Dr. Helen Evrard, a Pennsylvania native, is an internist and allergy/asthma specialist who studied at the University of Pennsylvania and Temple University Medical School. Her allergy training was completed at the Mt. Sinai Medical Center in New York City. Afterwards, she established a solo practice in Lewisburg, PA, while raising twins as a single mother.
In 2004 she sold her practice and moved to Buffalo, NY, to provide a broader education experience for her teen-age children and to join the clinical faculty at the University at Buffalo (SUNY) medical school. Her life then rapidly unraveled. A bad business deal involving the solo practice she purchased, inadequate professional staff, and suboptimal care by her own physicians and consultants resulted in the loss of her business, life savings, physical and emotional health, and even her home.
She closed her practice early in 2009, and later that year her children left for college. What followed was a state of severe depression, complicated by intractable pain from a congenital back problem. Abandoned by friends and family, financially ruined and socially withdrawn, Helen was contemplating suicide when she voluntarily entered a psychiatric facility in 2011. It was there that a holistic therapist suggested that she “think positively,” and so to fill the extra time on the locked ward she began to write down positive words contained in a random book in the patient lounge.
This word list became the basis for her book, completed after she moved to Middletown, CT with the goal of restarting her life anew. With the help of her artist friend, Kimberly Barcello, she created “Positive Pulls,” companion sticks to use with the book. Dr. Evrard now speaks on recovery from brain disease (aka mental illness), with emphasis on depression, hosts the radio show, “Mind Matters,” on WESU 88.1 FM, and volunteers in literacy programs. An avid reader from childhood on, she works to teach others the value and power of words, and to raise consciousness about methods to manage brain disease outside the context of medication and talk therapy. She also provides intuitive readings using Positive Matters and Positive Pulls, and is available to speak to groups and organizations.