This year’s Mental Wealth Festival runs from 9 – 14 October. Hosted by City Lit in partnership with Bloomsbury Festival, Beyond Words, the National Gallery, Royal Opera House, Mad World, and South London and Maudsley & Bethlem Hospital, it will offer free or low-fee events, including in person and online workshops, talks, discussions, exhibitions, and other activities.
Mark Malcomson CBE
Mark Malcomson CBE took over as Principal and Chief Executive of City Lit in June 2011. Mark was previously Director of Executive Education at London Business School, 2007-11 and prior to that President of the New York Institute of Finance. He will be chairing and presenting a number of events throughout the week.
Baroness Sheila Hollins
City Lit Fellow Baroness Hollins is the Patron of the Mental Wealth Festival. She is the founder, editor and lead author of the Books Beyond Words series and Chairs the Board of Beyond Words. 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.
Rob Stephenson is an international keynote speaker and mental health campaigner who is on a mission to help create happier, healthier and higher performing workplaces. He experiences bipolar disorder personally. Rob is the founder of The InsideOut LeaderBoard, a charity with the mission of smashing the stigma of mental ill-health in the workplace by showcasing senior leader role models with lived experiences of mental ill-health.
Ian Tucknott is an educator, cultural theorist, creative practitioner, and trainee art psychotherapist, with 15 years experience of teaching & managing in the areas of contemporary art, critical & cultural theory, and art history.
Naila Dunleavy is an Integrative therapist, writer and artist working in private practice. She has a particular interest in identity, migration/displacement, individual, ancestral, and collective trauma, women’s issues with regard to autonomy, patriarchy, faith and custom/culture. Her project @migrantwomenhistories can be found on Instagram.
Sharon Wilson is an Accredited Life Coach who supports people to be their best selves at work/studies/life and create a healthy balance. She is very passionate about Making a Difference and this inspires her to support individuals and teams to achieve their personal and professional goals and lead happier and more fulfilling lives.
Richard D France
Richard D France worked in the creative sector, specifically in graphic design, printing, and in the music scene since leaving school. His experiences include delivering online lectures for the Sheffield Online College and filmmaking courses for deaf students. He has written extensively winning his first writing prize at the age of ten and has since published five books, including a graphic novel about his hearing dog, Comet. Richard also performs presenting his narrative poetry about his experiences in the British psychiatric system and has campaigned for better access to services in British Sign Language. He currently works with the Access, Inclusion and Support Team at City Lit.
Jess Baker is a chartered business psychologist (CPsychol AFBSsS) and co-author of the award-winning book, The Super-Helper Syndrome: A Survival Guide for Compassionate People, which offers a new perspective on the psychology of helping. Jess is also an award-winning leadership coach. She began her career in public healthcare before specialising in corporate wellbeing. Her corporate programmes include a variety of themes, such as overcoming imposter syndrome and compassionate leadership. Over a thousand people have been through her online programme Tame Your Inner Critic. She speaks at conferences and festivals and is a regular commissioned writer on the subject of wellbeing. She comments on leadership, psychology at work and mental health for magazines, newspapers and national radio. As an expert on the wellbeing of helpers she offers her services on a voluntary basis to charities including NSPCC, CarersUK, Citizens Advice.
Keith Clapson is a ceramic artist, Trustee of Friends of the Anxiety Disorders Residential Unit at Bethlem Hospital, and a volunteer at Bethlem and Stonewall.
Stefanie Daniels is a Menopause Coach who provides personalised support to employees in the workplace – mainly because she’s successfully walked the menopause walk AND had a 22-year career with some of the UK’s most popular media brands e.g News UK, GCap (now Global Radio) and Bauer Media. She has helped 100’s of women transform their journey and understands better than anyone how this beautiful transition is just a women’s issue, is a workplace one too. That’s when she founded Life Begins at Menopause offering a safe space where people can talk about their symptoms, nutrition and lifestyle options.
P "Chuks" Nwuba is a London-based specialty doctor in eating disorders. He was voted on the list of Powerful Media's Top 10 Black Future Leaders 2017-18. He is the Clinical Lead for Mind of the Student charity. He is a member of the Association of Black Psychiatrists. His prize-winning essay on eating disorders and race-related issues, Leanne, was published by the Royal College of Psychiatrists in 2021. His words have been featured in The Lancet Child and Adolescent Health, NHS Race and Health Observatory and the BBC.
Dr Ally Jaffee
Dr Ally Jaffee is a motivated and driven NHS Junior Dr and Co-Founder of a multi award-winning startup, Nutritank: A CME-accredited innovative educational hub for Food, Nutrition and Lifestyle Medicine to arm ALL Healthcare Professionals with the knowledge to help patients AND staff fight chronic disease. Dr Ally has been awarded The BBC Food & Farming New Talent Award,The Diana Award and Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award for this work.
