Meet our Equality Commission members by clicking on their names in the list below.

Liz Sayce - Chair

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Liz was Chief Executive of Disability Rights UK (and its legacy charity Radar) from 2007-2017, where she led work for equal participation for all, through programmes on independent living, career opportunities and shifts in cultural attitudes and behaviour.

Liz is a Non-Executive Director of the Care Quality Commission and a member of the Disability Advisory Committee of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, the Committee of Healthwatch England and the Social Security Advisory Committee. With a background in mental health and disability rights policy, previous roles include Policy Director of Mind, where she led programmes on social inclusion and women’s and LGB mental health; and Director of Policy and Communications at the Disability Rights Commission, where she led a new ‘Disability Agenda’ and formal investigations (covering rights of people with mental health challenges and/or learning disabilities).

She led an Independent Review into disability employment programmes for Government in 2011 and has published widely on mental health, disability and social participation. She undertook a Harkness Fellowship in the USA resulting in a book (From Psychiatric Patient to Citizen, 2000 - updated in 2016), was awarded an OBE in 2009 and an honorary doctorate from the University of Kent in 2014.

Catina Barrett

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Catina’s work to tackle mental health inequalities stretches from adolescence through to her recent work at DfE. She is still someone who loves, lives with, respects, admires, and cares for a member of her family who has mental health problems.

She is a founding member of the MHFE Crowd, an open group which pro-bono crowd-creates and curates the Mental Health in Further Education (MHFE) virtual network and website.

Catina has a special interest in the rarely discussed, hidden in plain sight, hierarchies within mental health. She recently completed 3 years’ intensive leadership of the Department for Education’s Community Learning and Mental Health Research Project. Now, no longer a civil servant, she speaks about the need for ‘education’ to rid itself of policy and practice blinkers and benevolence that add to people’s vulnerabilities to mental health problems and create inequalities. She asks if a ‘pedagogy of hope’ for mental health involves ‘education’ doing the learning. Not learning how to ‘manage classroom behaviour’ or help ‘poor/sad/ suffering/sick people manage their mental health’. But, learning how its structures and systems contribute to mental health inequalities. Learning how to change ‘education’. Learning how to ensure all people with mental health problems get an equal shot at all educational opportunities.

Jane Bremner

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Jane is currently a senior commissioning manager in Adult Social Care at Surrey County Council, working in the areas of adult mental health, socially excluded groups and more generally on integrating health and social care.

Jane joined Surrey in 2010 and has previously worked in the voluntary, independent and health sectors in a range of roles including support work, public health and commissioning. She is committed to tackling inequalities in health, co-design and co-production, has embedded this approach to commissioning in Adult Social Care and firmly believes in the positive outcomes resulting from meaningful engagement and co-production with people who use services and carers.

Jane has a Masters in Public Health from London South Bank University, a Psychology degree and is interested in people, populations and improving mental health and wellbeing.

Nathan Dennis

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Nathan is a specialist thought leader and Consultant in behaviour change and founder of First Class Legacy.

He helps companies to think differently about how they engage diverse, young people & communities. Nathan does this by utilising a values based approach and theory of change that ensures that both clients & their services users win & get the results they require, by inspiring, empowering and training staff teams on how to improve their engagement & diversity awareness.

Nathan does this by creating a fun & innovative learning environment that inspires learning & encourages, fresh new ideas creating solutions to problems.

His strategic thinking and entrepreneurial leadership helps him to navigate through any problem to help others produce solutions. This has had a real impact and produced fantastic results across a wide range of industries, some of which include the Criminal justice system, Health, Education, Arts, Housing & Construction.

Nathan works by a set of values that are central to everything he does. At his core is the love for his wife, children & wanting to leave a First Class Legacy for generations to come by having access to better opportunities & services in life.

Nisha Dogra

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Nisha Dogra is Emeritus Professor of Psychiatry Education and Honorary Consultant in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the Greenwood Institute of Child Health, University of Leicester.

