Mental Health Foundation

Founded in 1949, Mental Health Foundation is the leading UK charity working on public mental health research, policy, programme innovation, campaigns and public information. We collaborate with a wide range of partners including government, academia, civil society and industry.

Lead:

Dr Iris Elliott: Head of Policy and Research, has had a career in policy, research, health promotion, adult mental health social work and community development. She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts in recognition of her exceptional and longstanding commitment to improving public mental health in the UK and Ireland. Iris holds a PhD in Sociology, MA in Public Culture Studies, MSc in Health Promotion and professional social work qualification. Her primary interests are in realizing human rights in everyday life, social movement activism, and developing trauma informed communities and services.

Team:

Gail Aldam: Events and Communications Scotland, leads events and communications for the Mental Health Foundation in Scotland and comes from an event management background. She is passionate about using the arts to challenge social injustice and inequality. One of her core projects is managing the annual Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival; she has worked on the Festival for eight years and became manager in 2011. She also leads a number of high profile year round arts projects and campaigns, all of which aim to raise awareness of mental health issues and challenge negative perceptions. Gail has been instrumental in securing core funding to support the arts and events programmes and setting up programmes of work with key national organisations.

Amal Azzudin: Community Development Facilitator, is a campaigner for human rights and social justice in Scotland. Within the Mental Health Foundation she takes responsibly for the Amaan project and the development and delivery of new and innovative work with asylum seekers and refugees. Amal has a B.A. in Community Development and an M.Sc. in Human Rights and international politics from the University of Glasgow. Amal is well-known as one of the Glasgow Girls, a group of seven school girls from Drumchapel High School who campaigned to stand up against dawn raids, detention and deportation of asylum seekers in Glasgow. The Glasgow Girls’ story has since been turned into two BBC documentaries, a stage musical and a television musical drama. Amal continues to campaign and is a member of Scotland’s Taskforce set up by the First Minister in response to the Refugee Crisis.

Josefien Breedvelt: Research Manager, is currently undertaking her PhD studies in relapse prevention of recurrent depression at the University of Utrecht. She holds a BSc in Psychology from the University of Groningen and an MSc in Mental Health Studies from King’s College London. She is an experienced quantitative and qualitative researcher specialising in mental health and public mental health and has experience of research with vulnerable populations. She has nearly 3 years of work experience in prison and substance misuse and has published several papers in this area. She has project managed research projects funded by third sector, government and academia. She has collaborated on work together with various stakeholders including Oxford University, the Anna Freud Centre, King’s College London, Imperial College and Homeless link. Her passion lies in involving people and effective translation and implementation of research in practice.

Julie Cameron: National Programmes Manager, Scotland, joined the Mental Health Foundation in 2012 and is committed to promoting human rights and improving the health and wellbeing of vulnerable groups who experience inequalities, stigma and discrimination. She manages the mental health carers project and the refugee and asylum seekers programme and takes a leading role in the development of new work streams.Prior to joining MHF Julie has 12 years’ experience working for the NHS as a health promotion officer, the voluntary sector as a mental health advocate and private sector as a health improvement consultant and researcher. She holds an MSc in social research methods and a BA Hons in History and Sociology.  Her MSc research project explored young people’s perceptions of eating disorders.

Isabella Goldie: Director of Development and Delivery, has developed a range of research & service improvement projects. Upon joining the Foundation, she headed up our work in Scotland and worked extensively on Scottish mental health policy. Key areas of interest include later life; refugees and asylum seekers; and the role of the arts in reducing stigma and discrimination. She supported the development of VOX and, prior to her appointment with the Foundation, worked at Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH). She has a Master’s in public mental health from the University of Glasgow and is a registered mental health nurse. Isabella is Chair of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival and has contributed to a number of publications including the Public Mental Health: A Handbook.

Chris O Sullivan: Programme Lead, Business Development and Engagement, heads up the Policy and Development team in Scotland, leading on policy activities, public affairs work and capacity-building programmes. Chris is currently seconded part time to a UK-wide Programme Lead role, developing the Foundation’s workplace mental health programmes. Chris has a longstanding interest in technology and mental health, particularly in the positive aspects of technology in promoting mental health and supporting recovery. His other areas of interest include stigma and discrimination, arts and mental health, public mental health, suicide and self-harm. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Chris worked in a range of policy, research and campaigning roles in the mental health voluntary sector. In 2011 Chris was selected as a founding member of the Royal Society of Edinburgh Young Academy of Scotland. Chris uses his lived experience of mental ill health and recovery to inform his work.

Marguerite Regan: Policy Manager, joined the Foundation in April 2015 and leads on work to inform and influence evidence-based policies and legislation that impact on mental health and learning disabilities across the UK. Prior to joining the Foundation, Marguerite worked at the Centre for Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine; the Mental Health Innovation Network as a Knowledge Exchange Officer; and at the World Health Organisation as a Health Promotion Officer. Marguerite holds a Masters in Epidemiology and Public Health from University College Cork, Ireland.

Chris White: Policy and Information Officer, has been involved with the Foundation since 2002 when, as part of the Strategies for Living Project he conducted a piece of lived experience research into the experience of people accessing welfare benefits advice. Following this research Chris made a successful transition back into work specializing as a mental health advice worker until he joined our policy and information team in 2011. Chris is passionate about how lived experience can be used to inform research and policy and practice in mental health.  In particular, how people can be supported to use their experience to develop lived experience research and deliver better services and supports. Prior to joining the Foundation in 2011, Chris has work in a range of roles and settings using his lived experience to support and encourage others to develop their own potential. He has been involved in the International Initiative for Mental Health Leadership, including an exchange in 2015 with Boston University on self-directed health and care. He has also led work in Malawi capacity building with disability agencies.