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Refocus on Recovery 2023 international conference

Keynote speakers

Pim Cuijpers (Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, Netherlands)

Pim Cuijpers is Professor of Clinical Psychology at the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam, The Netherlands and director of the WHO Collaborating Centre for Research and Dissemination of Psychological Interventions in Amsterdam. He is specialised in conducting randomised controlled trials and meta-analyses on prevention and psychological treatments of common mental disorders across the life span. Much of his work is aimed at prevention of mental disorders, psychological treatments of depression and anxiety disorders, and Internet-delivered treatments. He has also published on several other research topics, including global mental health and student mental health. Pim Cuijpers has published more than 1,100 peer-reviewed papers, chapters, reports and professional publications, including more than 900 papers in international peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is on the Thomson-Reuter Web of Science lists of the ‘highly cited researchers’ since the first edition of this list in 2014 (http://highlycited.com/).


Michelle Funk (World Health Organization, Switzerland)

Dr Michelle Funk is the Head of the unit on Policy, Law and Human Rights team at the World Health Organization in Geneva and has global responsibility for this area of work. She also leads the WHO QualityRights Initiative which builds capacity of stakeholders to understand and promote human rights and recovery approaches, and supports countries to develop services, policies and laws in line with international human rights standards. Dr Funk, has produced landmark guidance including on person centred-rights based community mental health services (2021), the WHO QualityRights training, guidance and transformation in mental health (2019) and is currently in the process of developing new guidance on mental health policy and action plans and mental health related laws. She has published extensively on these topics in peer review journals.

Nev Jones (University of Pittsburgh, USA)


Nev Jones is a community-engaged mental health services researcher,  with an interdisciplinary academic background in social and political philosophy (BA, MA, postbaccalaureate fellowship), community psychology (MA, PhD) and medical anthropology (postdoc).  Currently an assistant professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Pittsburgh, she has worked across the intersections of academia, community-based mental health services, policy, and disability activism.  Areas of focus include the social and structural determinants of recovery and disability, anti-poverty interventions, and transformative change in the context of psychosis-focused services and broader social welfare and mental healthcare policy.  Grounded in direct experience of the public mental health system and psychosis-focused services, Nev previously co-founded/co-directed  Chicago Hearing Voices, the Lived Experience Research Network and the Bay Area Hearing Voices Network, and currently co-leads the international service user/survivor research coalition Transform Mental Health Research.  She was also a 2017 NIDILRR Switzer Research Fellow, and current research projects are supported by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) and the Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).  For her work advancing the meaningful integration and leadership of individuals with significant psychiatric disabilities and intersecting experiences of systems involvement, she was awarded the 2021 Pioneer Award from the National Association of Peer Supporters (NAPS) and the 2022 Judi Chamberlin Joy in Advocacy award from the National Coalition on Mental Health Recovery (NCMHR

Julie Repper (Director, ImROC)

Julie Repper is Director of ImROC, a not-for-profit organisation that works in partnership with communities to support services, organisations and systems to offer support that enables people with mental health challenges and long-term physical health problems to recover and live well. ImROC supports many organisations nationally and internationally to shift culture and practice in ways that recognise the essential contribution of experiential knowledge at every level and the importance of working with and in communities to enable people to live well.  ImROC offers a full programme of peer support worker training, support to develop Recovery Colleges, a prospectus of Recovery focused courses and bespoke consultancy for organisations however large or small (see www.imroc.org).

Julie has been working for ImROC since its inception 15 years ago, she has also worked as a nurse, a service manager, in universities as a researcher and as a course leader; she has been a trustee of a number of voluntary sector groups and co-editor of mental health journals.  Julie has also used mental health services on and off over the past 45 years.  All of these experiences drive Julie’s passion to improve the expectations and experiences of people who find themselves struggling with their mental health. Julie has published extensively on the subject or Recovery, inclusion, and participation/coproduction.


Mike Slade (University of Nottingham, UK)

Professor Mike Slade is Professor of Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at University of Nottingham. His main research interests are recovery-focused and outcome-focused mental health services, including Recovery Colleges, lived experience narratives, citizen science, wellbeing, needs assessment and developing measures, e.g. INSPIRE, Camberwell Assessment of Need, Threshold Assessment Grid. He has written over 300 academic articles and published 15 books, including Personal Recovery and Mental Illness (2009), Partnering for Recovery in Mental Health (2014), Positive Psychotherapy for Psychosis (2017), Wellbeing, Recovery and Mental Health (2017) and Camberwell Assessment of Need, 2nd edition (2020). His 15 free booklets include Making Recovery a Reality (2008), REFOCUS: Promoting recovery in community mental health services, 2nd edition (2011), 100 Ways to Support Recovery, 2nd edition (2013), The empirical evidence about recovery (2015) and The Business Case for Recovery (2017), all downloadable at researchintorecovery.com.


Shearer West (Vice-Chancellor and President, University of Nottingham)

Professor Shearer West, CBE is Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Nottingham.

She has held a number of significant leadership roles in higher education, including Head of the School of Historical Studies at the University of Birmingham, Head of the Humanities Division at Oxford University and Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the University of Sheffield.  She was also Director of Research at the Arts and Humanities Research Council where she chaired the Research Directors Group for Research Councils UK (now UKRI).

As Professor of Art History, she has authored and edited many articles and nine books. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, the Higher Education Academy and the Royal Historical Society, and has held two visiting Fellowships at Yale University.