Helena Addison


Helena Addison, MSN, RN, is a third-year PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing, in Philadelphia, PA. Her research is focused on incarceration as a social determinant of health and driver of mental health inequities. Her dissertation will specifically examine how incarceration history influences mental health symptom severity, health-related qualify of life, health-seeking behaviors, and engagement in health care in formerly incarcerated Black men. 

Ms. Addison is passionate about advancing health equity by improving mental health symptoms and health-related quality of life (HRQ0L) in trauma-exposed and marginalized populations. This passion has been exemplified throughout her academic, research, and clinical experiences. After completing her high school and associate degree simultaneously through a dual enrollment program, she went on to earn a bachelor’s degree in Psychology at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County, graduating Magna Cum Laude. She completed her nursing degree through the master’s Entry in Nursing Program at the Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. 

Throughout her undergraduate and graduate education, Ms. Addison has been engaged in research related to health disparities, violence, trauma, and mental health in marginalized populations. In addition to her research experiences, Ms. Addison’s clinical experiences as a registered nurse at an inpatient psychiatric hospital has also informed her research interests.