Home / Keynote speakers RonR2023

Refocus on Recovery 2023 international conference

Keynote/Plenary speakers

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.

Ifti Majid (Chief Executive, Nottinghamshire Healthcare)

Ifti Majid took up his position as Chief Executive of Nottinghamshire Healthcare on Thursday 1 December 2022.

He joined the Trust from Derbyshire Healthcare where he had held the position of Chief Executive for over five years, with an additional two years preceding this as Acting Chief Executive.

A mental health nurse by background, Ifti qualified in 1988 after training at St George’s Hospital in London.  He has held a range of clinical posts in adult mental health services, both in acute inpatient and community settings.

Ifti also has significant experience of effective leadership holding several nursing management roles before being promoted through senior management and executive roles.

He also holds a number of national positions, including Chair of the NHS Confederation’s Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Network, and Co-Chair of their BME Leadership Network.

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)


Claire Henderson (King’s College London, UK)

Claire Henderson, PhD FRCPsych is a Professor of Public Mental Health at the Health Service and Population Research Department, King’s College London Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience and Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. Her research addresses the disempowerment of people with mental illness due to the illness and to ensuing stigma and discrimination. She studies service interventions which promote shared decision making between service users and clinicians (advance statements), encourage illness self-management (Recovery Colleges), or help users make hard decisions (decision aids). She evaluates public mental health interventions to reduce mental health related stigma and discrimination or encourage self-management and help-seeking for mental illness.

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/).


Simon Bradstreet (Principal Evaluation Consultant, Matter of Focus)

Dr Simon Bradstreet is Principal Evaluation Consultant with Matter of Focus where he is part of a mission to help organisations focus on what matters to people and communities. He brings extensive experience from a variety of previous roles in the voluntary, health and academic sectors. As the founding Director of the Scottish Recovery Network, he played a central role in the early development of recovery approaches in the UK. Throughout his career he has championed and researched approaches that build from, and value, lived experience in policy and practice and has published extensively on a range of topics including recovery, systems change, peer working and digital interventions

Audrey Buelo (Evaluation Consultant, Matter of Focus)

Dr Audrey Buelo is an Evaluation Consultant with Matter of Focus where she aims to help organisations focus on what matter to people and communities. She has experience in a wide array of fields relating to public health. She is passionate about working across disciplines and methods to answer questions that matter most to people. Her enthusiasm for evaluation sits alongside her expertise in programme development and co-production, having completed her PhD at The University of Edinburgh for her research in public health intervention development and evaluation.


Stefan Rennick-Egglestone (University of Nottingham, UK)

Dr. Stefan Rennick-Egglestone is a mental health researcher working in the Institute of Mental Health (Nottingham, UK).

He was the co-ordinator for the NIHR-funded Narrative Experiences Online (NEON) study which has looked at how our stories of recovery from mental health problems can help others. Through NEON, Stefan has been deeply involved in work to examine how organisations can use mental health recovery stories in an ethical and responsible manner, and hence avoid misuse of what can be very sensitive material. Stefan brings his own lived experience of mental health problems to his work, and advocates for greater inclusion of lived experience perspectives in healthcare research and practice. He has a PhD from the University of Nottingham, looking at how novel rehabilitation technologies can find a place in the homes of stroke survivors. He has a degree in Computer Science from the University of Cambridge.

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.

Philani Ama Kinyabo  (SUCCEED Africa, Zimbabwe)

Philani Ama Kinyabo is a Peer Researcher for SUCCEED Africa in Zimbabwe who also has Ghanaian roots. SUCCEED has given her the space to work and grow professionally as it recognizes and embraces people with lived experience of mental health challenges as she has experienced them.  Her ambition is to see lives changed. She attained her Media and Society Degree at Midlands State University, Gweru, Zimbabwe where she fell in love with wanting to make Zimbabwe a better place and share the beauty that Zimbabwe has to the whole world. She is interested in the Arts and enjoys singing at church, acting and writing. She feels Art can revolutionise people’s lives. Her future aspirations are to travel the world bringing hope to people so that they realise that a mental health diagnosis is not the end of the world but the beginning of a brand new different and beautiful chapter.


Hilda Chinoko (SUCCEED Africa, Malawi)

Hilda Chinoko is currently a Peer Researcher for SUCCEED Africa in Malawi. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Child Health Nursing obtained from the Kamuzu University of Health Sciences. She holds a passion for mental health and research and aspires to bridge the gap between individuals facing psychosocial challenges and the world so as to bring an end to the stigma. She aspires to bring an end to discrimination people suffering from mental illness face. SUCCEED Africa has given her a platform which has equipped her with the necessary skills as well as an insight on the wide range of capabilities people suffering from psychosocial challenges hold, her being one who experienced the same first hand. Hilda is an aspiring painter and still holds her passion for Child Health.


