Dr Aditya Sharma

Dr Sharma is a Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Newcastle University and Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent
Psychiatry. His areas of clinical academic interest area are bipolar disorder impacting on children and adolescents
and complex neurodevelopmental disorders. His areas of expertise also include co-design and co-production in
mental health and use of m-health technologies which has led to the development of C.A.L.M. App which aims to
empower and improve the lives of young people (16-25) living with bipolar disorder.

Professor Allan Young

Professor Allan Young is Chair of Mood Disorders and Director of the Centre for Affective Disorders in the
Department of Psychological Medicine in the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s
College London, where he is also Head of School and Vice-Dean for Academic Psychiatry. He is the clinical
academic lead in the Psychological Medicine and Integrated Care Clinical Academic Group in the South
London and Maudsley NHS Trust, where he is also Consultant Psychiatrist and Head of the Affective
Disorders Service. Professor Young’s research interests focus on the cause and treatments for severe
psychiatric illnesses, particularly mood disorders.

Amanda Saunders

Amanda Saunders is a writer and head of communications at UK Parliament (in a politically neutral civil
service role), and the co-author of 'Bipolar Disorder - The Ultimate Guide' (Oneworld Publications, 2019) with
her cousin Sarah Owen. Four generations of their family have or have had bipolar - their shared
grandfather, Amanda's mum, Sarah's dad, Amanda (who has cyclothymia), Sarah's sister and Sarah's son.

April Kelley

April is an award winning actor, producer and the co-owner of Mini Productions. Her work has been screened
around the world, picking up a wonderful array of accolades, whilst working with some of the greatest talents
the UK has to offer. A huge chunk of her proudest work has been that with Bipolar UK as well as the advocacy
around bisexuality. After finally being diagnosed at the age of 28, she found a voice becoming an Ambassador
for Bipolar UK. Her mission is to bring comfort to others living with this tricky superpower. There’s a spark of
genius in us all, and through the highs, lows and whatever that in-between bit is, we can learn together.

Charlie Aretuemhen

Charlie is passionate about creating a platform where everyone feels comfortable and safe to speak openly about
mental health. For years he found it difficult to express what he had been experiencing due to the fear of being judged
and being perceived as “weak” to others. Bottling up his thoughts and feelings has been detrimental to how he
approached various situations. He has come to value the strength of being vulnerable and the freedom you can
experience by speaking up about what you are facing. By being able to provide a platform for others to voice out he
hopes, one voice at a time, we will be able to tackle the stigma against mental health.

Carrie Lyell

Carrie Lyell is a writer, media commentator and editor-in-chief of DIVA, the world's leading magazine for
lesbians, bi women and non-binary people. Passionate about amplifying the voices of those from marginalised
communities, she has written about LGBTQI+ mental health for publications including the Independent and
Metro. In 2021, she was named one of Attitude Magazine’s 101 LGBTQ trailblazers changing the world.

Dr Clare Dolman

Clare Dolman is a journalist and researcher whose PhD focused on women with bipolar disorder’s decision-making
regarding pregnancy and childbirth. She is a Patient and Public Involvement Lead for the NIHR-funded ESMI project on
the effectiveness and cost-effectiveness of perinatal mental health services, based part-time at the Institute of
Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience at King’s College London. She also lectures on the Royal College of
Psychiatrists’ training courses on service user perspectives. Clare, who has a personal interest in this subject, is a trustee
of the MMHA: Maternal Mental Health Alliance and of the charity APP - Action on Postpartum Psychosis , and an
Ambassador for Bipolar UK.

Dean Clarke

From the age of 16 Dean spent 8 years in the British Army, completing operational tours across the world including both
Iraq and Afghanistan. After 6 years of struggling with his mental health after leaving the army he was diagnosed with
bipolar and PTSD. Since his diagnosis Dean has come to realise that with the right support, talking openly and
understanding his illness he can live a great life alongside bipolar. Being a man and being open about his struggles with
his mental health was not an easy process. He believed that he had to fit a role of what man should be like. Dean wants
to help men build their confidence and understanding that being open about their mental health and their struggles is
the right thing to do.

Emma Belle

Emma Belle is a Podcast Host and Mental Health Advocate. Emma is 39, originally from Brighton, UK, and has lived in
Paris, Geneva and now Dubai. Diagnosed with bipolar disorder ten years ago, following a breakdown, Emma now
shares her story and experience for managing mental health and trauma recovery with daily practices, tips and
resources through her social media platforms, blogs and podcast.

