Erla Magnusdottir

Erla brings with her a wealth of experience in the public health sector, working with governments, research, academics, and international NGOs. She is Bearapy’s Special Advisor, and spearheads developing know-how and research in workplace mental wellness in China to better service our corporate clients.

Erla is experienced in international NGO operations and strategy, and was most recently, Consultant for Haller, an organization helping farmers in East Africa. She was the Founder of BasicNeeds in China, an an international organisation working with people with mental illness in the developing world. Erla was the country manager of BasicNeeds China for 5 years after establishing the organization, and then successfully transferred management to the local government, which has been scaled up with over 3,000+ beneficiaries to date. Her previous work has included setting up a gymnastic school, and working for a large medical supply company in China (SASN medical supplies). Erla therefore draws on a lot of experience working with different stakeholders, including working closely with governments, civil society, and partner organisations.

Erla is also a Special Advisor on a joint mental health research project between Kings College London and Peking University Institute of Mental Health.She holds an MSc in Public Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Erla lived and worked in China for many years and is a fluent Mandarin speaker. She also speaks Icelandic and English.

Erla’s non-bio
  • Can do a back flip
  • Stubborn as my grandmother
  • Believe in elves (of course I´m Icelandic)
  • Aspiring knitter
  • Love to be part of creating new ventures, one of my produest achievements was creating from scratch a mental health project in rural north China
  • Result oriented and enjoy applying statistics to understand problems
  • Studied Public Health because of interest in infectious diseases but later became increasingly interested in mental health
  • Love China
  • Mother of two equally stubborn but adorable boys
  • I Love traveling, learning languages and connecting with people different to me
  • Love eating good food and lucky to have a husband who is equally enthusiastic about food and a much better cook
  • Love being somewhere rural and remote whether a tribal village in India where I once lived, or out in the wild of Iceland camping with my family
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