James Down is a passionate advocate of mental wellness and is very open about his lived experience of disordered eating. He talks writes and shares his lived experience in the hope that he will help others.
Dr Rebecca Gordon
Dr Rebecca Gordon is an Associate Professor of Cognitive Psychology in UCL’s Department of Psychology and Human Development, and a member of the Management Committee for the Centre for Educational Neuroscience. She is also a Chartered Member and Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society. Her research focus is on the cognitive processes involved in learning and is particularly interested in the relationships between memory, cognitive control and dyslexia in children and adults.
Dr Amy Harrison
Dr Amy Harrison is an Associate Professor in Psychology and Clinical Psychologist. Her research focuses on the cognitive and social emotional factors associated with the onset and maintenance of eating disorders. She is interested in translational science involving experienced based co-design to bring research findings to the wider public to help prevent and treat eating disorders.
Dr Zoe Gallant
Dr Zoë Gallant is a Chartered Psychologist and Lecturer in the Department of Psychology and Human Development (UCL, IOE). Her research focusses on the relationship between sensory and motor functioning and cognition as we age. Her recent work also seeks to understand cultural differences in the ageing process.
Dr Jess Hayton
Dr Jess Hayton is a lecturer and Programme Leader of the Graduate Diploma in Habilitation and Disabilities of Sight (children and young people), based at the Department of Psychology and Human Development (UCL, IOE). Her research and teaching explore maximising independence in people with vision impairment across various domains including education, the built environment, and creative arts.
Professor Chloe Marshall
Chloe Marshall is Professor Emerita of Psychology, Language and Education. Her research focuses on language and cognition in children and adults, including individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing, and individuals who are learning sign languages.
Dr Nicola Abbott
Nicola Abbott is a Lecturer in Social Psychology. Her research focuses on when, and how, peer bystanders can reduce bullying in schools. She is particularly interested in bias-based bullying (i.e., bullying directed at someone's identity, such as their gender, race, ethnicity or sexuality). She is also the Programme Leader of the BSc Psychology and Education programme, based at the Department of Psychology and Human Development (UCL, IOE).
Dr Jo van Herwegen
Dr Jo Van Herwegen is an associate professor at Institute of Education, UCL’s faculty for Education and Society, and director of the Child Development and Learning Difficulties lab. Her research focuses on improving educational outcomes for those with learning difficulties and neurodevelopmental disorders, using evidence from developmental psychology and educational neuroscience. Jo has co-edited two books and has written over 50 peer-reviewed articles and book chapters. Her research has been funded by a number of charities and research councils, including EEF, Nuffield Foundation, UKRI and ESRC. She is currently Head of Research for the department of Psychology and Human Development and member of the executive committee for the European Association for Research on Learning and Instruction (EARLI).
Dr Vassilis Sideropoulos
Vassilis Sideropoulos is a Senior Research Technician in the Department of Psychology and Human Development at ΙΟΕ, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society. He has over 6 years of experience as a data specialist. His research endeavours are diverse in nature, but they all centre on the fields of mental health, education, and online randomized optimization trials in neurotypical and neurodivergent populations, such as autistic children and young people. Vassilis employs a variety of methodological approaches, including large-scale longitudinal and cross-sectional surveys, secondary data, and community-based approaches (co-production). His research has been funded by UKRI, MRC, UCL Seed funds, and local authorities.
Professor Andy Tolmie
Andy Tolmie is Professor of Psychology and Human Development at the UCL Institute of Education and Deputy Director of the University of London Centre for Educational Neuroscience. His research focuses on the growth of children’s concepts and behavioural skills in the primary school age range, especially in science.
Dr Emily Midouhas is a developmental psychologist and associate professor with primary interests in the developmental processes that bring about child behaviour and mental health problems, including the role of the home environment (parenting) and the wider (neighbourhood and school) environment. Her research explores these patterns longitudinally in general population samples of children and their families, including children with neurodevelopmental conditions (autism and ADHD).
Tanvi Kant is a multi-disciplinary artist who has relocated from London to Hastings, a seaside town in South East England. Repurposing reclaimed textiles, Tanvi has been practising elemental hand techniques for over 15 years creating jewellery and more recently collage. Tanvi has extensive experience of working with the public and community groups aiming to help people uncover their own visual and tactile stories through materials and to support intergenerational learning experiences. She leads workshops in textile jewellery making, collage and participatory textile installations.
