Prestigious Churchill Fellowships awarded to people working in mental health

21 March 2016

The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust has just awarded 21 Travelling Fellowships to people working in the field of Mental Health.

With an estimated 1 in 4 people in the UK likely to experience a mental health problem in any given year, mental health is a growing concern in the UK and worldwide. Our Fellows will investigate examples of best practice in other countries, bringing back new ideas and creating positive change in their profession and communities here in the UK.

This year’s Churchill Fellows include:

  • Dr Erica McInnis, a chartered clinical psychologist from Stockport, who will be travelling to the USA to investigate the Afrikan Centred Psychotherapy for well-being.
  • Dr Amanda Wood, a chartered psychologist from Bishop Auckland, who will be going to the USA to explore ways of improving psychological support for military families, particularly children.
  • Alison O'Connor, from Penarth, who is Co-Director of Cardiff arts organisation Re-Live. She will be travelling to several countries including Bosnia & Herzegovina, Canada and Croatia to investigate the impact of theatre on families and veterans affected by trauma.
  • Eva Okwonga, a community musician from Uxbridge, who will be going to the USA to explore peer-led music projects for those with mental health problems.
  • Dr Sarah Dugdale, who is a consultant child and adolescent psychiatrist from Great Yarmouth. She will be travelling to Australia to explore how to work with teenagers presenting with emerging personality disorders.
  • Shirley Smith, from Great Lumley, who is the Founder and Development Manager of If U Care Share Foundation. She will be travelling to the USA and United Arab Emirates to research specialist support for persons bereaved by suicide.
  • Simon Edwards, from Bath, who is the founder and Head of Strategy of the humanitarian response charity Serve On. He will be travelling to Australia and the USA to investigate the root causes and treatment of PTSD.
  • Geraldine O’Hare, from Belfast, who is Head of Psychology Services & Interventions for the Probation Board for Northern Ireland. She will be going to the USA to research models of diversion and treatment for offenders with mental illness.
  • David Humphreys, a psychotherapist from Bishops Stortford, who will be going to Canada and the USA to explore ways of improving family member involvement in community mental health treatment.
  • Louis Boyd, who is Operations Manager for South Westminster Drug & Alcohol Service. He will be going to Canada and the USA to investigate supporting children and families through parental substance misuse treatment.
  • Adele Owen, a police constable and mental health lead from Manchester, who will be travelling to Norway and the USA to investigate mental health peer support networks within the police force.
  • Olivia Richards, a primary literacy programme leader from Hackney, who will be going to the USA to explore supporting young peoples' mental health through literacy.
  • Patricia Jarrett, a research fellow in midwifery from Oxford, who will be going to the USA and Australia to research ways of reducing stigma in perinatal mental health.
  • Agnes Houston, from Coatbridge, who will be going to Canada and Ireland to meet with people who, like her, have a diagnosis of dementia. She will be collecting their lived experience of sensory challenges and coping strategies.
  • Janet Killeen, from Edinburgh, who was the Director of Public Policy for Alzheimer Scotland before her retirement in 2012. She will be going to Australia to research best practice in supported decision-making for adults with incapacity.
  • Daniel Johnson, a senior forensic psychologist from Bridge of Weir, who will be travelling to the USA to research models of care for traumatised children.
  • Sarah Amani, a senior programme manager from Oxford, who will be travelling to Australia to explore improving the mental health of young people in transition.
  • Sara Preston, who is Senior Young People's Project Officer for Scotland at Beat, the eating disorder support charity. She will be travelling to Canada and the USA to research best practice in helping young people with eating disorders.
  • Annette Hargreaves, a university tutor from Stockport, who will be going to Australia and New Zealand to research adult and child mental health in Child Development.

This is the first year of a partnership with the Mental Health Foundation.

Julia Weston, Chief Executive of the Winston Churchill Memorial Trust said:

"Churchill Fellows travel globally and return with innovative ideas and a commitment to sharing their findings to help others in the UK. Mental health issues affect people in all areas of life and all professions, and the Fellows’ research will contribute to better community-based treatment and support in the UK."

Head of Policy and Research Dr Iris Elliott said:

"Our partnership with The Winston Churchill Memorial Trust compliments the emphasis we place on practical based study. The Travelling Fellowships will allow Fellows the time and space needed to investigate new ideas in mental health, in order to bring back new ways of tackling difficult and under-researched issues."