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Mental health

Current work

The role of the RCN's Professional Lead for Mental Health is supported by the RCN Mental Health Forum Committee, RCN activists and clinical specialists.

The Professional Lead will often represent the RCN on national boards to ensure specific mental health nursing policy, practice and research expertise is appropriately profiled.  

Find out more about the RCN's Professional Lead for Mental Health, Catherine Gamble, the RCN's Mental Health Forum committee, RCN activists and clinical specialists here.

Catherine Gamble

Catherine Gamble

RCN Professional Lead for Mental Health and Head of Nursing Practice, Education and Research, South West London and St Georges Mental Health NHS Trust 

Catherine's role involves providing evidence for policy makers, commissioners and providers, whilst ensuring the RCN influences and supports the mental health nursing workforce to face new challenges in many specialist and diverse areas of nursing practice, research, education and management. Working across the UK, the role has a wide sphere of influence, covering a range of activities – namely supporting members, promoting professional networks and sharing good practice. Her NHS Trust role supports this activity as she is responsible for driving clinical innovation and evaluating nursing workforce development initiatives. Catherine is an Eileen Skellern laureate and Royal College of Nursing Mental Health Nurse of the Year award holder and Royal College of Psychiatrists Team winner. Catherine has broad experience in coproduction and professional development work. Her clinical expertise lies in working with families and those with psychosis; she has held various NHS roles in acute and community psychiatric services, has published extensively and is an elected member of the NHS Confederation Mental Health Network board. Catherine works for the RCN three days/week.

Tim Coupland

Tim Coupland

RCN Programme Lead for Parity of Esteem 

Tim is a registered mental health nurse with over 25 years’ experience of working in a variety of mental health care settings including community and inpatient services. In recent years, he has worked in senior nurse roles focusing on quality, governance & service development. Tim has been involved with the RCN for 15 years, initially as a steward, then taking a more active role on staff side in his own organisation. Between 2011-2013 he sat on RCN Council for the South West Region, England – this included work as part of the Professional Nurse Advisory Committee and Governance Committee. He currently sits on the Steering Committee for the RCN Mental Health Forum.

He currently works in a self-employed capacity providing training, coaching and consultancy to the NHS and Independent Sector. He is particularly interested in stakeholder work, organisational development and innovative service planning. 

He is passionate about promoting and focusing on the lived experience of those who use services, in particular tackling stigma and negative perceptions of what it means to have a mental health difficulty. He strongly believes that ‘co-production’ is central to the development of services and wants to see greater equality and roles for service users and carers in the planning of mental health services.

Tim has a Diploma in Psychosocial Interventions (Thorn), holds a business degree and has a number of other professional qualifications. He is currently completing empirical work as part of an MSc programme on the role of human factors in completed suicide.  

Sarah Eales

Dr Sarah Eales

RCN Representative for the Equally Well Collaborative

Sarah Eales qualified as a mental health nurse in 1994 and has worked within the field of Liaison Mental Health Care for seventeen years, as a researcher, clinician and academic, completing a PhD on the Service User Experience of Liaison Mental Health Care in 2013. As an active member of the London Wide Liaison Nurses Special Interest Group Sarah was part of the group which developed the Liaison Nursing Competencies and led the 2014 update. As a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health at City University London Sarah was the Programme Manager for the Pre-registration Mental Health Nursing programme for six years. She joined the academic staff at Bournemouth University on 2014 as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health Nursing and is the current Pre-registration Programme Lead; teaching both pre-and post-registration courses. Her recent research focus has been integrated care core competencies and she is currently involved in research about nursing resilience and retention. Sarah is a member of the Faculty of Liaison Psychiatry Executive Committee and the Psychiatric Liaison Accreditation Network Accreditation Committee. 

