Research into Recovery and Wellbeing

A website about the work of the recovery research team at the Institute of Mental Health

The University of Nottingham

Keynote Speakers


Jenny Edwards

Jenny has been Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation since 2013.  She has focused our work on the prevention of and early intervention in mental health problems.  Under her leadership learning and best practice is shared by strengthened links between our teams in different parts of the UK.  Jenny is a member of the Common Mental Health Disorders Expert Reference Group, the Ministerial Advisory Group on Mental Health and the Mental Health Policy Group.

Previously, Jenny was Chief Executive of Homeless Link, the umbrella body for homeless charities.  She chaired the Ministerial Advisory Group on Homelessness and the Mayor’s Roundtable.  Jenny was instrumental in founding the Making Every Adult Matter Alliance, focusing on the multiple needs of mental health, addiction, homelessness and offending.  She was awarded a CBE in 2011 for her work. Jenny spent 11 years working in the arts.  At the National Campaign for the Arts, and working as Director of Development at the Arts Council, London Office.

Jenny was an expert advisor to Heriot Watt University's study of severe and multiple disadvantage in the UK, published as Hard Edges.  She has also been a consultant to Government on approaches to multiple disadvantage and support for vulnerable people.


Steve Gillard

Peer support in mental health services: social intervention or 'freedom to be'?

Dr Steve Gillard is Reader in Social and Community Mental Health in the Population Health Research Institute at St George's, University of London. His current research focuses on the increasing role played by people with lived experience of mental health problems in producing the support that they make use of - the development of more distributed forms of mental health care - including the introduction of new Peer Worker roles into mental health services. His research is underpinned by standpoint epistemology and co-production approaches to research; working alongside researchers with lived experience to critique and strengthen, methodologically, the way in which we produce knowledge about mental health.


Isabella Goldie

Surviving or Thriving: creating a movement for change. 

Isabella Goldie has 34 years’ experience in mental health including 10 years as a registered mental health nurse. Her time working in the voluntary sector has including setting up and managing a range of community mental health programmes including 6 years as a Clubhouse Director where she held a role in supporting the international clubhouse development as a faculty member working in NYC. She joined the Mental Health Foundation in 2004 as Head of Scotland and is now Director of Development and Delivery for the UK. Within her time leading MHF in Scotland Isabella supported the development of VoX the national collective advocacy programme and developed the Amaan programme to support woman refugees and asylum seekers. She has a master in public health and is one of the two lead managing partners in the See Me anti stigma campaign in Scotland. Isabella now leads a wide a range of uk and international mental health programmes which include a focus on mental health across the life course, inequalities and in preventative approaches to reducing the prevalence of mental health problems. 


Ruth Hawkins

Ruth was appointed Chief Executive of the Nottnghamshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust on 1 November 2014.  This followed eight years as the Trust’s Director of Finance, and for six years its Deputy Chief Executive. Prior to joining the Trust, Ruth was a Director of Finance in the NHS in a number of organisations, including spells with an NHS Trust, a Health Authority and a Primary Care Trust.

Ruth has a BA in Public Administration and gained her chartered status with the Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy.


Mark Hopfenbeck

Peer-supported Open Dialogue: On Recovering Difference

Mark Hopfenbeck is an anthropologist and assistant professor at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, Norway where he is director for the longest running post-graduate program in Open Dialogue outside of Finland.  He is also the training coordinator for the UK Peer-supported Open Dialogue Project together with psychiatrist Russell Razzaque and family therapist Val Jackson. Hopfenbeck is co-applicant together with Razzaque and a team of researchers lead by Professor Stephen Pilling on a £2.1million grant application for the first large-scale randomised controlled trial on Open Dialogue involving six Trusts across the UK. Hopfenbeck contributes to the POD Bulletin ( and administers a FB-group for Open Dialogue (  Hopfenbeck also teaches Norway’s first post-graduate program in mindfulness.


Jayasree Kalathil

Dr Jayasree Kalathil is an independent researcher, writer and mental health activist. Her work focuses on linking activism and mobilising user/survivor participation from marginalised and minoritised groups to influence knowledge production, policy and practice on issues of racialisation, gender and human rights in mental health. Her publications include a study of black women’s narratives, Recovery and resilience (2011) and the co-authored book Values and ethics in mental health (2015). A special issue of Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology on mental health user/survivor research, co-edited with Nev Jones, is forthcoming in 2016. She has also published a children’s book The Sackclothman (2009) and is currently working on a translated anthology of short stories from her mother tongue Malayalam into English, a project funded by the Thunchath Ezhuthachan Malayalam University, Kerala. 


