Chief Executive: Emer O’Neill
Emer O'Neill is the Chief Executive of Depression Alliance. She has over 20 year's experience of working with people with mental health problems. After qualifying as a social worker in 1990, she spent many years working with homeless people with mental health problems. She developed a strong interest in employment issues and mental health and set up and developed 'Resource for mental health' an award winning project in Berkshire for 7 years. Before starting with Depression Alliance she was managing mental health services in Bracknell, Berkshire and was employed by the Berkshire Health Care Trust.
She is a passionate about developing services that promote recovery for people who experience mental health issues. Her career has spanned years of working in the voluntary sector, and the statutory health and social services.
Employment and Well being Team: Emily Wheeler
Emily Wheeler joined the Employment and Wellbeing Project in March 2009 as the project co-ordinator. She is a qualified counsellor and believes in taking a holistic approach to maintaining mental wellbeing. Having worked in the media sector for a number of years, Emily always had a strong interest in mental health and worked in a number of voluntary roles within this field. These posts included two counselling agencies supporting people with depression, anxiety, self esteem issues and bereavement and in the art department of a London hospice. She has a particular interest in using creativity and sport to help members of the Employment and Wellbeing project and believes in promoting the Recovery Model within the project. She aims to support others to feel empowered and find happiness and meaning in their life.
Finance Coordinator: Michael Beaven
Michael Beaven has worked in the voluntary sector for over 20 years, in finance, fundraising and as a Trustee. After working with development charities, he joined Resource for Mental Health in 2000, managing statutory, lottery and ESF funding. He joined Depression Alliance in 2007 and works part time.
Membership Services Coordinator: Laura Sacha
Laura joined Depression Alliance in 2009 after having worked and volunteered with a number of charities including SANE, The British Heart Foundation and Refugee Action. As well as coordinating the membership package she also oversees and supports the network of self help groups and edits the DA magazine. Before moving in to the charity sector Laura worked in publishing for a number of years and is pleased to be using her editorial experience in an area she feels so passionately about. Laura has a background in Social Anthropology and is particularly interested in issues surrounding black and minority ethnic communities within mental health systems.
Julia Cosby has been associated with Depression Alliance variously as member, staff member and volunteer since 1994, and was DA's first paid member of staff. She is currently in the office for two days a week, keeping the supporter database up to date, overseeing the online service DATalk, dealing with general correspondence and orders for publications, watering the plants, making tea and trying to keep the place reasonably tidy.
David Mark started work for Depression Alliance in 1996 as a volunteer, and then in 2000 became a fulltime member of staff as Groups Support Officer, responsible for our network of self-help groups. He had to give this up in 2004 following the onset of depression, but returned in 2006 as a volunteer. He currently works one day a week, answering e-mail requests for information and enquiries about our groups.
George joined Depression Alliance in April 2011 as Co-ordinator of the Kensington & Chelsea Employment & Well Being Project, having spent 25 years in the financial services industry. The Project, which was launched in May 2011, seeks to address the isolation that so often goes hand in hand with depression by linking people in a supportive, local network to do fun, social activities together and generally get more out of life. There is also a Time Bank which enables members to exchange services with each other, thereby strengthening the social bonds and boosting self-esteem. From personal and family experience, George is a passionate believer in the recovery model and in helping others to take control of their lives and achieve their goals. In his spare time he is a Latin Tutor and Child Protection Officer for his local community football club.