Mental Wealth Festival 2019

The fifth edition of the Mental Wealth Festival ran in October 2019 to coincide with World Mental Health Day on 10 October 2019. We focussed on relationships, family, friendship and the importance of community and support networks. We also discussed loneliness and isolation, the impact this can have on mental health and wellbeing and the strategies and tools to support this.

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Download the 2019 schedule >

Mental Wealth Festival 2019


The Mental Wealth Festival 2019 was produced by City Lit in partnership with our friends at Beyond Words, The National Gallery, The British Museum and Mad World. The festival provides a forum for informative, challenging and inspiring discussions and workshops exploring mental health issues and takes place across different venues in London. 

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Speakers 2019

  • Nishba Ahmed

    Nishba Ahmed has been a champion of equality and diversity for over 15 years. She has delivered training on equality and diversity to staff alongside providing advice and guidance on equality and diversity issues.  She feels that quality needs to be embedded into the core values of the organisation to be effective and feels honoured to have this opportunity to support Mind.

  • Rohini Bakshi

    Rohini Bakshi has an M.A in Hindu Studies from SOAS, University of London. She teaches Sanskrit, Vedic Chanting, Yogasutras of Patanjali and Hindi.


  • Ina Baumeister

    A multi-disciplinary maker, bookbinder, paper artist and dictionary enthusiast. Her work explores and reflects through repetitive manipulation of objects/materials/words and asks to read your own thoughts into the work of others.


  • Ed Balls

    City Lit Fellow Ed Balls is a broadcaster, writer and economist. He is a Research Fellow at the Harvard Kennedy School and Visiting Professor at King’s College London. His popular BBC TV series ‘Travels in Trumpland: with Ed Balls’ was broadcasted in July 2018 and a second series ‘Travels in Europe with Ed Balls’ will air on BBC 2 later this year. 

  • Clare Barton-Harvey

    Clare Barton-Harvey is a full time artist, tutor and freelance workshop teacher/trainer living and working in London. She has been practising mindfulness for over 25 years and have been teaching drawing and mindfulness courses and workshops for over 15 years. 

  • Peter Brown

    Peter has worked at City Lit for 16 years as a teacher co-ordinator BSL Level 1 and 2 also a Deaf history lecturer. He teaches both deaf and hearing students, some of which have mental and physical health needs. 


  • Oliver Chantler

    Oliver Chantler manages Samaritans’ political engagement work, engaging with the Government and other political stakeholders to keep suicide prevention on the political agenda. He is also responsible for Samaritans’ public campaigning programme, which involves engaging the public in raising suicide prevention with their representatives in order to make sure they’re taking action on this issue.

  • Benjamin Chwistek

    Ben holds a PhD in Political Theory. He has taught politics, history and philosophy at universities in the UK and Europe. Alongside this, he has spoken at numerous conferences and events, primarily on topics relating to myth, violence, and democracy.

  • Helen Cox

    Helen Cox is a poet, novelist and experienced journaler. She holds an MA in Creative Writing from the University of York St John. Her articles and poems have been published in a range of newspapers, magazines and journals. Helen has taught creative writing for several years.


  • Tommy Danquah

    Tommy Danquah is a blogger and father of two who has been through life changing depression. This affected him and his young family so much that he had no choice but to make radical changes in an attempt to get his life back on track. He became a Mental Health First Aider and is keen to help others who are also struggling in the best way he can, by talking openly about his experiences on the ManUp! Mens Mental Health Podcast alongside his co-host Andy Richardson. 

  • Pearl Elizabeth Dell May

    Pearl E Dell May is a Haijin (Master haiku Poet) promotes the writing of the Japanese poetry form Haiku. She is a founder member of the international haiku teachers Association. She is committed to her work in the area of using haiku poetry for health and well being.

  • Karen Dempsey

    Karen is also a qualified, accredited and practising psychotherapist with an MA/diploma in transpersonal integrative counselling & psychotherapy. Her dissertation researched the power of therapeutic writing to heal creative blocks and build emotional resilience.

  • Paul Dolan

    Paul Dolan is a Professor of Behavioural Science at the London School of Economics and Political Science. As an internationally renowned expert on happiness, behaviour and public policy, with over 100 peer-reviewed papers, he conducts original research into the measurement of happiness, its causes and consequences.

  • Cathinka Guldberg

    Cathinka is a Speech and Language Therapist at City Lit who specialises in working with adults who stammer. Cathinka brought the film to the UK for its UK premier  ‘When I Stutter’, a powerful portrayal of the potentially isolating experience of living with a stammer.


  • Baroness Sheila Hollins

    City Lit Fellow Baroness Hollins is the founder, editor and lead author of the Books Beyond Words series and Chairs the Board of Beyond Words, a not for profit Community Interest Company. She is Emeritus Professor of the Psychiatry of Disability at St George’s, University of London, and sits in the House of Lords as a crossbench peer.

