logo mental health and well being

Manchester - 12 November 2019
London-  19 November 2019



Caroline Hounsell - Chair

In 2006, Caroline became one of the first people trained as a Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England instructor. Caroline has been instrumental in MHFA England's development, first as one of the original National Trainers, then as a valued senior staff and board member. caroline is now focussing on her role as a National Trainer and continues to be an all-round advocate of MHFA England training.

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Matthew Crawford

Matthew is a Chief Executive of Embark Federation which is a trust of seven schools across Derbyshire. One of the core beliefs at Embark Federation is Family and Matthew is very keen to protect staff workload and their wellbeing. He is very proud that Embark was selected for a National Case Study about how the trust has created a positive culture for staff which has affected the recruitment and retention of staff making them an employer of choice. 

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Natasha Devon MBE

Natasha is a writer and activist. She tours schools and colleges throughout the UK, delivering talks as well as conducting research on mental health, body image, gender and social equality. She campaigns both on and offline to make the world a fairer place. Her current projects are the Mental Health Media Charter and Where's Your Head At? Which aims to change the law to protect the mental health of British workers.

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Liz Bates

Liz taught for over 25 years before becoming an education advisor specialising in mental and emotional health and wellbeing. Liz has written three books and teaching resource packs for schools and other organisations that work with children. These are used nationally and help children to explore the internal world of their feelings and thoughts, manage anxiety and understand their emotions.  Liz now works as an independent consultant, training staff and developing schools’ approaches to wellbeing.

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Rina Bajaj

Dr Rina Bajaj is Head of Training in the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools team at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families.  Rina is a Counselling Psychologist who has been working within the field of mental health since 2004.  Rina has a diverse experience of working with children, adolescents and adults from a range of backgrounds.  She has worked with the NHS, statutory organisations, the corporate world and the voluntary sector. In her role at the AFNCCF, Rina has delivered training to school professionals for nearly two years across England.  She has been instrumental to developing and delivering school based interventions through the AFNCCS’s Schools in Mind network.

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Rachel Egbulonu

Rachel has over 20 years of teaching experience in large inner-city London schools. She has trained as a Global Teacher (LCD) and worked in a community in Uganda. Rachel has a passion and deep knowledge of mental health; her school recently achieved the Wellbeing Award for Schools. This recognised and celebrated their culture of trust, support, resilience, collaboration and happiness. Their strap-line is, ‘A healthy mind is the greatest treasure to find.

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Samantha Garner

Sam is a renowned and entertaining trainer and speaker on Mental Health and SEN. A SENCO in a large secondary school and CBT Therapist she works nationally and internationally. She is a published author and writes CBT programmes that are successfully used in schools: www.cbt4schools.co.uk.

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Kelly Hannaghan

Kelly is the Wellbeing Leader at Lessness Heath Primary School and has spent her professional career passionately focusing on enhancing the opportunities and life chances of pupils, staff and families in education. Through the power of her mental health training and therapeutic relationship skills, she has successfully led on the Wellbeing Award for Schools process, resulting in her school being the first nationally to achieve this. Kelly is a regular blogger and active writer of wellbeing in education and is passionate about creating the conditions under which teachers and pupils flourish. Her approaches in leading school development processes has creted outstanding outcomes.

Kerry Hill

Headteacher of the first Primary School in the country to recieve the Princess Royal Training Award, for the impact of staff CPD in mental health. Kerry's commitment to enabling pupils and staff to thrive is underpinned by a firm belief in developing a culture of well-being. Kerry has recently worked with BBC Teach on Mental Health and is currently undertaking a Masters in Leadership of Mental Health in Schools.

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Michelle Lucas-Halliwell

Michelle has been teaching for seventeen years. The last eleven of those have been at Rendcomb College in the Cotsworlds where she is the DSL and Mental Health Lead for the for school. Michelle has a keen interest in trying to promote positive wellbeing and resilience in young people through techniques such as mindfulness.