Eugene Ankomah

Eugene Ankomah also known as EA is seen as one of the most exciting, gifted and versatile young artists in the UK. A
former child prodigy, he is a respected international multi-disciplinary Visual Artist and personality. His innovative,
challenging and ever evolving work has included Painting (his primary practice), Design, Installation, Costume, Set design,
Digital Art, Sculpture, Print Making, Performance, Sound Art and writing. Ankomah is also well known for creating
different often challenging "characters" or "personas" designed to front his powerful but often political, social and
community cohesion focused works. He was nominated for a BEFFTA Award. as 'Man of The Year' 2020/2021.

Prof. Guy Goodwin

Guy Goodwin, FMedSci is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Oxford, Oxford, UK. Prof Goodwin's
research interests are in the treatment of bipolar disorder and the application of neuroscience and technology in
understanding the neurobiology of mood disorders, with a focus on developing new treatments. He is a Fellow of the
American College of Neuropsychopharmacology, and has previously held the position of President of the British
Association for Psychopharmacology (2004–2005). He is past president of the European College of
Neuropsychopharmacology (ECNP) and a Senior Investigator on the faculty of UK National Institute for Health Research
(NIHR). He is a Thomson Reuters highly cited researcher (top 1% in field).

Prof. Hamish McAllister-Williams

Prof. McAllister-Williams obtained his qualification in medicine, and a PhD in Neuropharmacology, at the University
of Edinburgh, Scotland. He moved to Newcastle University in 1995 and was awarded a UK Medical Research
Council Clinician Scientist Fellowship to investigate the pathophysiology of affective disorders, completing a
research MD degree. In 2004 he was appointed a Reader in Clinical Psychopharmacology and then in 2017
Professor of Affective Disorders. He is the Lead for the Mental Health, Dementia and Neurodegenerative Disorders
Research Theme. Clinically, he leads a tertiary level specialist affective disorders service in the Cumbria,
Northumberland Tyne and Wear NHS Foundation Trust where he is also Deputy Medical Director for Research.

Prof. Ian Jones

Ian Jones is Professor of Psychiatry and Honorary Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at Cardiff University. He
is Director of the National Centre for Mental Health and with colleagues leads the Bipolar Disorder
Research Network. NCMH has recruited over 20,000 people with mental health problems to its research
cohort and BDRN has involved over 7,000 people with bipolar disorder from around the UK in research. He
leads the Cardiff University Psychiatry Service (CUPS) and a clinical service offering pre-conception
counselling to women with severe mental illness. He is Director of BEP-C, a group psychoeducation
programme for bipolar disorder. He is a Trustee of The Maternal Mental Health Alliance and a Trustee and
Scientific Advisor to Action on Postpartum Psychosis. His research focuses on bipolar disorder and
postpartum psychosis. He has authored or co-authored over 300 publications and book chapters. He has
been awarded the Marcé Medal for his research on Postpartum Psychosis and was named Academic
Psychiatrist of the Year at the RCPsych Awards 2013. In 2014 BEP-C was awarded the British Medical
Journal (BMJ) award for innovation in medicine.

Jonny Benjamin

Jonny Benjamin MBE is an award-winning mental health campaigner, film producer, public speaker, writer and vlogger. 

At the age of 20 he was diagnosed with schizoaffective disorder, a combination of schizophrenia
and bipolar, and later began making films on YouTube about the condition that have been watched by millions
of people. Jonny now speaks publicly about living with mental illness and has written articles and given various
interviews on TV, radio and in print around the world to help educate and break stigma. He has also produced
and presented documentaries on BBC Three and Channel 4 on the subjects of mental health and suicide. His
2014 social media campaign with Rethink Mental Illness to #findMike, the man who talked him out of jumping
off a bridge when he was suicidal, went viral and led to Jonny becoming a prominent spokesperson on the
subject of suicide. In 2016 he launched ThinkWell, a mental health programme for schools, which has so far
been reached thousands of young people in secondary schools across the UK. He has also written 2 books. His
second book, The Book Of Hope, is published in Spring 2021. Most recently, Jonny has setup a new mental
health charity, Beyond, which aims to provide better mental health support to young people around the
country.

Dr Karine Macritchie

Dr Karine Macritchie studied physiology and medicine at the University of Glasgow. She specialised in mood
disorders during her training in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She was awarded a Doctorate in Medicine with
Commendation for work in brain white matter structure in bipolar disorder at the University of Newcastle-upon-Tyne. She undertook a period of post-doctoral study in mood disorders at the University of British Columbia. She
has worked as lead consultant psychiatrist at the innovative OPTIMA Mood Disorder Service, part of the South
London and Maudsley NHS Trust for the past six years.

