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UMO has a long track record of providing mental health and wellbeing support to over 65 universities, delivered in-person or online via secure video link (Google Meet). We have an expert team of mental health professionals (psychologists, counsellors, psychotherapists, mental health nurses and social workers) on hand to provide a service that is safe, secure and bespoke to individual circumstances.

Our large team of mental health practitioners undergo a rigorous selection process before joining UMO and are required to attend regular compulsory supervision, either individually or with peers, to ensure continuing best-practice and high standards of professionalism. All our practitioners are qualified to postgraduate level in a mental health or allied discipline, have a minimum of 5 years practical experience but with many having several decades experience. Importantly, our team understand about

All are enhanced CRB checked, and work to highly considered risk and safe-guarding procedures.

Practices, protocols and standards of service are regularly monitored and reviewed to ensure that the highest level of quality control and professionalism are maintained at all times. We regularly ask for confidential feedback from staff and students and use this to continually refine and improve our service.

Dr Anna Matthews

Founder and CEO

I am the Founder of UMO, which I set up whilst training as a therapist, working as a specialist mental health mentor and prior to being an academic. My aim has always been to develop a service that not only met the needs of our clients but was safe, of high quality and delivered by very well qualified and experienced mental health practitioner with upmost professionalism. I have also developed and run government approved courses for specialised mentors to qualify for professional membership as well as delivered workshops, lectured on the subject and presented at many conferences. I am a Minster and Government advisor, Chair of UMHAN and advisor to both the Mental Health Advisory Group of Universities UK and Student Minds: I also sit on the board for the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Higher Education group.

Line Tibbitt

Director of Finance and Operations

With over 20 years of significant experience in various accounting roles, Line is responsible for UMO’s Finance and Operations. Line heads up all referrals and ensures that each client’s needs are met by promptly assigning to the most suited UMO specialist practioner.

Anna Smith

Specialist Mentor

Anna is a qualified Social Worker, with a degree in Social sciences and a MSc in Personality Disorders. Anna is an experienced mentor and coach with extensive practice of working with clients with complex mental health difficulties in the NHS. Anna's way of working offers a practical approach to work and study, combined with a listening space, and opportunities to think about options for life skills.

Bina Vishnuram

Specialist Mentor

Bina has worked with UMO since 2019. She has a BA and MA in Philosophy and Politics. She is an MBACP (Accred) Psychodynamic Counsellor with an MSc in Psychodynamic Counselling and Psychotherapy. Bina has extensive experience working with young people in higher education at various London universities, both as a counsellor and as a specialist mentor. She understands the challenges that students can face both academically and personally and is experienced in being able to offer support that meets the students’ individual needs.

Brendan Hodgman

Specialist Mentor

Brendan has an educational background and interest in French and Spanish Studies together with professional training and qualifications in integrative counselling. He has worked with both undergraduate and postgraduate students studying a variety of subjects and has found that each student brings something unique to the mentoring sessions.

Ceren Devitt

Specialist Mentor

Ceren Devitt has been working with UMO as a Specialist Mentor since 2019. She is a registered member of the BACP, has an MA in Child and Adolescent therapy and has extensive experience with setting up and managing new mental health services within communities. Ceren has been working with young people, adults and families within the educational and health care sector for over 15 years, providing support for various mental health needs and challenging behaviours, specialising in risk and safe gurading management.

Charlotte Sadler-Smith

Specialist Mentor

Charlotte Sadler-Smith is a Specialist (Mental Health) Mentor, who has been with UMO since 2019. In 2017 she completed an MSc in Applied Forensic Psychology from the University of York, and then shortly began her career as a Mentor. Charlotte has mentored at a range of universities and colleges, and has experience supporting people with both mental health issues and ASC. Additionally, Charlotte is also a researcher at the University of Leeds looking into the impacts of COVID on university students’ mental health. She prides herself on her interpersonal skills, as well as her friendly and professional nature - creating a safe space for students to discuss their worries.

Debbie Gard

Specialist Mentor

Debbie is a specialist mentor with a wide range of clients including those with a diagnosis of ASC or/ and ADHD. She has a teaching background in SEND and is a fully qualified integrative counsellor registered with British Association of Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP).