  • Camillea Johnson

    Camillea Johnson is the founder of L.B.Q. Womxn of Colour UK which she established in January ‘19 in response to a lack of ‘safe spaces’ for Lesbian, Bi, Trans Womxn of Colour.  The aim of L.B.Q. Womxn of Colour is to offer a space for non-judgemental support and create a community where we can share and feel valued, encouraged, supported, and empowered.

  • Matt Johnson

    As a popular Welsh Broadcaster, Matt is well known for his presenting on hit ITV shows including Surprise Surprise, Good Morning Britain and This Morning. Matt's other broadcasting credits include: The National Lottery on BBC One, Channel 5's OKTV and Radio 5 Live's Fighting Talk. Together with Ben Bidwell, Matt is one half of the #1 podcast show “The Naked Professors” that embraces conversations about mental health in a vulnerable but relatable way.

  • Tanvi Kant

    Tanvi Kant is a contemporary textiles artist and jeweller exploring simple hand-constructed techniques in textiles & mixed-media. She has over ten years experience in running workshops within a variety of settings including galleries, museums, education and women's charities. 

  • Sandra Kerr CBE

    Sandra is Business in the Community’s Race Equality Director. Before joining Business in the Community, Sandra worked in the Cabinet Office advising on diversity and inclusion. In January 2016 she was invited to join the Royal Society Diversity Committee. In 2019 Sandra was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday honours list for Services to Equality and Diversity. 

  • Dr Joanna Kyffin

    Jo Kyffin is an Egyptologist who specialises in the Egyptian Language. Having completed her PhD in 2009, she worked at the University of Copenhagen, and the Egypt Exploration Society, and currently teaches Hieroglyphs at City Lit, while also running an online teaching platform, HieroEducation. 

  • Mark Rice-Oxley

    Mark Rice-Oxley has worked as a journalist and writer for nearly 30 years. He is a Guardian editor and author who writes frequently about men and mental health. He edits a series called In Mind which focuses on global mental health and is a regular speaker at Guardian Live events. 

  • Charlotte Seirberg

    Charlotte is a movement educator and mindfulness teacher with over 11 years of experience. She is qualified to teach Feldenkrais: awareness through movement, Pilates, Postural Stability, Mindfulness for Stress and Health, and currently teaches Feldenkrais: awareness through movement, Bones and Balance and Self-Care and Staying Well at City Lit.

  • Ian Tucknott

    Ian is an educator, cultural theorist and creative practitioner, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical & cultural theory, and art history. Ian is currently Head of School for Humanities & Sciences at City Lit.


  • Andy West

    Andy West is writing book for Picador about teaching philosophy in prisons. He teaches for the Philosophy Foundation, City Lit and the School of Life, and has written for the Guardian, Boundless, 3AM, Litro, Open Democracy, the Times Education Supplement and Bloomsbury.


  • Heidi Wigmore

    Heidi Wigmore is an artist-educator who has run drawing workshops for the British Museum, Tate, English National Ballet and most recently at the Turner prize In Hull. Her mission is to engage everyone in drawing and thereby to experience its transformative potential.

Partners 2019

  • Beyond Words

    Beyond Words provides books and training to support people who find pictures easier to understand than words. Whether supporting somebody with a learning disability or communication difficulty, our products empower people through pictures. 

  • The National Gallery

    Founded in 1824, The National Gallery houses one of the greatest collections of paintings in the world, with over 2,300 paintings dating from the mid-13th century to 1900 with works by artists including Van Gogh, Rembrandt and Turner.  

  • The British Museum

    The British Museum’s remarkable collection spans over two million years of human history and culture. Over 6 million visitors every year experience the collection, including world-famous objects such as the Rosetta Stone, the Parthenon sculptures, and Egyptian mummies.

  • Mad World Summit

    The objective with the Mad World Summit is to shift the conversation about mental health in the workplace up a gear; accelerating the shift from stigma to solutions. By focusing on fresh thinking, drawing in those that have not yet been reached, as well as those that are looking for ways to build on and bolster their commitment to employee mental health, wellbeing and workplace culture.

  • Jo Fox Foundation

    At The Jo Cox Foundation, we forge meaningful partnerships to make a tangible difference on the issues Jo was passionate about. Since September 2016 we have worked on a diverse range of issues including loneliness, the protection of civilians in conflict and supporting women to enter public life. 

  • DW Fitness First

    Established in 2009, DW Fitness First is the second largest operator of gyms in the UK. With 120 gyms extensive facilities for members include large gym floor and functional training areas, member cafes, swimming facilities and a wide range of group exercise classes.