editor,

What background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Mental Health?

I am the founder and CEO of Do-IT Solutions, a globally recognized tech-for-good company. We specialize in providing neurodiversity screening and web-based support tools for individuals in education and employment, with applications in various sectors such as fire, police, justice, workplace, education, and apprenticeships. Our research findings are published in collaboration with our research partners.

My background includes being a medical doctor and an emeritus professor at the University of South Wales, with an honorary professorship at Cardiff University. I have extensive clinical and research experience, having led a transdisciplinary clinical and research team for two decades focused on neurodiversity. I hold qualifications as a GP and have a Ph.D. related to emerging adulthood and neurodiversity. Additionally, I have initiated and managed various training programs, including a Masters in SEN program.

I have also contributed to government advisory boards, including the Hidden Impairment National Group. I have advised UK and international charities in the field of neurodiversity. I serve as a patron of the Dyspraxia Association in New Zealand and have been Chair of Movement Matters UK. Currently, I hold the position of Chair at the ADHD Foundation and participate in the Professional Advisory Group for DWP related to Disability Confident.

In the academic realm, I have authored 10 books and over 100 research papers in neurodiversity. My book Neurodiversity at Work: Drive Innovation, Performance, and Productivity with a Neurodiverse Workforce, published in 2021, received the Business Book Awards 2022 for EDI. In 2023, my latest book Neurodiversity and Education was published, with plans for another book in 2024 focused on parents.

My commitment to promoting neurodiversity and creating opportunities for neurodivergent individuals, especially in the workplace, remains as strong today as it was 30 years ago. I have a personal connection to neurodiversity, as I consider myself neurodivergent, and I am also a parent and grandparent of neurodivergent individuals.

Why did you decide to become part of PLOS Mental Health?

I wanted to get involved with being a Section Editor because it is important to give light to work done in the field of neurodiversity but also ensure there are intersectional opportunities for engagement. The approach taken by PLOS allows for professionals and those with lived experiences at all stages of personal and professional life to have an opportunity to showcase excellence in research.

Lily Kpobi, Academic Editor

What background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Mental Health?

I am a Research Fellow at the University of Ghana, and also a practising Clinical Psychologist. My work has revolved around understanding community-based assets to improve access to mental health services in underserved contexts. So this has involved looking at indigenous and faith-based health provision in Ghana and ways to collaborate or integrate services at the primary care level. More recently, I have also been involved in projects looking at how creative arts can be used in mental health advocacy and activism through participatory methods. So I have been working with peer researchers to understand and develop these processes.

Why did you decide to become part of PLOS Mental Health?

The idea of a journal that emphasizes research, practice, and lived experience appealed to me because these things sum up aspects of my identity and what I see as my purpose. Engaging with scholarly writing needs to come from an inclusive lens so I wanted to be a part of this endeavor.

Enoch Li, Section Editor,
Occupational Mental Health

What background and expertise do you bring to PLOS Mental Health?

I direct leadership development programs and teach resilient leadership to companies and MBAs at INSEAD, to sustain organizational transformation for social impact issues. I am also the Founder & CEO of Bearapy, a workplace mental health consulting and training company based in Beijing, covering APAC, where we help organizations take a strategic view on employee wellbeing in addition to psychosocial education for executives. Much of this is destigmatization and mental health awareness driven, taking a lived experience perspective.

I sit on the Board of United for Global Mental Health and other regional and global steering committees, to advise on global policies in workplace mental health and manager training to ensure they are relevant and effective. Part of my energy is spent on mobilizing Boards of Directors of for-profit companies to put issues such as mental health, equity, and access at the forefront of the agenda.

Why did you decide to become part of PLOS Mental Health?

It is rare to have a journal that focuses on mental health that is beyond psychiatry, medical, and a pathological approach. I see PLOS trying to amplify the current valuable research, expand perspectives, and augment the kind of conversations we are already having on the topic of mental health. The different sections and focuses are a testament to innovation in the space. I saw this as an opportunity to be part of something pivotal in driving change, learn from a team of well-esteemed editors each of whom brings their expertise, heart, and soul, and a chance to contribute my experience through thought-leadership. Together, as a collective, we can go further.

About PLOS Mental Health

PLOS Mental Health is an inclusive journal addressing challenges and gaps in the field of mental health research, treatment, and care in ways that put the lived experience of individuals and communities first.

Related Posts
Back to top