Chair - Alison Lawrence
Alison is managing director of Forethought Consulting, a healthcare public affairs agency, working with a wide range of clients from the private and public sector for the UK and Europe. Prior to this Alison gained extensive corporate experience working in the pharmaceutical industry in the UK. Alison first became aware of the seriousness of depression and how it can affect someone’s life nearly 20 years ago. Since then she has had the opportunity to work with experts in mental health with the aim of promoting the availability of information and services; removing the stigma and embarrassment of depression; and raising awareness of the need to prioritise depression when planning for and establishing public services.
Alison was appointed chair of the board in 2004. "It is an honour to work with such a great team of people who are so dedicated and enthusiastic about the difference they can make to people's lives" said Alison. "We are seeing real change for depression in recent years - our challenge at DA is to keep pace with these changes providing information and continuing to develop and enhance our services to respond to what people tell us they need."
Alison lives with her partner, Laurence, and their two children Joel and Grace in North London.
Executive Committee Members
Lynsey became involved with Depression Alliance four years ago following personal experience of the condition and the stigma attached to it. She is committed to raising the profile of the charity and depression as a serious illness. Lynsey is a freelance public relations specialist and writer and has spent the majority of her career working in the field of healthcare communications.
Malcolm Johnston MA (Oxon), FCIS
Malcolm is a Fellow of ICSA (Institute of Chartered Secretaries and Administrators). As a company lawyer and director he has extensive experience at board level in the management and administration of companies and charities of many and varying sizes and sectors. He is now in private practice.
He was co-opted onto the committee as an advisor late in 2005 and was appointed as a Director and the Secretary in April 2006. During his time with us so far he has undertaken a number of tasks including those of Deputy Chairman and interim Chief Executive. At present he is leading the charity’s approach to corporate governance issues.
Malcolm lives in South London and is a lifelong supporter/tolerator of Sunderland AFC, a keen walker, interested in wine-tasting, trustee of a local Church and married to Caroline who is a patent agent.
Professor Chris Thompson MD, FRCPsych, FRCP, MRCGP, FRSA
Chris is a practising psychiatrist and has been the Chief Medical Officer of Priory Group since the beginning of 2004. Previously, he was the Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Southampton from 1988. He was also the Head (Dean) of the Medical School from 2001. He continues to hold visiting chairs at the University of Southampton and at the Institute of Psychiatry in London (where he trained).
He has carried out extensive research into depression, especially in the primary care setting, and chaired the UK government enquiry into depression services (CSAG, 1999). The other main strand of his research was into seasonal affective disorder. Altogether he has published nearly 100 peer reviewed research articles and edited or co-authored seven books He chaired the UK Department of Health's Confidential Enquiry into Suicides and Homicides by People with a Mental Illness.
From 1993 to 1997 he was the Registrar of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and was Vice President from 1997 to 1999. He is a member of the Council of University College London, has been a Trustee of the Mental Health Foundation, a Council member of the Medical Defence Union and a Council member of the GMC. He is the founder and immediate past president of the International Society for Affective Disorders an honorary fellow of the Royal College of Physicians and an honorary member of the Royal College of General Practitioners.
Chris has committed his working life to improving knowledge, treatment and care for depression, as a psychiatrist; a researcher; a teacher; and in a leadership capacity for organisations that can make a difference - like Depression Alliance. He lives in Winchester with his wife Celia, who is a GP and has three grown up daughters; Juliette who is a vet; Helen a journalist (MIND student journalist of the year 2007) and Alice who is a student.
Alan is director of the voluntary sector division at thegoodagency - the UK's leading marketing and advertising agency for good causes. He created thegoodagency by merging the company he founded, Cascaid, with Ideas Eurobrand and TwentyFirstCentury Brand Theatre in 2007. This followed nine years of trading as one of the UK's leading charity direct marketing agencies.
Prior to founding Cascaid, Alan worked for the British Diabetic Association and Children's Aid Direct. He is an average golfer, a poor mountaineer and an emerging motivational speaker in his spare time.
Kevin has spent most of his career working in the mental health and learning disabilities fields. He was involved in leading the closure and reprovision of numerous long-stay hospitals and through that work became interested in the counter-intuitive way in which so much service and support is provided.
A study tour to see innovative and determinedly person-centred care and support in the US led him to quit the NHS and establish a not for profit organisation which supported people out of locked wards into their own tenancies: twelve years on there are people who ‘could never live in the community’ thriving in Woking, their lives recovered, re-connected with family.
For the past two years Kevin has led the personalisation and personal health budgets programme at the National Mental Health Development Unit. Crucially, this programme enables people with different mental health issues to regain control of their lives and to direct the care and support they need. Kevin believes there will be great scope for their use in self-managing depression.
Become an Executive Committee Member
The Executive Committee are a group of individuals who govern Depression Alliance. They are unpaid and take legal, moral and financial responsibility for the Charity. If you feel you have skills you would like to contribute to the Executive Committee then please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.