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Therese Hoyle

Therese Hoyle is a highly sought after educational consultant and executive coach with 21 years' experience.Therese regularly consults and advises schools and teachers on social emotional and mental health needs of children, staff wellbeing, organisational development, coaching and leadership. Therese works globally, form New Zealand to nationally across the UK. To date she has worked with over 495 schools and organisations and with more than 15,400 individuals. She is an Optimus Wellbeing Award School Adviser and Wellbeing Trainer, a Leadership Coach with integrity coaching and on the board of trustees for Arbonne Charitable Foundation, rasing the self-esteem of teens.

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Kate Mason

Kate is proud to be the first female Headteacher of a 300-year-old primary school and part of the executive team of Embark Federation, a Trust of 7 schools across Derbyshire. She was a key member of the team in forging and shaping Embark Federation, its vision and core values. She has also worked extensively with NQTs over 25 years and works in partnership with Derby University. Kate is keen to protect staff workload and wellbeing and create a positive culture for all. She was delighted that Embark was selected for a National Case Study to showcase these values and their positive impact on staff.

Ronnie Heath

Ronnie leads a national and international team of creators who are finding ways to provide the best possible early experiences for 4-11 year olds, creating positive relationships with physical activity for life. Ronnie, a former leader in education, award-winning National League coach and National Trainer, established Create in 2006 to inspire teachers, families and coaches to better include, engage and challenge all young learners. In addition to being an innovative and groundbreaking author and speaker, Ronnie provides inspiring thought leadership to change the culture of PE and Sport.

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Nicola S Morgan

Nicola is an international education consultant, teacher and author with more than twenty years experience working in a variety of schools implementing behaviour change and empowering children, young people, parents and staff to reach their full potential. Nicola has developed a reputation for successfully managing the most challenging schools and students as well as motivating and inspiring staff to help implement change and ensure sustainability.

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Kate O'Connor

Kate has taught and led schools in challenging circumstances throughout her career spanning a 20 year period. She has led her current school out of special measures with a key focus on the value of relationship school cultures that look after and protect the wellbeing of the whole school community. Kate believes passionately in growing schools that are characterised by cultures of trust, agency and happiness. She is an active speaker sharing strategies of the importance of creating a positive culture within education.

Brendan Redmond

Brendan is the computing coordinator for Richardson Endowed Primary School, who prior to teaching worked within the technology industry. He is passionate about education in online safety for staff, children and parents. Under his guidance the school has run successful online safety evenings with a focus on parent engagement, bringing together local experts and police community teams. Within the school he has helped foster an open dialogue between students and staff on issues relating to online safety.

Alice Newton-Leeming

Alice Newton-Leeming is the founder of Mental Health Learning, a provider of mental health, self harm and suicide prevention training. Alice has worked and studied within the field of mental health and suicide prevention for over 12 years, with a particular focus on young people. Completing her psychology degree in 2011, Alice quickly moved into a support role for a national Suicide Prevention Charity in the UK, directly helping persons thinking of suicide. She soon progressed to managing a national helpline and training team around the country, equipping individuals with life-saving skills. Alice is passionate about not just creating a society in which mental health, self harm and suicide are no longer taboo, but where any member of the community feels confident and prepared to ask and support an individual with any of these concerns. Alice is a recognized Silver trainer in the internationally recognized Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training and one of the first UK trainers to provide the ASK workshop – Assessing Suicide Risk in Kids.


Martin Staniforth

Martin is the co-founder of Laughing Phoenix, a consultancy that helps organisations with their ‘purposeful positioning’.  As such, he has facilitated the global Dove Self-Esteem Project since 2003, creating a range of body image resources for teachers, youth leaders, parents and young people.  He also co-leads Creative Beings CIC, a social enterprise using artistic processes for wellbeing.


Julia Walsh

Julia is a qualified nurse and worked for the NHS as a Sister on Intensive Care for 18 years. During this time Julia trained to be a person centred counsellor, gaining experience in play, adult and family therapy. In the last 10 years, Julia managed a third sector mental health service for children, young people and their families in the Northwest of England. Julia now works for AFNCCF as a School Engagement Trainer.

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