Mark Haddad

Dr Mark Haddad

RCN Representative for Primary Care Mental Health

Mark is a registered mental health and adult nurse, and currently a senior researcher and lecturer at City, University of London. Until 2014 he maintained a clinical specialist role in primary care mental health. Previously he was a clinical research fellow at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London, and was awarded a Medical Research Council doctoral fellowship, which involved developing and evaluating training for district nurses’ roles in assessing and managing the mental health needs of their patients. His research has focused on extending the mental health knowledge and skills of generalist clinicians such as GPs and school nurses, as well as approaches to improve the physical health care provided by mental health staff. His specialist interests include depression, primary care mental health, and the relationship between physical and mental health. Mark has been an elected member of the RCN Mental Health Forum (2004-14), and was a member of the NICE guideline development group for depression and chronic physical illness (2008-9). He has represented the RCN on expert panels of the Reading Well books on prescription schemes for common mental health problems and for long term conditions. He is currently a member of the editorial board of the British Journal of Mental Health Nursing and of the Nursing Standard Evidence & Practice advisory panel. He has more than 50 published peer-reviewed articles, and has recently written a book on depression. 

Gary Lamph

Dr Gary Lamph

RCN Representative for the National Clinical Audit of Anxiety and Depression 

Gary is a Lecturer in mental health at the University of Salford and is a Registered Mental Health Nurse and BABCP accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist with over 20 year’s experience.  Gary has worked in a range of mental health services often following new service development in line with the policy led modernisation of mental health services, including forensic inpatients, crisis resolution and home treatment, early intervention in psychosis, psychological therapies service’s both secondary care and Primary Care IAPT and personality disorder services. In 2011 Gary won the Nursing Times Award in Mental Health for leading on the development of the Wigan Multi-Agency Personality Disorder. He has a special interest in common mental health disorders and co-morbid complexity.

Gary recently completed a National Institute of Health Research (NIHR) funded Clinical Doctoral Research Fellowship at the University of Manchester. His PhD thesis looks at 'Enhancing understanding of the experience of people with common mental health disorders and co-morbid personality traits who present to primary care IAPT services'.

Rebecca Lingard

Rebecca Lingard

RCN representative for Reducing Restraint and Restrictive Practice 

Rebecca Lingard has been in the caring profession for over 25 years, starting her career as a care assistant on a dementia unit. Qualifying as a registered Mental Health Nurse in 2003, she spent four years working on a busy inner London acute admissions unit. Rebecca has a special interest in psychiatric intensive care, specifically women's services, and has worked in this care setting for over 10 years. Working as a Matron for East London Foundation NHS Trust, Rebecca is now responsible for Women’s Acute Services in Tower Hamlets and was also the Interim Operational Manager for the London Trial Site for the Liaison and Diversion Service (Criminal Justice Mental Health Team), helping to establish the service before handing over to a substantive operational lead. Rebecca is also an Honorary Lecturer at City University, and a Clinical MAPA Instructor, teaching clinicians therapeutic de-escalation techniques and therapeutic holding skills.

In 2017 Rebecca along with Chris Dzikit became contributing Authors for ‘Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing:  The Craft of Caring’, writing the chapter on Psychiatric Intensive Care.

Rebecca has an MSc in Inter Professional practice completing a research project on patient’s experiences of being nursed in different hospital environments. Rebecca won Employee of the Year in 2014 for ELFT.

Bertha Matunge

Bertha Matunge

RCN representative for Community & Diversity  

Bertha’s Clinical Background is Registered Mental Health Nurse and Registered Non- Medical Prescriber and she is also trained in Behavioural Family Therapy. She started her career in working age acute inpatient wards before moving to community nursing where she was for many years. With a background in Teaching she is able to combine this with her Clinical expertise to contribute towards Nurse Education at South West London and St Georges Mental Health Trust where she is a Senior Development Nurse in the Nursing Development Team. Her role includes being Trust Lead for Non-medical Prescribing, NMC Revalidation, the In house Preceptorship Programme and Implementation lead for the Trusts’ Nursing Framework which is aligned to the National Framework Leading Change Adding Value. Along with this she is part of the Trusts Supervision Training Team and the Family Intervention Training Team (FITT). She is also currently the Trusts Capital Nurse Ambassador and working on a project to improve retention and decrease turnover of the registered Nursing Staff.

