Meet the team
The EURIKHA project team
Diana Rose has been a mental health service user all her adult life and has had two academic careers. The first was as a conventional social scientist but that came to a sticky end. She spent ten years ‘living in the community’ and became involved in the survivor movement. She came back into research and brought together her two identities as a ‘service user researcher’ 20 years ago. First she worked in an NGO developing peer evaluation of mental health services and then she went to King’s College London where four years ago, much to her surprise, she was made Professor of User-Led Research.
Liz Brosnan is a survivor researcher and sociologist. She started a career as a clinical psychologist, then experienced psychiatry first-hand for over a decade, both involuntarily and later more passively. A service user-led research project in 2000 launched another career as a researcher and activist. She has published work about power dynamics and conditions participation, the Irish user/survivor movement, and service-user involvement in education. She is also interested in socio-legal theory such as: informed consent, coercion, and rights-based frameworks. After almost 20 years of research, community activism, and advocacy in Ireland, she moved to London to work with Diana Rose on EURIKHA.
Jayasree Kalathil is a London-based researcher, writer, translator and mental health activist with a background in literary and cultural studies. She runs Survivor Research, a virtual collective of independent survivor researchers. Her research focuses on the intersections between ‘race’, racialisation, gender, culture and madness. Jayasree leads the EURIKHA sub-project, Still We Rise, which explores the history of mental health user/survivor activism, advocacy and knowledge production by racialised groups/people of colour in the UK.
Akriti Mehta is a user-researcher and has experienced mental health services in India and the UK. Her academic background is in mental health. Akriti is particularly interested in movements led by users/survivors/people with psychosocial disability in the ‘global south’; and how they influence and are influenced by local and global shifts including legal reform, movement for global mental health, and the emergence of international networks of users/survivors/people with psychosocial disabilities.
Ruth Silverleaf has worked on a range of community projects about sustainable activism based on systems of cooperative care, as a result of her experience as a mental health service user. Before becoming a user-researcher her academic background is in psychology and computer science. Ruth has also worked closely with communities responding to sexual/sexualised violence and abuse.
Alison Faulkner has experience as a mental health service user/survivor and researcher. As a service user, she has experience of acute wards, crisis services, psychotherapy and medication; and retains a lifetime ambition to reform acute mental health care. Her academic background started in psychology but worked its way around to mental health and survivor research, mainly through working in the voluntary sector. Her PhD is entitled ‘Knowing Our Own Minds: the role and value of experiential knowledge in mental health research’. She is self-employed and continues to work mainly in the voluntary sector.
Peter Beresford works as Professor of Citizen Participation at the University of Essex. His central interest is participation, particularly that of people who get oppressed and excluded. He has long term experience of using mental health services and is Co-Chair of Shaping Our Lives, the independent national user-controlled service users and disabled people’s organisation and network. You can also reach Peter at email@example.com where he is an Emeritus Professor of Social Policy.
Sarah Gordon Sarah Gordon has spent the last twenty years working and advocating for an improved mental health sector and societal perceptions of mental health from the perspective of a person with lived experience; most recently as a service user academic. Her recent research has focused on two themes, reducing discrimination associated with mental distress among medical students and the Police and promoting recovery-focused services and resources, in line with the recent major reorientation of service delivery models in mental health in New Zealand and internationally. Sarah has promoted the growth of the service user academia discipline in various ways and now leads New Zealand’s only service user academia team at the University of Otago, Wellington.
Michael Njenga is the Executive Director at Users and Survivors of Psychiatry in Kenya, an Executive Council member of the African Disability Forum and a board member at the National Council for Persons with Disabilities in Kenya. As a self-advocate he has been passionate in advocating for the right to legal capacity and an inclusive society where all persons with disabilities enjoy their human rights. He completed a fellowship with International Disability Alliance, participated in the drafting of policies related to implementing the CRPD in Kenya, and conducted research on legal capacity on behalf of Mental Disability Advocacy Center amongst his many initiatives. The focus of his current work is the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs)—he is part of a technical team creating awareness on the SDGs and has participated in the SDGs civil society forum representing persons with disabilities.
Andrew Roberts, co-founder of the Survivors’ History Group, find out more at his website.
Alberto Vásquez is a Peruvian human rights lawyer and a disability activist. He works as research coordinator at the Office of the UN Special Rapporteur on the rights of persons with disabilities. He is also the chair of Society and Disability (SODIS) and a member of the Latin-American Network of Persons with Psychosocial Disabilities, Users and Survivors of Psychiatry.
Til Wykes (Professor of Clinical Psychology) is a clinical academic at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology, and Neuroscience at King’s College London. She set up the Service User Research Enterprise and has championed user involvement in research both across the clinical arena and in her own work. Her main research interests are in developing new treatments for people with a diagnosis of schizophrenia and in digital technologies. She continues to run the national Young Person’s Mental Health Research Advisory Group which advises researcher on the design of studies involving young people. You can find out more about Til at her Wikipedia page.