Diana Driver

Specialist Mentor

Diana is a Specialist Mental Health Mentor and Dramatherapist. She obtained her Masters in Dramatherapy from the University of Roehamption in 2008 and a Diploma in Creative Approaches to Supervision from the London Centre for Psychodrama. She holds a Certificate in Traumatic Stress Studies from the Trauma Foundation run by Bessel van der Kolk. She has worked across corporate, education and NHS mental healthcare settings. Clients have included business leaders, students, teachers and clinicians as well as children and adults with a range of complex mental health diagnoses. She currently offers dramatherapy in private practice specialising in trauma treatment. She is registered with HCPC and is a full member of the British Association of Dramatherapists (BADth).

Donna-Lee Ida

Lead Neurodiversity Mentor

Donna-Lee is an accredited practitioner and Autism Champion, having worked in support roles in the HE setting since 2011 and as specialist mental health mentor and specialist autism mentor since 2015. She has had a particular affinity for working with AS/neurodiversity wellbeing which led her to undertake significant research within a Sociology MA at the University of Kent, focusing on the wellbeing of neurodivergent students . Her work in this area has been acknowledged in pubications within The Neurodiversity Reader (D. Milton (ed.), 2020, Pavilion Publishing) and the NADP Journal of Inclusive Practice in Further and Higher Education, Autumn edition, 2022. . In her own words: 'I take pride in working as a mentor with such a variety of individuals, enjoying greatly the adaptive, responsive aspects of promoting agency, confidence, self-esteem, academic skill and overall wellbeing with great respect for recognising and empowering each individual student'. Her main drive in this field is to promote increased awareness of autism and neurodiversity as difference rather than disability, by challenging normative perspectives and ableism. Outside of work Donna-Lee enjoys learnning about foraging, wildflower and mushroom identification, spending time off grid in nature and being creative.

Dr Andrea Muendelein

Specialist Mentor & Study Skills Tutor

Andrea has been working as a student mentor in Higher Education in London since 2014, with a focus on supporting undergraduate students in the arts, and postgraduate students in research. Having worked as an associate lecturer and student mentor at the University of the Arts London, she joined UMO in 2020 and is currently supporting students at Ravensbourne University, Goldsmiths University, The Courtauld Institute of Arts and King’s College. She is further providing study skills tuition for students on undergraduate degree programmes. Andrea has extensive experience of supporting students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, students from the LGBT+ community, students with mental health and wellbeing concerns, and neurodiverse students with autism and ADHD. She holds a PhD in Philosophy and a MA Fine Art from Central St Martins University of the Arts London and a PGCE i post-compulsory education from the institute of Education. She is an accredited member of UMHAN, the University Mental Health advisor network and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Frances Fraser

Specialist Mentor

Frances is a Specialist Mentor whose core training is in person centred counselling. Frances holds degrees in Housing Management and Sports Science. With over 12 years of working within education, in the capacity of pastoral care, Frances has the understanding and experience of the many societal issues young people face. One of Frances’s objectives is to support people so they are able to feel confident in themselves - she is passionate about making a difference to clients who may be struggling.

Guy Butterworth

Specialist Mentor

Guy is a specialist mental health mentor and supervisor for students and employees for UMO. Guy is a qualified therapist and supervisor registered as a member of the NCS and he has a Law & Languages degree. As well as his work with UMO he works both in private practice as a therapist and supervisor and as a therapist for Employee Assistance Programs. With over a decade of post-qualification counselling experience, Guy has also worked as a case manager in the drug and alcohol field, provided housing advice for a national charity and worked in administrative roles within universities and local authorities. Guy’s specialisms include: anxiety and depression, alcohol and substance misuse, workplace stress and sexuality. Please see here for further information about his counselling services.

Ian Cheshire

Specialist Mentor

Ian is a qualified Counsellor working with Children and Adolescents within the education sector specialising in clients that have been or are awating diagnosis for ASD and ADHD.