She was until recently working as a generic child and adolescent psychiatrist. Her research in child mental health has included identifying how young people define mental health and mental illness. She and colleagues have also explored how young people understand mental health in the context of wider health and mental health promotion. Currently their work is focused on how young people see the relationship between mental health and social media.

Nisha has been involved in the development and delivery of a wide variety of teaching and training events in undergraduate and postgraduate education, locally, nationally and internationally in both psychiatry and diversity. Nisha piloted mental health awareness training for university staff and has also undertaken mental health awareness training for secondary school teachers. Nisha has led innovations in how medical students can be taught diversity to ensure they deliver high quality care to a range of patients and understand how their own perspectives may influence the care they provide.

She has been published widely including peer reviewed publications, edited and written books as well as writing many chapters for books edited by colleagues related to psychiatry and education. In 2011 she was runner up for the Times Higher Education Award for Innovative Teacher of the Year.

Cllr Jacqui Dyer MBE

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Jacqui Dyer recently received her MBE in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to mental health. Currently she is an independent health and social care consultant with a background in adult mental health commissioning as well as community and family social work.

Jacqui has worked with a wide range of vulnerable care groups and has a strong passion in grass roots community empowerment. As an experienced counsellor, trainer, personal and professional development coach and group facilitator, she brings many dimensions to her insights. As a mental service user and carer for the past few decades, Jacqui's experiential knowledge of mental health services is extensive. She is a senior management board lived experience advisor for the Department of Health national mental health ‘Time to Change’ anti-stigma and discrimination campaign. Recently, as vice chair of England's mental health Taskforce, Jacqui co-led NHSE's '5 Year Forward View for Mental Health’ strategy (published February 2016), and is currently the Mental Health Equalities advisor for NHS England, ensuring that tackling mental health inequalities is firmly embedded in every relevant strand of the NHS and its partners.

Jacqui co-chairs the steering group for Thrive London (LDN) - the Mayoral Mental Health Road Map for London. She is an elected Labour Councillor where she is also a vice chair of Lambeth’s Overview and Scrutiny Committee with a focus on ‘people’. Jacqui is the chair of Lambeth’s Black Thrive, a partnership for improving black mental health and wellbeing. Jacqui is also an advisory panel member of the Mental Health Act Review and co-chair of its African & Caribbean Working Group (MHARAC).

Umar Kankiya

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Umar Kankiya is an experienced Solicitor in the Mental Health Department at Sternberg Reed. He is a Member of the Law Society’s Mental Health Accreditation Scheme.

He acts for clients detained under S.2, 3 and 37 of the Mental Health Act and for clients in the community under Community Treatment Orders (S.17A). He also acts for forensic clients, detained under S.37/41, 47/49, 48/49 up to and including representation at the First Tier Tribunal.

Umar represents clients at First Tier Tribunals, Hospital Managers Hearings and Care Programme Approach Meetings. Umar also represents Nearest Relatives in applications to the County Court or where displacement proceedings have taken place.

He assists clients who are deemed to lack capacity (under the Mental Capacity Act 2005), and is regularly appointed by the Tribunals Service under the provisions of Rule 11 (7) (a) or (b) of the Tribunal Procedure Rules 2008 to represent a patient before a Tribunal panel.

In his spare time, he is a local community activist. Umar is also a member of the Ethnic Minority’s Lawyers Division of the Law Society and represents views of BAME lawyers from across the profession to the Law Society and SRA. In addition Umar is married with a daughter who is 2 and a son who is 4 months old and is an avid fan of football, being a passionate Manchester United fan!

Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux

Peter Molyneux has an excellent track record in developing partnerships across health, housing and social care to promote the integration of services and support the implementation of policy. Peter places a high priority on working with patients, carers and the public to increase their influence on strategy and service transformation. He is particularly interested in how Boards can take responsibility for and track organisational reputation.