The Kitching Family - Emily

Emily is 22 and has a diagnosis of bipolar disorder. She has always been a very creative person and after completing
her A-Levels at sixth form, she decided to study the Foundation Art & Design course at Sunderland University.
Afterwards, she went on to study BA Hons Glass & Ceramics (also at Sunderland University) and graduated in 2020.
She now has a studio in Sunderland, where she keeps her potter's wheel and makes artwork. She is currently
working towards making small-scale sculptures for an upcoming exhibition at the National Glass Centre in
Sunderland. Emily will be sharing her lived experience in the young person session along with her parents Lee and
Wendy. Lee is a Biomedical Scientist in a Biochemistry Lab and her Wendy is a self-employed handbag designer.

Leah Charles-King

Leah Charles-King has over 30 years’ experience of media and the entertainment industry as a music artist,TV and radio presenter, producer, live host and public speaker. She is also the founder and public speaking coach at The Red Carpet Academy which teaches on-camera skills to spokespeople and influencers. Her music career began in the 1990’s as one third of the girl band ‘Kleshay’ signed to Sony Music, and enjoyed two UK chart singles as well as a successful arena tour as supporting act for Lionel Richie. In 2001 Leah began her presenting career as the first (and only to date) Black female continuity presenter on CITV (Children's ITV) inits 40 year history. Leah enjoyed four years as host and producer of the flagship radio show, “Leah CK Drive Time” on The Beat London 103.6fm. The show swiftly became the station’s most listened to broadcast and won many coveted industry awards. In 2019, Leah spoke publicly for the first time of her secret battle since being diagnosed with bipolar and generalised anxiety disorder seven years ago.

Leah Milner

Leah Milner is an award-winning consumer, money and property journalist. She also writes and speaks publicly about mental health, drawing upon on her personal experience of living with bipolar.

Dr Lynn Baron-Millar

Dr Baron-Millar is a mixed methods researcher with interests in global mental health, quality of life, digital health and healthy ageing. She currently hold posts within the Evidence Synthesis team and Academic Psychiatry. Prior to this she completed a PhD in healthy ageing and mortality risk at Newcastle University following two years as a Research Assistant working on quality of life and neuropsychological function in mental health disorders.

Lucy Hassall

Lucy is a Peer Support Officer for Work and Learning, and eCommunity Moderator. She joined Bipolar UK in 2016, when she authored our Employee and Employer guides on Bipolar and Employment. She developed and ran the Bipolar UK Employment service offering workplace advanced statements and training for a number of years. As Peer Support Officer, Lucy regularly operates our specialist online support sessions, under the peer support services model at Bipolar UK.As speaker Lucy has representing Bipolar UK at many national events,such as the Health and Wellbeing event at the NEC in Birmingham and Peerfest. 

Luyando Mulawo

Luyando is a 31 year old woman who was detained under the Mental Health Act in 2014 and then diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Determined to dispel myths and shame around mental illness, she went public with her story on social media and continues to champion this cause.

Misha Nelson

Misha is a 32 year old mother from London currently on her recovery journey. In 2017 Misha left her job at an iconic media advertising company due to the unworkable environment. During the autumn of 2017 she went to Southern Africa to work with her sister and non-profit organisation Dentaid where she coordinated the missionary efforts and suppling locals with basic dental healthcare. However once back home in London the stresses and depressions were awaiting her, unbeknownst to her family or friends Misha struggled with it alone. By the winter of 2017 Misha was hospitalised twice and went into the new year without being diagnosed. For the weeks that followed she found herself back in hospital this time under a section 2 and diagnosed with bipolar disorder. In March 2020 Misha started her independent media agency while looking after her family and juggling her recovery.

Marsha Antoine

Marsha has a passion for improving mental health and social care for communities she holds an undergraduate degree in Psychology and a Masters in Social work together with a qualification in CBT. She is a registered practicing Social Worker and Approved Mental Health Professional with over 10 years' experience.

Dr Marvin Iroegbu

Marvin Iroegbu is a clinical psychologist with a keen interest in supporting people overcoming trauma. Prior to obtaining his qualification, Marvin worked for 10 years across many facets of mental health including personality disorder, bipolar disorder and psychosis. It was through this experience that Marvin’s passion for promoting the importance of good mental health grew. Marvin is passionate about mental health being understood as an important part of daily living. He created the @Marvzmind Instagram page; a platform dedicated to removing the associated stigma of mental health. The page also aims to normalise the conversation of mental health, particularly within Black and minority ethnic communities.

Mohini Morris

Mohini Morris is a Trustee at Bipolar UK and received support from the charity, having experienced bipolar in her family.She subsequently pursued academic study in the field and has also facilitated support groups. In her day job she works in national government on social policy.

