Dr Alan Cooklin is a family Psychiatrist, working with the Camden and Islington NHS Foundation Trust. With a team of professionals he pioneered the Kidstime workshop model as a way to help the children of parents with mental illness to understand their parent’s illness, to feel less responsible for the illness, and less fearful of ‘catching’ it. With others in the team he has produced a training film and pack for professionals – ‘Being Seen and Heard’, as well as an online film for children and young people – ‘When a Parent Has a Mental Illness.’ With Dr Leonard Fagin -who runs the Hackney Kidstime workshop with Deni Francis – and together with the Anna Freud Centre, he is setting up a major national research study to examine the effects of the workshops on both the children and their families. He has also been instrumental in developing the ‘Who Cares?’ project.
Dr Leonard Fagin is a Consultant Psychiatrist and Honorary Senior Lecturer at University College London. He runs a Kidstime Workshop in the London Borough of Hackney, as well as offering parental mental health supervision in Hackney Children and Young Peoples Services. He also works with the Anna Freud Centre in the Family Assessment Service providing multidisciplinary reports for Family Courts. He is a Second Opinion Appointed Doctor for the Care Quality Commission and a Lord Chancellor’s Visitor for the Office of the Public Guardian. He has authored books and papers on a variety of subjects including the effects of unemployment, of burnout in mental health professionals, on how to improve therapeutic environments in in-patient settings and care of people with personality disorders.
“As a consultant psychiatrist working for many years in deprived areas of East London I was able to see the transgenerational impact of mental health in families. Helping children to develop resilience when having to cope and respond to parental mental illness offers an opportunity to break this cycle for future generations. The Kidstime Foundation has as its aims the creation and dissemination of interventions that can aid in this process, and as a trustee I welcome the opportunity of making a contribution in this much needed arena.”
Chineye Njoku has been a young carer of a parent with mental illness for most of her life. She was originally a young person’s member of the Kidstime workshops, and is now (and has pioneered the role) an ‘experience counsellor’, using her own past experiences to help other young people with a parent with mental illness. She has recently started a new TeenTalk Kidstime group, with Deni Francis, for older young people who have a parent with mental illness. She has completed a biomedical science degree, MSc in Mental health: Psychological therapies, post graduate in low intensity cognitive behaviour therapy and intends to continue with post-graduate studies. She currently works in the field of mental health. Chineye has managed to combine her work and family life with acting as both a pioneer advocate for the needs of these children and young people as well as giving professional presentations to different groups in the UK and Norway.
Dr Guinevere Tufnell: After training as a doctor and then a psychiatrist, Guinevere worked in a wide variety of mental health services before becoming a child and family psychiatrist. After practicing as consultant psychiatrist in a busy East London clinic for many years she left to become consultant psychiatrist with the child and family unit of The Traumatic Stress Clinic in Central London. The TSC moved to Great Ormond Street Hospital in 2005, where Guinevere specialised in assessing and treating children and families who had been psychologically traumatised as a result of experiencing violence, abuse and bereavement. Her work included consultation, training, teaching, and medico- legal work. She has a longstanding interest in improving the general understanding of mental health issues, and has collaborated on numerous “public education” leaflets and media information projects for the Royal College of Psychiatrists. She instigated and was commissioning editor for Mental Health & Growing Up – a series of factsheets – available on the Royal College’s website – for parents, teachers and young people. She has also published articles on a variety of topics relating to child mental health. She also worked for many years on the telephone advice line for parents run by the child mental health charity YoungMinds, for which she was also a Trustee.
Tina Cowen has been a city solicitor for 30 years and is currently a consultant with New Media Law a firm providing legal services to the music, television, film and publishing industries. However she has also found time for more social enterprises. Until recently she was chairman of Oracle Care a specialist residential care service for young people with complex needs requiring support, education and therapeutic interventions. Oracle Care was set up 6 years ago with the intention of being a market leader and provides a dynamic outcomes based service, focused on the rights and wellbeing of the young people in its care whilst simultaneously creating safer communities. Tina is committed to making a difference for children and young people with difficulties in their lives.
“Having worked with children in residential care and seen the impact that a parent’s mental health can have on a child I welcomed the opportunity to get involved with the Kidstime Foundation and its work in identifying those children and helping improving their outcomes.”
Ambeya Begum is currently studying Banking and Finance at University and has been volunteering for over a year as The Kidstime Foundation’s young helper. Her ongoing support has also been recognised in her role in the NHS as an NHS Changemaker. Part of her responsibilities consist of being a voice on behalf of young people; have young carers recognised and helping the NHS manage their social return on investment. As a young carer herself of a parent with mental illness, Ambeya’s passion in helping others is reflected through her contribution to the charity. She provides ongoing support to young people in the monthly workshops and has proactive involvement in the Who Cares Project; giving recommendations from her own personal experiences. Ambeya feels that she needs to give something back to the community and has volunteered to take part in a sponsored Great Wall of China Walk in September 2015, which she hopes will help raise money for our current projects.
“Working for the Kidstime Foundation is always an amazing, yet overwhelming experience for me. Having never had a Kidstime Workshop experience whilst growing up, I take it as an obligation on my behalf to prevent others experiencing a tough childhood. Seeing a smile on a child’s face when they leave a Kidstime Workshop is one the most rewarding experiences.”
Kiran Sheena Premnath
Kiran is an Internal Audit Manager with an Asset Management speciality at Deloitte, an internationally recognised Chartered Accountancy firm. His expertise lies in identifying gaps and deficiencies in key financial and operational controls and providing recommendations to strengthen the overall governance. In addition to ensuring general regulatory, legal and financial compliance, he is notable for establishing effective and efficient policies and procedures with a robust stature. Previously he was an Internal Audit Associate at Nomura International, the second largest Japanese global investment bank where he played a similar role. Prior to that, Kiran was at KPMG where he began his career as an external auditor in Sydney and subsequently in London. Kiran is noteworthy for his ability to balance budgets under extreme conditions and often innovates and produce alternative solutions to achieve the original objective without compromising on its quality. Kiran’s motto is as follows: When someone gives you two options, make a third.
“The Kidstime Foundation made me realise the sector of mental health I overlooked for a very long time; young, innocent children of adults suffering from mental health issues. By investing in tomorrow’s generation, the Kidstime Foundation ensures these children are not alone to face this uphill battle. Consequently, they would grow to become leaders who place empathy and patience at the heart of their leadership. In a world corrupt by ambition and competition, this truly is a much needed and inspiring initiative.”