Jack Wilson

Specialist Mentor

Jack has a Postgraduate Diploma in Child & Adolescent Counselling and Psychotherapy. He is trained in integrative and attachment-based counselling. He is sensitive to the impact of adverse childhood experiences and has a deep interest in supporting young people who are experiencing depression, a lack of meaning or deep feelings of unworthiness. He is currently undertaking a Diploma in Trauma Therapy.

Juanita-Narelle Etienne

Specialist Mentor

Juanita-Narelle is the lead for Diversity, Inclusion and Equality projects (maternity cover). Juanita-Narelle has over twenty years clinical experience as a mental health practitioner, and managed mental health projects for over ten years. She is registered with Social Work England. Central to her practice is a culturally sensitive and a psychologically informed approach.

Julio Cervantes

Specialist Mentor

Julio received a MA in Counselling from the U.S. and has worked in school-based health clinics and on U.S. military bases overseas with English and Spanish speakers. He provides mental health expertise through psychotherapy, mentoring and wellbeing workshops. He uses solution-focused strategies and motivational interviewing to strengthen client’s skills and abilities to help them reach their personal and professional goals.

Kariba Amachree

Specialist Mentor

Kariba is a qualified Mental Health Nurse with over 10 years experience working in primary, secondary and tertiary care with clients with mild to chronic and complex mental health needs. She has developed many transferable skills as a Substance Misuse Nurse, Community Psychiatric Nurse, Psychiatric Liaison Nurse, Care Coordinator, Team Manager and Deputy Centre Manager; mainly caring for clients with diagnoses such as Psychosis, Mood and Personality disorders, ADHD, Anxiety and Depression and complex PTSD

Katharine Wray

Specialist Mentor

Katharine is an experienced mental health mentor and a qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist with experience working both in private practice and within the NHS. Katharine has also worked with charities supporting victims of domestic abuse and helping them reintegrate into the community as well as supporting young adults with the challenges they face.

Liz

Specialist Mentor

Liz has worked with UMO since 2016 and supports students with various mental health problems. Using a range of strategies, both practical and therapeutic, she works with students to achieve their potential. This approach is grounded in over twenty years’ experience as a mental health social worker and her other current work as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist. She also supervises staff within universities and undertakes some supervisory teaching on psychotherapy training.

Louise Spurgeon

Specialist Mentor

Louise joined UMO at the start of 2021. She is a Coaching Psychologist with an MSc in Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental Health. She delivers training/workshops about the nervous system and how different types of trauma impact neurophysiology across our lifespan. She brings together her psychology, neuroscience, coaching knowledge and personal experience to individually and collectively improve wellbeing. Through greater mental, emotional, behavioural and physical awareness she works on reducing stigma and normalising mental health conversations. She is on the volunteer management team for a grass roots charity who offer support to vulnerable people in society. Before finding the courage to follow her true passion Louise worked as a global project manager within the corporate sector. Outside of work Louise enjoys nature, running, walking and reading.

Natasha Lewis

Specialist Mentor

Natasha is a BACP Registered Counsellor. She has been Specialist Mentor for a number of years and has specific experiecne in Anxiety, Depression, Emotional Resilience, Motivation, Confidence Building & Time Management.

Professor Geoffrey Cantor

Specialist Mentor

Geoffrey is a retired academic with considerable research experience and has supervised many research students. He is particularly interested in the mental health issues affecting PhD students and has published on this subject. He also runs mental health workshops for PhD students in the Centre for Doctoral Studies at King's College, London. Geoffrey has worked with UMO for 9 years.

Rebecca Blanchard

Specialist Mentor

As a mentor and psychotherapist, Rebecca understands the challenges that studying, working and relating to others can have on how we feel. With experience in the corporate, voluntary and higher-education sectors, she is passionate about helping people achieve their goals and ambitions. Building a trusting relationship, she works collaboratively with clients to help them work through their feelings and put in place mechanisms to help them get to where they want to be.

Robin Smith

Specialist Mentor

Robin qualified as a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist from the British Psychotherapy Foundation (BPF) in 2018, and is a full member of the British Psychoanalytic Council (BPC). Prior to this he worked as an English as a Foreign Language teacher for around 10 years, both in Japan and the UK, teaching adults and children. He has been working for UMO since 2014 as a Specialist Mentor and has gained a wealth of experience mentoring students with a wide range of mental health conditions, as well as many clients with ASD and ADHD.