He is Chair of Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust. From 2011 to 2018 he was Chair of SW London and St Georges Mental Health Trust. From 2005 to 2011 he was Chair of NHS Kensington and Chelsea. Prior to that he was Chair of the Audit Committee at NHS Southwark. He is a non-executive Director of Richmond Fellowship and a Visiting Fellow in the John Madejski Centre for Reputation at Henley Business School (University of Reading). He is a Stonewall Ambassador.

Karen Newbigging

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Karen is a Senior Lecturer at the Health Services Management Centre and an Associate of the Institute for Mental Health at the University of Birmingham.

Karen originally qualified and worked as a clinical psychologist in the NHS, and is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, Fellow of the Royal Society for Public Health and member of the Editorial Board for the International Journal of Human Rights in Healthcare. From 2006-2008, Karen co-led the gender equality programme for the National Institute for Mental Health England.

Karen has a PhD in mental health policy and has undertaken research on specific inequalities and methods for achieving greater equality; including mental health advocacy with African Caribbean men, social care for asylum seekers and refugees, community support for women experiencing poor mental health and the implications of diverse conceptions of mental health and wellbeing for prevention. All of this research has been participatory, in partnership with community organisations and service users/survivors.

Karen was an advisor to Aawaz, the Voice of Asian Women across Lancashire and from 2012-2017, a Trustee of Healthy Minds, a service user led charity. Karen has published widely and in 2017 was recognised by the University of Birmingham for her impact on public policy.

Syena Skinner

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Syena is passionate about recovery focused, coproduced practice in health and social care, committed to inclusive organisational change and diverse leadership.

As a manager with Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust for the last 14 years and a qualified social worker for 21 years, most of her experience is within community services working with people who live with mental health challenges.

Syena has extensive experience working within the NHS, gaining knowledge of social care and public health priorities and challenges from her frontline experience, as well as the impact of policy and strategic drivers from her managerial and consultation roles, influencing local policy and organisational priorities.

Mark Trewin

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Mark Trewin trained as a mental health social worker and an approved social worker under the Mental Health Act. He has worked in Community Mental Health services, Forensic services and Supported Housing. For the last eight years he has been the service manager for mental health services at Bradford Council in Yorkshire, where he has managed an integrated service working in partnership alongside the NHS, police and VCS.

Mark is currently seconded to NHS England and the Department of Health and Social Care to work with the Mental Health Act Review, the review of community mental health and on developing the role of the approved mental health professional. He is currently working with the Chief Social Worker for England on her priorities for mental health social work.

Mark is passionate about the role of social work and social care in mental health services and working to improve services thought partnerships and joint working. He also believes in the power of social work to make a real difference to people’s lives.

David Walker

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David Walker is deputy chair of Central and North West London NHS Foundation Trust and chair of Understanding Society, the UK household panel study. After a career in journalism with The Times, Guardian and BBC he became managing director, public reporting at the Audit Commission.

Until recently he was a member of the ethics and governance council at UK Biobank. His books include (with Polly Toynbee) Unjust Rewards, Cameron's Coup and Dismembered, how the attack on the state harms us all.

Anastasia Vinnikova

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Anastasia Vinnikova is currently Co-Chair of the Mental Health Network at the Bank of England, where she works to decrease the stigma around mental health, and to ensure that colleagues can bring their whole selves to work. The role has been a combination of working with HR to strengthen policy, and launching new initiatives to ensure support of mental wellbeing.

Anastasia has previously written about her experiences of mental health and wellbeing both in the workplace and in a personal capacity, for the Royal Society for Public Health, the Samaritans and Spotstar.

At the Bank of England she also works in Early Careers Recruitment, where she takes a particular interest in social mobility and diversity initiatives - Anastasia has been involved in supporting the Bank’s African-Caribbean Scholarship and the Freshfields Stephen Lawrence Scholarship schemes, amongst other inclusion programmes.

Anastasia has a Masters in Management and Human Resources from the London School of Economics.