Nashiru Momori

Nash is an Expert User Consultant and the founder of Real Insight- a User led Consultancy. He works with fellow peers (experts by experience), frontline staff and senior management teams across a range of organisations and NHS Trusts as a consultant, trainer and advisor. Nash assists organisations towards a shift in structure and practice to a fully diverse and inclusive culture. Nash is also Founder of Diversity Radio. Diversity Radio is a group of consultants with lived experience of multiple and complex needs. With this unique perspective, they developed a strong belief in service-user involvement leading to their aspiration to give people more control over their health and care.

Natasha Naomi Rea

Natasha is an actress for TV and theatre, having starred in BBC Three's Burn It 2, as regular character Gemma, BBC One's daytime drama Doctors and has had small roles on some of Britain's best loved soaps playing Carmel in Coronation Street and Crystal in Emmerdale. Natasha is diagnosed with bipolar and released her debut book, Me, Myself and Bipolar Brenda at the end of January 2020. The book inspired interest to use Natasha’s experiences of bipolar to develop a TV series. She is now co-writing with Mark Catley who is a double BAFTA winning writer/producer and a story consultant and writer for Eastenders. The book also inspired her one woman show which will be on next year.Natasha is also an Ambassador for Bipolar UK.

Nicky Chinn

Nicky Chinn is an English songwriter and record producer. Together with Mike Chapman he had a long string of hit singles in the UK and US in the 1970s and early 1980s, including several international number-one records. The duo wrote hits for The Sweet, Suzi Quatro, Mud, New World, Arrows, Racey, Smokie, Tina Turner, Huey Lewis and the News and Toni Basil. More recently Nicky co-wrote “Live like there’s no tomorrow” recorded by Selena Gomez. Nicky lives with bipolar disorder and was diagnosed in 1961 at age 16.

Sir Norman Lamb

A long-standing and active campaigner for mental health, Sir Norman Lamb has worked to challenge stigma around mental health and to ensure people with mental health issues are treated with the same priority as patients with physical health needs. A former Health Minister from 2012-2015, Sir Norman introduced the first access and waiting time standards in mental health care for the treatment of mental health problems like depression and anxiety, and for patients experiencing a first episode of psychosis. Prior to this he was also a Minister in the Department for Business,Innovation and skills. In 2019, Sir Norman Lamb received a knighthood in the Queen’s Birthday Honours for his public and political service, notably his contribution to mental health.

Robert Westhead

Robert is a former journalist and now works in NHS communications. He also ran the government campaign to tackle the stigma of mental illness. Robert has sat on two successive NICE bipolar guidelines as a patient, is a former chair of Bipolar UK and was a trustee of Mind. He is a passionate advocate for mental health research, believing that effective treatments for mental illness will only be developed with a step change in investment by government and the public.Robert, 47, who suffers from rapid cycling bipolar disorder, has taken part in several research trials. His treatment has been significantly improved by the experimental drug nimodipine. Prescribed by the Maudsley two years ago, in combination with other drugs, this calcium channel blocker has helped properly control his mood cycling for the first time since he was diagnosed, aged 19. He lives in west London with his wife and two children.

Sam Rickwood

Sam Rickwood, a Clinical nurse specialist completed a PGDip in mental health nursing, followed by an MSc in mental health nursing. She worked for two years in a busy acute mental health ward in East London, four years within a community mental health team supporting those experiencing first episode psychosis within a predominantly Bengali community. She also worked for a year in Perinatal mental health. She joined OPTIMA in April 2020 providing psycho-education to people with bipolar as well as facilitating the psycho-education group.

Sarah Skelton

Sarah is the Head of Programme Development at PAPYRUS.With a background in developing young peoples services,Sarah has worked across education, health and social care settings to improve outcomes for children and young people. She is committed to enabling young people to thrive through building connection, skills, and engagement opportunities. Her current work focuses on supporting, equipping and influencing stakeholders to create suicide safer communities.

Simon Kitchen

Simon Kitchen has been CEO of Bipolar UK since April 2018. His previous roles include running the Dementia Action Alliance, where he signed up over 1,000 organisations to help people with dementia. He also led a major co-production initiative at Leonard Cheshire Disability that empowered over 1,000 people with long term conditions in residential care to have more choice and control over their lives. He loves walking, and in May 2019 walked Hadrian’s Way with the northern groups members to raise money for the charity. His first experience of bipolar was in his late teens when we supported a friend with the condition.

Dr Stuart Watson

Stuart Watson is a Clinical Senior Lecturer and an inpatient consultant psychiatrist in Newcastle. He has a long standing interest in bipolar disorder. He has examined neurocognitive performance, the stress hormone axis and childhood antecedents in people with bipolar disorder and has used this understanding to develop and run clinical trials of drugs that act on the stress hormone system. He is workstream lead for the Clinical Research Network in England and is currently linking with the National Institute of Health Research to allow the examination of an untested drug regime in bipolar depression.

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