We are supported by an Advisory Board bringing together experts from academia, service provision, industry and those with lived experience of mental health problems. Advisory Board members support our work in an independent capacity and do not formally represent their employer. We’re very lucky to have their support.
Bim Afolami MP
Bim has been Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden since 2017. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Financial Markets & Services and is a Commissioner for the Financial Inclusion Commission (a financial inclusion campaign group). Bim is also Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Work and Pensions Secretary, having previously served as PPS to the Secretaries of State for International Development and International Trade. Bim is active in supporting charities and other voluntary groups. He is patron of GRIT (Growing Resilience in Teens) and Tilehouse Counselling, two mental health charities in his constituency.
Sue Ayton is a partner at Knight Ayton Management, that represents a large number of factual broadcasters and writers. She has vast experience and numerous connections in news and current affairs and across the areas of history, science, business, consumer issues and lifestyle.
Andy Bell is Deputy Chief Executive at the Centre for Mental Health. He joined the Centre from the King’s Fund in 2002 as Director of Communications, before becoming Deputy Chief Executive in 2009. He is a member of the Mental Health Policy Group and chaired the Mental Health Alliance between 2006 and 2008. He writes a regular blog on mental health policy for the Huffington Post.
Luciana Berger is the former Liberal Democrat MP for Liverpool Wavertree and former Labour shadow cabinet minister for mental health. She frequently campaigns on the issues of waiting times and funding for mental health services and is a strong advocate of talking therapies. As shadow minister, Luciana toured mental health services and organisations across the country. Luciana is a vice president of the British Association of Counselling and Psychotherapy.
Dr. Jed Boardman
Jed Boardman is Senior Lecturer in Social Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry and Senior Policy Adviser at the Centre for Mental Health. Throughout his career, he has worked mainly in social and community psychiatry and was Consultant Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley Trust until 2016. He is Lead for Social Inclusion at the Royal College of Psychiatrists where he advises on employment, poverty, welfare reform, personalisation and recovery.
Dr. Billy Boland
Billy Boland is a Consultant Psychiatrist in Community Psychiatry and is the Deputy Medical Director at Hertfordshire Partnership University NHS Foundation Trust. He is the current Chair of the Faculty of General Adult Psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists and a co-Clinical Director for Mental Health for NHS England, London region. His interests include quality improvement, social care and safeguarding in mental health services.
Dr. Lisa Cameron MP
Dr Lisa Cameron is the SNP MP for East Kilbride, Strathaven and Lesmahagow, and Shadow SNP Spokesperson for Mental Health. First elected in 2015, Lisa has previously served as the SNP’s Shadow Spokesperson for Climate Justice, as well as being a member of both the Health and Social Care and International Development select committees. Prior to entering Parliament, Lisa worked as a consultant psychologist in a community forensic mental health service, and was Director of a local small business, Psychological Services Scotland Ltd.
Sharon Collard is a Professor of Personal Finance and Research Director at the University of Bristol’s Personal Finance Research Centre, where much of her research explores the intersections between low income, vulnerability and personal finance. Sharon is also a member of the Financial Services Consumer Panel, a statutory panel that represents the interests of consumers in the development of regulatory policy for financial services; the UK Financial Inclusion Commission; and the government’s Financial Inclusion Policy Forum.
Martin is director of Fair By Design, the campaign to end the injustice of people paying more for essential products and services – simply because they are poor. With a background in consumer advocacy, grant-making and regulation, Martin has held a range of positions, including at the Financial Conduct Authority and Big Lottery Fund, all with the common objective of placing low income and vulnerable people at the heart of policy making. He is also a Commissioner for the Commission on Financial Inclusion.
Steve Crabb is a consultant specialising in consumer vulnerability strategy and inclusive service design. He is a former business journalist and has held senior roles in charities, central government and the private sector.
Following an honours degree in Business Studies, Sandra made a career as a stockbroker in the City of London, mainly in private client portfolio management, and is also a Fellow of the Chartered Securities institute (FCSI). Having recently retired after 40 years, Sandra also volunteers for another mental health organisation as well as being a trustee for other smaller charities. In her spare time, she travels, plays bridge, goes to theatres and has recently taken up golf.
Chris Fitch has led research on debt and mental health for almost a decade. Chris works with the Money Advice Trust and the Personal Finance Research Centre at the University of Bristol, much of his research focuses on vulnerability. Before this, Chris was a Research Fellow at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.
Lee Healey is Founder and Managing Director of IncomeMax, a social enterprise that offers independent personal money advice. Lee has 21 years of experience supporting vulnerable and low income families, having held roles at the Department for Work and Pensions and in the charitable advice sector.