Sarah Jones

Specialist Mentor

Sarah Jones (FPC, MBACP) works for UMO as a Student Counsellor and a Specialist Mental Health Mentor. Sarah’s background is in Politics and Sociology. Sarah qualified as a Psychodynamic psychotherapist in 2012. Difference and diversity and working with people from all walks of life is integral to her work. Alongside UMO, Sarah has a small private practice. She also runs seminars for psychotherapy trainings and facilitates workshops related to wellbeing and mental health.

Solly Solamito

Specialist Mentor

I joined UMO in 2020, as a Specialist Mentor and Coach (ICF accredited). I am a qualified social worker (1995) with a background in safeguarding and mental health, and leading on several Dept of Education Innovation Programmes (including Specialist Foster Care and Domestic Violence programmes). I have trained in Systemic Therapy (PGDip), NLP and am currently completing a Masters in Personal and Business Coaching. I'm a strong supporter and advocate for students accessing resources and support in order to achieve in their studies, equality of acces to studies, and currently work with students experiencing neurodiversity and/or mental health challenges. I was an academic tutor with the Frontline Organisation (MA in Social work) and use the combined knowledge of the academic curriculum alongside creative, bespoke approaches to support students. Outside of UMO, I work with the Tavistock and Portman Clinic as a Reflective Practice Facilitator, and with varioius voluntary organisations in Sussex as a Well Being Community Coach.

Sue Sunkel

Specialist Mentor

Sue is psychoanalytic psychotherapist by training with over 35 years experience as a clinical and academic supervisor and teacher, and in private practice. She enjoys her work because her clients have much to gain whilst also inevitably encountering many challenges. She strives to help clients turn challenges into opportunities for self awareness, and supports them whilst they are learning all sorts of life skills along the way.

Vanessa Maugey

Specialist Mentor

Vanessa is an experienced Coaching Psychologist with a BSc (Hons) Applied Psychology and an MSc in The Psychology and Neuroscience of Mental health, who has worked with UMO since 2021. She specialises in working with adults with ADHD and Autism. She also provides training on the understanding of ADHD from a brain science perspective, to other coaches, teachers, mentors, partners, parents and recently diagnosed adults who want to understand the diagnosis. She has 16 years of experience with ADHD and Autism. She brings together her psychology and neuroscience knowledge alongside her personal experience to provide strategies to improve wellbeing in people with ADHD. By increasing awareness around the ADHD brain and understanding and aceptance, she works to reduce stigma, self-doubt and works to increase self resilience in her clients. Outside of the ADHD and UMO world Vanessa, loves the theatre (watching), opera and spends as much time as life allows at the National Gallery, attending exhibitions on fine art. She is also an amatuer (very) historian, who spends other available hours reading or watching history and art history documentaries.

Vivienne Igel

Specialist Mentor

Vivienne is a qualified mental health nurse with extensive experience in mental health, both as a practitioner and manager. She has considerable experience in front line mental health, having worked in community, liaison psychiatry and assessment services. Vivienne is used to working with people from diverse backgrounds, and with a variety of mental health presentations. She has a diploma in coaching from Warwick University and uses a coaching approach in her role as a mentor.

Helena Vellas

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Helena is a Psychologist who adopts a holistic and integrative approach to working with people. She has experience working with clients and students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, who are neurodivergent, who experience mild to severe mental health issues and who have general life struggles or performance issues. She is currently undertaking a doctorate degree in Counselling Psychology and Psychotherapy at Metanoia Institute in London. She has a BSc in Psychology from the University of Derby and a MSc in Sport & Exercise Psychology from Brunel University London. Helena is originally from Sweden and has lived in The Netherlands and Greece before moving to London in 2015. In addition to UMO and studies, she is working in private practice and as a psychologist specialising in clinical ADHD assessments at a Harley Street psychiatric clinic. In her spare time, she is a keen horse rider and enjoys travelling and gardening.

