Chris has background in management, having been a company director, then managing director, of a family-owned engineering company for 25 years. Following the closure of the firm, and a period of personal experience of severe depression, Chris started work in the voluntary sector, particularly with two local MIND associations, as a volunteer, bank support worker, project coordinator, and as a trustee.
Chris joined the South-East Development Centre of the National Institute for Mental Health in England (NIMHE) in March 2004 as a Development Consultant for Suicide Prevention, taking on the Programme. In January 2006 Chris took on a lead role, which involved networking across mental health services, primary care, local authorities and the voluntary sector, and encouraging good practice in mental health promotion and suicide prevention.
Also in 2006 Chris became a founder member of the National Training Team for Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) in England. MHFA is a two day/14 hour course for anybody, and helps to reduce the fear and ignorance which often surrounds mental health issues. It gives people a simple model of how to help anyone who is in mental distress, and signpost them to appropriate help.
As well as working for the NHS and the Department of Health, Chris has co-ordinated the work of SMART (Sevenoaks Mind Awareness Raising Team), which provides mental health awareness workshops throughout Kent to voluntary, statutory, and private sector organisations. More recently he chaired the group, established the funding for a new coordinator with lottery grants, and other funding. The group is now a project of West Kent Mind
Neil Bindemann PhD
Following the completion of his PhD in 1993, which focussed on peripheral nerve injury, Neil has worked in the field of medical education and communication. He has worked in various medical and healthcare fields and stimulated a number of healthcare initiative For the last 10 years, his work has taken him into the field of neurosciences and rehabilitation. Neil was instrumental in establishing the Primary Care Neurology Society in 2004 and continues to drive the organisation forward. In 2006 he was invited to manage and run the Community Therapists Network (previously the Community Rehabilitation Teams Network) and for the past 5 years, Neil worked closely with Professor Pam Enderby (now Prof Emeritus of Community Rehabilitation) on the provision of training on the Therapy Outcome Measure (TOM) across the Allied Health Professions. Then in 2015, following a period of disturbing neurological symptoms, Neil was diagnosed with a brain tumour, which thankfully, following urgent brain surgery, was found to be relatively benign. Using his personal experience, and life-long interest in quality of life, which includes developing www.lifepsychol.com, Neil has recently turned his attention to finding ways to support people’s mental health, especially if they are learning to cope with a traumatic life event. .