Dan Holloway has bipolar disorder and has been campaigning on mental health and finance issues for more than a decade. He works at Oxford University, where he sits on the Disability Advisory Group. Twice Creative Thinking World Champion, Dan is also CEO of Oxford University spinout Rogue Interrobang which helps institutions use creativity to solve wicked problems, in particular by providing spaces where disabled people can play a leading role in shaping the future.
Dr. Ricky Kanabar
Ricky Kanabar is Assistant Professor of Social Policy at the University of Bath. Prior to his appointment at Bath, Ricky was a founding member of the Understanding Society Policy Unit working with government departments on joint projects using the United Kingdom Household Longitudinal Study; one of the few longitudinal household surveys that collects information about both people’s debt profile and their mental health.
Sir Norman Lamb
Sir Norman Lamb served as the Liberal Democrat MP for North Norfolk for 18 years, during which time he served as Minister of State for Care and Support at the Department of Health under the coalition government. In this role, he campaigned for parity of esteem between mental and physical health, and the integration of health and social care. Sir Norman was awarded a knighthood in the Queen’s Honours Birthday list in June 2019.
Sandra Lawman is a specialist in mental health with extensive experience in the public, private and voluntary sectors. She has held positions including administrator of the Maudsley Charity, Chair of Social Services in Lambeth and Trustee and Chair of the Audit Committee at Rethink Mental Illness. Sandra has lived experience of mental health problems, she has a diagnosis of schizoaffective disorder, and has also been a carer for her long term partner.
Aoife ní Luanaigh
Aoife Ni Luanaigh is a researcher with more than ten years’ experience of designing, conducting, and directing research and evaluation programmes. She has worked for the University of Cambridge, in the private sector, and in government. Aoife has lived experience of mental health problems and is particularly interested in how people can be supported to access and stay in work and education during periods of ill health.
Léonora Miles is Senior Financial Services Policy Adviser at a national charity. She has held a number of positions in policy and financial services, including three years at the Financial Services Authority.
Vannessa Pine is director of communications agency Atlas Partners, which she founded in 2015. A former Special Adviser to the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, Vanessa has over 17 years’ experience in communications and public affairs. Having started her career at the Home Office, she worked in the UK and Australia, in agency and in house.
Paul Scates is a creative events and mental health ambassador, who delivers training sessions and presentations on mental health issues. Paul has lived experience of bipolar disorder, this has been debilitating for extended periods of Paul’s adult life, but he has now found stability through a routine of self-management. Paul is currently training to be a professional counsellor.
Jeff Smith MP
Jeff Smith is the Labour MP for Manchester Withington. First elected in 2015, he is a passionate mental health campaigner and is currently Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group on Mental Health. He is also an Opposition Whip, and has previously served on Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee. Prior to becoming an MP, Jeff served as a local councillor, and had a career in event management and as a DJ.
Mike has spent 37 years in Retail Banking, most recently leading strategy development for the treatment of Vulnerable Customers within his firm, and additionally acting as Chair for the Vulnerability Committee at the financial service trade body, UK Finance. For several years he has been a weekly listening volunteer for people who are suicidal, in crisis or despair, as well as supporting the induction, training and mentoring of new volunteers.
Mark Trewin is the Mental Health Social Work Lead at the Department of Health and Social Care, working in the office of the Chief Social Worker. He also works with NHS England and Health Education England, advising on mental health social work. Mark was on the working group of the Mental Health Act Review and is part of the Centre for Mental Health Equalities Commission. He has worked as a mental health social worker, an approved social worker/AMHP, a forensic social worker and a trainer in health and social care and a manager of supported housing services.
Caroline has over two decades of strategic and operational leadership, and a deep-rooted knowledge of the financial services sector. Formerly head of outreach and customer insight at the Financial Ombudsman Service, in 2017 she set up her consultancy Different Petal and co-founded MeIncluded, a disabled access review website. Caroline also holds a number of advisory roles, including at the; National Centre for Diversity, Money Advice Trust and for the Kent Police and Crime Commissioner.
Nicola Wood is the Senior Independent Director at the Information Commissioner’s Office and an Ombudsman at the Financial Ombudsman Service. She is a specialist in dispute resolution and a former solicitor. She has a particular interest in helping vulnerable consumers and helping businesses to help them too.
Professor Dame Til Wykes
Til Wykes is Professor of Clinical Psychology and Rehabilitation at King’s College London, much of her research focuses on rehabilitation and recovery for people with severe mental health problems. Professor Wykes also edits the Journal of Mental Health and is Vice Dean of Psychology and System Sciences at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology & Neuroscience.