Ursula Bach Ursula Bach

University of Auckland

Ursula was born and raised in Auckland, New Zealand. After living in Denmark and Australia in her late teens, Ursula returned to New Zealand to complete a Bachelor of Arts at the University of Auckland (double major in Philosophy and Psychology). Ursula went on to complete an Honours in Science degree (Psychology Major) and is currently completing a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Auckland. Ursula has a professional interest in infant and maternal mental health and hopes to work clinically with this population once she is a registered psychologist.

Ursula’s doctoral thesis stemmed from her own experience working as a full-time mental health support worker in Auckland. Her thesis explores the experiences of mental health support workers and frontline non-professional staff working with clients who become suicidal. Support workers make up a dominant proportion of all mental health workers in New Zealand and are often working with high risk clients, yet there is very little research on this population. Ursula’s thesis is both qualitative and quantitative and aims to understand what factors can be used to mitigate the experiences of the support workers and enhance the care given towards vulnerable clients.

Recent achievements for Ursula include being a part of the winning team of the 2015 Interprofessional Healthcare Team Challenge (AUT), and publishing a literature review on allergies and mother-baby bonding in the Journal of the New Zealand College of Clinical Psychologists. Ursula has been a volunteer for four years at Lifeline Aotearoa, is a Rotarian of the Mt Eden Rotary Club, and a marriage celebrant. Ursula was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow in 2013, issued by Rotary District 9920 for her work co-ordinating an international ‘Flashmob’ with rotary clubs in Rarotonga, Fiji, Suva, and other Pacific Island nations, together with 11 Auckland based rotary clubs to raise awareness for the eradication of Polio disease.