The Inquiry Panel
An independent panel of experts will examine the evidence give to this Inquiry. The panel members:
- Are not involved in active psychiatric research into the use of medication for treatment of ‘mental illness’ (because this inevitably involves using labels)
- Are not working in clinical psychiatry units (and so not subject to pressures and/or conflict of interests)
- Are residents of the UK
- Do not have personal or professional connections with or interests in the pharmaceutical industry
Colin was given a diagnosis of ‘schizophrenia’ and medicated while still in his teens but survived that experience to go on to do social work training and become an Approved Social Worker. He did a PhD and was part of a team that co-authored a report called ‘Race, Values and Models’ for the Mental Health Foundation. Having left social work practice, Colin is now writing a book (on ‘schizophrenia’) and teaches social workers at Lambeth College in Clapham.
A trained psychiatric social worker, Ann has taught mental health professionals in the UK and Europe for many years and has researched and published with survivors and users of mental health services on issues of common concern. As director of the Centre of Excellence in Interdisciplinary Mental Health (CEIMH) at the University of Birmingham, Ann supported the development of survivor generated resources for mental health professional and academic education. She is now Emeritus Professor of Social Work and Mental Health, School of Social Policy, University of Birmingham and an academician of the Academy of Social Sciences. She is an active member of Suresearch, a network in the Midlands of mental health survivors/service users and their allies.
A solicitor who has been involved for many years in representing people appealing against sectioning, Chinyere was appointed by the Law Society as an assessor of specialist mental health lawyers and later became a chairman of Mental Health Review Tribunals. He was a member of the Mental Health Act Commission for several years and involved with many others in lobbying against the changes to the Mental Health Act implemented in 2007. Chinyere has written on race relations, mental health and human rights. He is the first black person to be appointed as a coroner and now works as Coroner at Walthamstow Coroners Court.
Having survived a racially motivated arson attack and subsequent psychiatric incarceration, Dominic became a campaigner for the rights of black people caught up in the mental health system. For over 15 years, he has brought his personal experience of being a psychiatric survivor and his passion for social justice into his work in survivor activism, including managing the national black and minority ethnic mental health service user network, Catch-a-Fiya. Dominic is currently Vice-Chair of the National Survivor User Network.
David is both a clinical psychologist and sociologist with an interest in mental health policy and the philosophy of mental health and ‘disorder’. He has worked in acute and secure psychiatric units and been involved in teaching psychologists, social workers and psychiatrists. He left the NHS in 2007 to become an academic and is now Professor of Health & Social Policy at the University of Liverpool. David’s current research interest is in the notion of recovery and the implications for service users of the recently revised Mental Health Act. David has written many articles and several books in the field of sociology of mental health.
Premila is a long-term user of mental health services and has been involved in a wide range of mental health projects, both within and outside mental health services, trying to bring about improvements, particularly for people from BME communities. Premila believes strongly in grass roots activism and was one of the co-founders of the black user group SIMBA (Share In Maudsley Black Action). Also, she was employed as a Training and Education Advisor at the South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust for over five years. She has drawn on these diverse experiences to write a range of articles and book chapters. She has a particular interest in the Inquiry since she has, since childhood, seen how her older brother's whole adult life has been shaped by being labelled and treated as a 'schizophrenic'.