Juan Nel (DLitt et Phil) is a registered Clinical and Research Psychologist, Research Professor of Psychology at the University of South Africa (Unisa) and a rated researcher with recognised expertise in LGBTI mental health and well-being, hate crimes and victim empowerment and support, more generally. Juan is a former President of the Psychological Society of South Africa (PsySSA) (2014-2015), member of its Council, and founder member and Treasurer of the PsySSA Sexuality and Gender Division. He, furthermore, represents PsySSA on (inter)national structures in fields related to his research towards furthering PsySSA’s profile as Learned Society. In this regard, most noteworthy are his roles as i) leader of the research sub-committee of the South African Hate Crimes Working Group; ii) co-representative on the International Psychology Network for LGBTI Concerns (IPsyNET); and iii) leader of the PsySSA African LGBTI Human Rights project aimed at positioning the Society as regional hub towards promoting well-being and human rights for LGBTI persons in Africa.
Passionate about equality and human rights, and strengthening healthcare provision, Juan is a founding member of eight related government-led and civil society structures in the interest of high-quality research, and teaching and learning, towards advancing health and well-being through evidence-informed and sustainable community-based services, and development of a body of knowledge and policy reforms. In these contexts, he has often served as leader of research initiatives, of which the ongoing Unisa Community Engagement project, Towards LGBTI Health and Well-being, is one.
Since qualifying in 1995, he also runs a limited Clinical Psychology private practice in Pretoria. Here he consults with a range of clients who, among others, are in need of an LGBTIQA+ affirmative practitioner and/ or present with anxieties and depression associated with adapting to significant traumas and losses in their lives. Designing and facilitation of experiential training offerings, and leadership development and coaching of clients in corporate settings, are additional areas of expertise.