Kwame McKenzie

Dr. Kwame McKenzie is CEO of the Wellesley Institute. He is an international expert on the social causes of illness, suicide and the development of effective, equitable health systems.

As a physician, researcher and policy advisor, Dr. McKenzie has worked to identify the causes of illness and in cross-cultural health for over two decades. He is an active, funded researcher of social, community, clinical and policy issues with nearly 200 academic publications including five books.

In addition to his post at Wellesley Institute, Dr. McKenzie is the Director of Clinical Health Equity at CAMH. He is a full Professor and the Co-Director of the Division of Equity Gender and Population in the Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto.

Dr. McKenzie sits on the Boards of the United Way Toronto and the Ontario Hospitals Association. He is a Senior Fellow at Massey College.

Dr. McKenzie is a member of the Ontario Government’s Mental Health and Addictions Leadership Advisory Council and sat on the Expert Advisory Group for Ontario’s Homelessness Strategy along side numerous other committees. He has a respected track record for setting up award winning services, training clinicians and researchers, offering clinical care to some of the most marginalized patients, and helping to develop health policy for Governments in Canada, Africa, Europe, the Caribbean and United States.

Dr. McKenzie completed his medical training at the University of Southampton and was trained in psychiatry at the Maudsley Hospital and Institute of Psychiatry and Harvard University.


Manoj Kumar

The feasibility of mental healthcare delivery by volunteers in a co-production model of mental health care delivery in resource-scarce settings

Dr Manoj Kumar is the Clinical Director of The Mental Health Action Trust (MHAT), India which provides comprehensive psychosocial care in resource-scarce settings through community health work volunteers. MHAT provides long term care for more than 4000 economically backward patients in the community through more than 50 centres in Kerala, India.

Dr Manoj Kumar worked in Leeds till returning to India in 2008. He was awarded the “Volunteer Psychiatrist of the Year 2014” award by the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Fellowship of the Royal College of Psychiatrists (FRCPsych) in 2015.


Sheriff of Nottingham

The Sheriff of Nottingham 2017/18 is Councillor Glyn Jenkins. He was first elected as Councillor for the Leen Valley ward in May 2011. Glyn is very honoured to be chosen as Sheriff of Nottingham for 2017/18 and is looking forward to serving the people of Nottingham as Sheriff.



Jasna Russo

Connecting first-person knowledge of madness and distress: from individual stories to collective and inclusive epistemology

 Jasna Russo is based in Berlin, Germany where she works as an independent researcher. She is a long-term activist in the international user/survivor movement. Jasna has an MA in clinical psychology and has worked on both survivor-controlled and collaborative research projects, including several large-scale international studies. Her articles have been published in anthologies and journals in Germany and the UK. Together with Angela Sweeney, Jasna is the editor of “Searching for a Rose Garden. Challenging Psychiatry, Fostering Mad Studies” published by PCCS Books.


Anu Singh

Moving towards social models of health

Anu is Director of Patient & Public Voice and Insight at NHS England. She takes the lead for NHS England in ensuring that the voice of patients, service users, carers and the public is at the heart of the way NHS England works. Anu was previously Head of Business Improvement for Staffordshire County Council for the commissioning of mental health, social care, community safety & education. Prior to that, she was Head of Development & Improvement at the London Borough of Harrow and at Birmingham City Council, taking the lead on Place Shaping, Localisation of services, Community Empowerment & Business Transformation. Anu is a Non-Executive Director & Quality Chair of Whittington Hospital Integrated Care Trust.



Mike Slade

New frontiers in recovery research

Mike Slade is Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at University of Nottingham and Chair of the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (ENMESH). His main research interests are recovery-focused and outcome-focused mental health services, including Recovery Colleges, narratives and lived experience, citizenship, wellbeing, needs assessment and developing measures, e.g. INSPIRE, Camberwell Assessment of Need, Threshold Assessment Grid. He has written over 250 academic articles and published 11 books, including Personal Recovery and Mental Illness (2009), Partnering for Recovery in Mental Health (2014), Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health (2017) and Positive Psychotherapy for Psychosis (2017). His free booklets include Making Recovery a Reality (2008), REFOCUS: Promoting recovery in community mental health services, 2nd edition (2011), 100 Ways to Support Recovery (2013) and The empirical evidence about recovery (2015), all downloadable at

page updated 6 June 2017