Brigit Conolly is an artist and educator, teaching ceramic and glaze technology and a wide range of construction and surface decoration techniques. Brigit studied on the City Lit Diploma in Ceramics before completing her MA in Ceramics and Glass and PhD at the Royal College of Art. Her own studio-work explores the creative, expressive potential of clay and ceramic materials, using hand building and mould making to explore her fascination with the discipline and alchemy of glaze technology. She believes in the fundamental necessity of art and creative practice for everyone and her wider practice focusses on working alongside artists within under-represented communities. She regularly works as an artist organising and facilitating workshops, residencies and exhibitions with community organisations, the NHS and in prison.
Luke Ambler is a former professional rugby player, dad, storyteller, the founder of ANDYSMANCLUB, 3 x Ironman, and an award-winning mental health campaigner.
Stu Mills is Founder and Director of The Noisy Brain. Stu originally worked in advertising, design and marketing. He escaped the UK, accumulating various worldly experiences from over twenty years living and working across Asia, Australia, Singapore, Vietnam, and South Korea. Currently Stu works from the shores of a sweaty, humid Singapore, from where he established 'The Noisy Brain’, a global Social Enterprise that aims to help people with mental health issues and up-and-coming musicians through lyrics, music and social connection.
Tom Davies is the host of the award-winning mental health podcast, Proper Mental. He started his show after his own challenges with mental ill health and has gone on to interview some of the world leading experts in mental health and mental illness. He is an experienced public speaker and regularly talks about his mental health challenges and the learnings and insights he has gained from over 150 recorded conversations about all aspects of mental health
Jon Salmon is an award-winning video producer, a digital pioneer, co-founder of branded entertainment agency Byte Entertainment and Co-CEO of the Speakers Collective. challenging stigma and facilitating important conversations with lived experience speakers. He is a trustee for Let’s Talk About Loss a charity for young people who have been bereaved, and a mentor for The House of St Barnabas Soho, employment academy to break the cycle of homelessness.
Sectioned at her peak, Poppy Radcliffe spiralled as she tried to come to terms with what happened. Her spoken word performance received a 5* review from the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, and a nomination for best emerging artist. The “21st century Sylvia Plath” brings her performance to The Mental Wealth Festival at Bethlem, and with blistering accessible poetry and powerful prose investigates if the mental health services always help.
Garth MacAnally has spent the last 16 years working with Employee Assistance Programmes with a wide experience of the sector, EAP Call Handler, Account Management, Business Development, Staff & Management Training and Senior EAP Consultant. Garth’s inroad into mental health was as a teacher, as an Industrial Therapist working for the NHS, within adult mental health services. Garth produces and delivers training aimed at driving positive change, he is passionate about reducing stigma surrounding all things mental health and helping organisations to support and train their staff in supporting themselves and others with their Mental Wellbeing.
Yashoda Rodgers is Public Programmes Manager at 64 Million Artists.
We are ALL creative. 64 Million Artists explore the impact of how our individual and collective creativity can make positive change in our lives and the world around us. Working with communities, schools, universities, cities, workplaces, health and care settings, cultural institutions and more - they co-create and deliver programmes to catalyse creativity across the UK. Their annual flagship campaign The January Challenge is 31 days of fun, free, accessible creative prompts to kickstart the new year.
Clare Barton-Harvey is a practising artist and tutor, specialising in art and mindfulness, drawing, painting and slow looking. She is a full time artist and tutor/trainer living in London. In her teaching, she specialises in life drawing, drawing and mindfulness, working with colour, and painting from the imagination. Clare has been a practicing artist & mindfulness practitioner for over 25 years, and has taught drawing and painting for over 18 years, in a variety of locations currently including the National Gallery and British Museum. She is also co-founder of LIMINA collective who specialise in mindful engagement with art in galleries and museums.
Ben Hicks trained as actor and spent 15 years working in television, film and theatre. He then moved into the charitable sector and ran The Guardian Foundation, the Guardian newspaper’s charity which promotes diversity in UK newsrooms and supports freedom of expression around the world. Ben has recently moved in the field of mental health and leads ADRU’s creative work with patients. He is passionate about the therapeutic potential of the arts and compassionate communities.
Words in the Woods with Ben Hicks / Tuesday 11 October / 13:00-14:30 at Bethlem Royal Hospital
Vaccasin started meditating with the Transcendental Meditation School in London in 1981. In 1986 he joined a Buddhist community in Sydney where he also began to practice yoga. He started his yoga teacher training with Peter Scott in Melbourne in 1990 and completed it at the Maida Vale Iyengar Institute, in London in 1994. He has been teaching yoga and meditation ever since and set up Yoga Point in Brixton, in 2010 with his partner Rebecca Hopwood. Together they endeavour to make Yoga Point a place that is welcome to all.
Dawn Meditation and Yoga with Vaccasin / Tuesday 11 October / 6:00-8:30 at Bethlem Royal Hospital