Phil Morgan  (Dorset HealthCare University NHS Foundation Trust, UK)

Phil Morgan is Head of Nursing, Therapies and Quality for Mental Health, Learning Disabilities and Children Young People and Families for Dorset HealthCare NHS Foundation Trust.

He is currently undertaking a PhD titled Towards Co-Production: An Exploration of Future Citizenship Alongside People with Mental Health Challenges. Phil has been working, alongside peer researchers, to examine how ‘citizenship’ can be utilised as a way of exploring the socio-political context within which mental health is understood and how changes to society can be made. He has a particular interest on the impact of technology.

Phil is an occupational therapist by training and has worked in a range of mental health settings. Over the past 14 years he has been working in partnership with Dorset Mental Health Forum, a local peer-led mental health organisation, to promote Recovery and co-production in service design and delivery. Phil also works as a consultant for ImROC.


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.


Laura Asher (University of Nottingham, UK)

Dr Laura Asher is a clinical associate professor of public health in the School of Medicine at the University of Nottingham and honorary consultant in public health medicine at the Department of Health and Social Care. Her main research interests are the development and evaluation of community-based psychosocial interventions for people with severe mental health conditions in low and middle-income countries. She is particularly interested in models of care delivered by lay workers and people with lived experience of mental health conditions. She enjoys working in close collaboration with colleagues in Ethiopia, South Africa and Uganda. Dr Asher is co-PI of the SAMRC/MRC-funded Peer-led Recovery Groups for People with Psychosis in South Africa (PRIZE) randomised feasibility trial and was PI of the Wellcome-funded Community-based Rehabilitation Intervention for people with Schizophrenia in Ethiopia (RISE) cluster-randomised trial.


Philipe Delespaul (University of Maastricht, Belgium)

Prof.Dr. Ph.A.E.G. Philippe Delespaul is a Belgian mathematical psychologist/psychometrist, clinical psychologist, and CBT supervisor. He is professor of Innovations in Mental Health Care at the School for Mental Health and NeuroScience (Maastricht University) and the Mondriaan Mental Health Centre. He advises regional, national, and international stakeholders in mental health service innovation. He integrates human rights with user and family involvement. With Jim van Os, he initiated the Dutch New Mental Health movement and develops local ecosystems for mental health (GEM). His focus is on ambulatory care for people with severe mental health needs. He co-developed the FACT model of integrated care. He is a pioneer and expert in the experience sampling methodology (ESM) to assess daily adaptational strategies and improve resilience. He developed the PsyMate™ App to facilitate ESM dissemination. He wrote three books, more than 50 chapters in edited manuals, and co-authored more than 200 PubMed-listed articles.

Amanda Green (Kings College London, UK)

Amanda Green joined King’s College London as a PhD student in The Florence Nightingale Faculty of Nursing, Midwifery & Palliative Care in 2020. Her PhD is a survivor-led qualitative mixed methods realist evaluation of Safety Planning: a recovery-orientated mental health risk management intervention. She has an MSc in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion from University of Hertfordshire. Having previously worked in the theatre, most recently as Artistic Director of Lime Light Theatre in Ontario, her interest in mental health was sparked by the deterioration of her own mental health and subsequent treatment. She began work in Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust as a Peer Support Worker in 2013, where she also was instrumental in establishing their Recovery College. She is currently Peer Support Lead for the Trust, and a member of the International Lived Experience Leaders Network.


Francesc Gomez-Morales (University of Barcelona, Spain)

Francesc Gomez-Morales holds a degree in physics and an advanced studies diploma in materials science from the University of Barcelona, as well as a degree in psychology from the Open University of Catalonia. He has been actively involved with the first person movement since 2018, which sparked his career transition from technological entrepreneurship to psychology. Currently, he is employed as a specialized technician by the University of Barcelona for the project “Citizenship as Mental Health.” Francesc is a certified mental health peer support worker (MHPSW) and works with both private clients and public institutions, primarily focusing on young service users.


Anneliese de Wet (Boston University, USA)

Anneliese de Wet is a postdoctoral researcher at Boston University’s Center for Psychiatric Rehabilitation. She completed her PhD in Psychology at Stellenbosch University in South Africa in December 2020. For her dissertation she developed an individual measure of recovery for a South African context by exploring the understanding of recovery for persons, their carers and their service providers, as well as the barriers and facilitators of recovery. This was the first such measure developed for a South African context. Anneliese is particularly interested in peer support work.

Another related interest she has, is positive psychological ways of addressing mental health challenges, such as stigma. She is conducting a study focused on exploring workplace stigma resistance and the mechanisms thereof amongst peer support specialists. Other research she is involved in includes a randomised controlled trial testing the effectiveness of a coaching intervention to address peer specialists’ stress and distress at work.