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Kerry Smith joined the Helen Bamber Foundation in May 2018. Kerry started her career at the Refugee Legal Centre and as a trainee at Bhatt Murphy Solicitors. Moving into international humanitarian work Kerry was posted in Ethiopia and Columbia for the International Committee of the Red Cross before returning to work as a Gender Adviser at Amnesty International UK focusing on trafficking. This is when she first came across the work of the Helen Bamber Foundation. She then moved to work on children in conflict at Save the Children before joining Plan International UK as Head of Girls Rights and Youth and developing a new area of work on girls rights in the UK.


In 2012, Prof Cornelius Katona was appointed Medical Director of the Helen Bamber Foundation. He holds the degree of Doctor of Medicine from the University of Cambridge and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. Prof Katona is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Kent, Honorary Professor in the Department of Mental Health Sciences at University College London and works part-time as Medical Director of the Helen Bamber Foundation. He also works on his own account as an independent doctor preparing expert psychiatric reports.

He has completed over 1200 such reports in the asylum and human rights context. Between 1998 and 2003 Prof Katona was Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists. He is first author of Psychiatry at a Glance, one of the standard undergraduate textbooks of psychiatry. Its 5th edition was published in 2012 and its 6th edition is currently in press. Prof Katona has (with others) published a review of the effects of immigration detention on mental health (Robjant K et al British Journal of Psychiatry 2009 194, 306–312) and more recently a review of complex trauma in the context of survivors of human rights abuse (McDonnell M et al, Current Opinion in Psychiatry 2013 26, 1-6). He led a Royal College of Psychiatrists working group which has developed guidance on the preparation of psychiatric reports in the immigration and asylum context.



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