Meet our trainers
Knowing a bit more about a person can go a long way — let us tell you a little bit about our experienced trainers who have worked with us for years.
My background is in community-based mental health services, where I worked as a support worker, then manager in residential and day services. I worked for 10 years in a community-based crisis house. I also trained as an integrative psychotherapist.
After some 20 years in support work, I was ready for a change and a friend suggested that I could use my hands-on experience to train others. Mind was one of the first organisations I applied to as they had always been one of my favourite mental health charities (I have been using Mind literature and later their website for years as a trusted source of information – and still do!).
Qualifying as a social worker in 1983, James worked for the next 10 years in various mental health settings.
In the early 1990s he became a Training and Development Officer for Mental Health within a Local authority setting which included setting up and co-ordinating an Approved Mental Health Social Worker Consortium.
In 2005, James became Mental Health Adviser at the University of Bradford (part-time). Throughout 2007 – 2010 he also worked on an LGB Mental Health project run by Yorkshire MESMAC.
Dr Stephen Brogan
Stephen started to work in the support sector in 1991, key-working with people who had previously lived long term in psychiatric institutions. He has a varied management background, including overseeing a mental health crisis night centre, where he set up and promoted a crisis helpline.
Stephen then worked for the Telephone Helplines Association, where he liaised with the Department of Health in order to co-ordinate the Mental Health Helplines Partnership. He has worked with a wide variety of service users, including older people, homeless people, people with alcohol and/or substance issues, and single, young people experiencing trauma and seeking asylum.
Stephen believes that training can be enjoyable, stimulating and challenging and has demonstrated this over the years by delivering a selection of courses to the voluntary and statutory sectors on behalf of Mind.
Having studied law at the Universities of Birmingham (LL.B Hons), Pennsylvania (LL.M) and the College of Law, Chester, Bernadette spent the first 20 years of her working life practising as a commercial solicitor and teaching academic law at the Universities of Oxford, Warwick and Birmingham where she specialised in medical law, negligence and intellectual property.
Personal experience of mental health problems led Bernie to take a new professional direction. After completing her studies with the Open University in Mental Health and Distress, she now trains and teaches in the fields of mental health awareness, mental health law, and service user development in a wide range of statutory and voluntary settings.
This work has included teaching trainee mental health nurses and social workers at degree level; and delivering courses designed to improve the confidence, skills and wellbeing of those who have experienced mental distress.
With over 35 years' experience in health and social care Phil Morgan currently runs his own training company. He is also a non-executive director of North Somerset Primary Care Trust with a special interest in Mental Health, Older People and Carers. He chairs the Corporate Equalities group and serves on a number of strategic planning groups in North Somerset
His career started as a nursing auxiliary in 1973 and since then he has worked in sheltered housing, residential care and various mental health and complex needs projects. His projects have included innovative schemes such as the PIP scheme in Southwark running the first Assertive Outreach team, run by the voluntary sector, in association with the Institute of Psychiatry.
BA, BSc (Physiology Hons), PhD, LGSM (music therapy)
Katherine Darton has worked at Mind for over 15 years, and has developed considerable expertise on psychiatric medication, building on her knowledge of pharmacology which formed a substantial part of her physiology degree. Earlier in her career she worked as a music therapist in a school for severely disabled children, and in psychiatric hospitals.
She has been a lay member of the Patient Information Expert Advisory Group for the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and on two Health Technology Assessment panels, and was a member of steering group for a project on complementary therapies in mental health for the Prince’s Foundation for Integrated Health.
She is the author of all of Mind's booklets on psychiatric drugs and ECT in the Making Sense series, and has run courses on psychiatric medication for Mind for a number of years.
Janet has worked in the field of health and social care for over 20 years; her main work experience is in adult mental health, particularly crisis work.
Janet uses this extensive frontline experience to underpin the courses that she delivers in mental health and alcohol/substance misuse. Janet’s training is person-centred; it maintains a focus on the unique strengths and capacities of each individual experiencing mental distress.
Each course provides delegates with vital knowledge and information, and enables them to develop practical skills in responding effectively to mental health crises and promoting recovery.
With a formal qualification in Social Work and Counselling. Steve has over 10 years' training experience working in the homelessness and mental health sector and in addition running a training course for Shelter.
Previously he worked as a Community Mental Health Team Manager and also managed the community child and adolescent service and community rehabilitation service for the severely mentally ill. He has over 20 years' experience working as a social worker in the homeless and mental health sector. Steve has also served on a number of voluntary and statutory sector management committees.
With over 18 years’ experience in mental health, social care and education, Vaijayanti started her career in forensic psychiatry working in a medium secure unit in London.
She has worked with different client groups including adults with mild-to-moderate learning disabilities, autistic spectrum disorders, challenging behaviours, as well as those with severe and enduring mental health issues.
Vaijayanti believes that strategies to address mental health issues should be promoted in educational establishments and workplaces to ensure that the next generation are able to understand and manage their mental health and psychological wellbeing.
Sarah James has managed her own training and consultancy business for the past the past 15 years. She is an accredited associate trainer for SITRA, MOSAIC & LVSC (Happy) and has been so in the past for Homeless Link. A significant focus of the training Sarah has been involved in during the past six years has been in supporting organisations gain required skills to meet the requirements of external stakeholders. In doing this Sarah has supported organisations build their capacity in order to compete in a volatile and fluctuating operating environment.
She has also been commissioned by various organisations to improve and develop policies in order to achieve their compliance with external verification.
Sarah works four days a month as a regional co-ordinator for Time To Change, which seeks to challenge the stigma and discrimination faced by people with mental health problems.
Before becoming freelance Sarah worked for 14 years within the voluntary/community sector, this was in a variety of capacities and levels including senior management.
David has been a residential worker in probation and bail hostels, in various children’s homes and in homes for adults with mental health needs, adults with learning disabilities and elderly people with dementia. He was also the Deputy Manager of Westbourne House, the largest probation and bail hostel in the UK.
During his time in those jobs David specialised in working with adults with mental health needs, adults with drug and alcohol needs and offenders with a history of violence.
David left the Probation Service to join Umbrella, a mental health charity based in Camden, north London. He left Umbrella to become a freelance trainer and consultant specialising in issues such as the Mental Capacity Act, Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards, the Mental Health Act and Safeguarding.
Steve has worked in retail and retail logistics at a senior management level for over 30 years and has a wealth of experience in continuous improvement and development of employees, particularly in the field of mental wellbeing.
In 2006 he qualified as a personal, business and leadership coach and in 2008 qualified as a Master Business Practitioner in NLP.
He specialises in coaching and training within organisations, helping and supporting managers and employees to create a proactive and preventative approach to the management of mental wellbeing at work. He also has extensive experience and success coaching clients with mental health challenges to recover and to regain their sense of purpose in life and at work.
Steve has also worked with a large number of employees who have been off work due to mental ill health and, through coaching, has helped them return to work and sustain their recovery using the techniques learnt from the coaching process.
Simon Chilton, RMN
Simon has been a mental health professional for the past 14 years, working in a variety of disciplines ranging from adolescent psychiatry, acute in-patient care, functional rehabilitation and community nursing. For the past 8 years Simon has worked as a Specialist Mental health Advisor and Trainer within the Occupational Health profession.
Simon has extensive experience in providing a wide range of employers with clinical advice, coaching and training interventions. Simon’s focus is very much on enabling employers to reduce the stigma and impact of stress and mental health issues in the workplace. Simon is an experienced coach and can provide support to individuals wanting to reduce the impact of stress, or to managers who want to improve their skills in the management of stress and mental health issues in the workplace.