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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 committe, 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. 

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'.

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). 

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.