She is passionate about Nurse Education and strongly believes that all nurses have different skills and strengths to contribute towards the improvement of the quality of care provided to patients and their loved ones and to support each other to maintain good health and wellbeing. She is also very passionate about the development of BAME nursing leadership and mentors nurses on the Trusts’ BAME Leadership programme.

She is currently doing an MSc in Leadership and Management in Health.

Annessa Rebair

Annessa Rebair

RCN Representative for the National Suicide Prevention Advisory Group 

Annessa Rebair is a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health and an Executive and Leadership Coach at the University of Northumbria, Newcastle upon Tyne. She has extensive clinical experience across a variety of mental health settings, laterally as a Matron for acute in-patient care. Annessa leads on the subject of suicide for the Royal College of Nursing, representing the college at the National Suicide Prevention Advisory group and as an elected member at the National Suicide Prevention Alliance. Her Doctoral research is concerned with co-constructing conversations about suicide in nursing contexts. Annessa is a Trustee for the national charity PAPYRUS (prevention of young suicide). 

Jacqueline Sin

Jacqueline Sin

RCN representative for NICE guidance 

Jacqueline is a mental health nurse and health services researcher. Currently, she holds a National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) post-doctoral research fellowship, based at St George’s, University of London, working on a study to develop and evaluate an online multi-component resource for carers supporting a loved one affected by psychosis, see: COPe-support. She also works part-time in University of Reading and Berkshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as a clinician-academic.

Jacqueline’s clinical and research interests focus on understanding the needs and experiences of individuals affected by psychosis and/or post-traumatic stress disorder (as much as other mental health conditions), and those of their family carers and siblings, so to developing and evaluating psychosocial interventions - delivered via individual, group-based, and e-health medium - to enhance their mental health and wellbeing. Clinically, she works as a Consultant Nurse Therapist at the Berkshire Traumatic Stress Service, specialising in the assessment and treatment for people with complex presentation of PTSD. Jacqueline is an active Cochrane review author and writes extensively on the aforementioned topics. She served as a member of the NICE Guideline Development Group for psychosis and schizophrenia (2007-2010).

Norman Young

Norman Young

RCN Representative for the Vital Interventions for Psychosis project

Norman Young is a Nurse Consultant with Cardiff and Vale UHB and a Senior Associate Lecturer with Cardiff University. Norman is the Clinical Lead for Headroom the Early Intervention for psychosis service in Cardiff and the Vale. Norman started Mental Health Nursing in 1991, working principally in community settings and working delivering evidence-based interventions to people with psychosis and their families. He subsequently took on joint appointments with Cardiff University and worked to deliver the first Thorn course in Wales and Later Masters courses in Advanced Nursing Practice.

He has extensive experience in service improvement and service evaluation of acute adult inpatient mental health care and community services and is a founding cohort participant in the Health Foundation’s Q Initiative. He has represented the RCN on many projects such as the accreditation programmes run through the Royal College of Psychiatrists of which he is currently the Chair of ACOHMS accreditation committee and with NICE where he is a expert topic advisor on psychosis and schizophrenia. Norman researches and publishes on nursing and nursing practice in inpatient and community settings.

The VIP Project: Vital Interventions for Psychosis

The process of setting research priorities needs to reflect the concerns of the public and patients. The VIP Project aims to do this in the field of psychosis by consulting with people with psychosis, their families and topic experts to collaborate on identifying the most important issues for research in this area.

Early intervention in psychosis has been a growing research area and there is now greater understanding than ever before of how illness develops and its impact. There is also growing evidence for new and innovative interventions. Many untested areas of practice remain. By conducting further research that is important and meaningful to the people who will use it, we hope to impact research at all stages from funding and administration to implementation.