Danielle Montano

Specialist Mentor

After completing a first degree in Humanistic Counselling in 2014, Danielle worked within primary schools as Person-Centred counsellor supporting the educational and emotional development of vulnerable children. In 2015, Danielle went on to study an MSc in Psychology and after graduating, set up in private practice along side their role as the Service Coordinator for an eating disorder service. Danielle joined UMO as a student mentor earlier in 2022 and works with students to support their wellbeing, navigate the challenges of University and develop skills to manage stress and anxiety.

Andrea Muendelein

Specialist Mentor

Andrea has been working as a student mentor in Higher Education in London since 2014, with a focus on supporting undergraduate students in the arts, and postgraduate students in research. Having worked as a tutor and student mentor at the University of the Arts London, she joined UMO in 2020 and is currently supporting students at Ravensbourne University, Goldsmiths University, the Courtauld Institute of Arts and King’s College. Andrea has extensive experience of supporting students from diverse cultural and educational backgrounds, students from the LGBT+ community, students with mental health and wellbeing concerns and neurodiverse students with autism and ADHD. She holds a PhD in Photography and a MA Fine Art from Central St Martins, University of the Arts London and a PGCE from the Institute of Education. She is an accredited member of UMHAN, the University Mental Health Advisor Network and an Associate Fellow of the Higher Education Academy.

Andrew Sanders

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Andrew is a Registered Mental Nurse, working in a variety of health care settings and educational settings since 1991. Andrew is now one of our Specialist Mental Health mentors supporting and coaching students mainly from London Metropolitan University, Birkbeck university of London and University College London. Andrew has a passion for supporting people with mental health needs to enjoy their study years, to fulfil their potential and achieve their goals. Andrew completed further post graduates studies of PG cert Assessment and Treatment of Co-existing Mental Health and Addictions, PG dip - Nursing Health sciences research and methodology whilst in New Zealand practising as a Mental Health Nurse, Clinical Lead Nurse and Service manager for addictions services. Andrew believes that everyone who is experiencing mental health issues should be equally supported within their university or workplace with educational opportunities.

Andrew Watson

Specialist Mentor

Andrew started his journey towards becoming a Counsellor back in 2009 when he studied Person Centred Counselling at the University of Brighton. He loved it so much that he went on to do a BA Hons Counselling course at the University of Greenwich, which covered various different modalities across the counselling spectrum. The whole experience of becoming a Counsellor has been life changing for Andrew, and he is extremely passionate about providing clients with a safe space, as well as a supportive therapeutic relationship. Andrew creates a versatile and person-centred environment, where he can offer support in an empathetic, congruent and non-judgmental way, with the aim of helping his clients achieve growth and fulfillment in the areas they want support with. Andrew is a Counselling Clinical Team Lead for NHS Lewisham on the behalf of The Awareness Centre. Andrew is also a Specialist Mentor with UMO, which is a role he enjoys tremendously. Outside of work Andrew is passionate about football and electronic music. Whilst he loves music, he acknowledges he can't dance! Andrew finds his passions as useful ways to unwind.

Aneta Stamenova

Specialist Mentor

Aneta is a Psychoanalytic Psychotherapist and a Psychologist, and a Specialist Mental Health Mentor for UMO. She works as a psychoanalytic psychotherapist in private practice and at the Brandon Centre with young people, and teaches on various courses at the Tavistock Clinic, the Anna Freud Centre, Birkbeck and the British Psychotherapy Foundation.

Chryssa Tsoukis

Specialist Mentor

Chryssa Anagnostopoulou-Tsoukis is a Mental Health Specialist Mentor and a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, who has worked with UMO for the last six years. She has extensive experience in working with undergraduate and post-graduate students with a variety of Mental Health difficulties. As a Mentor, she offers a safe space to students to manage their difficulties so that these do not impinge on their daily functioning and be able to reach their potential and enjoy university life.

Claire O'Flaherty

Specialist Mentor

Claire joined UMO as a Specialist Mental Health Advisor in 2021. In 1996 Claire qualified as a Social Worker. She later went on to study Health Promotion and obtained a BSc in Health and Social Care. As a Social Worker she has experience of working with adults and children across a variety of settings. In recent years most of her work has been in both hospital and community based mental health services within the NHS. Claire obtained a MA in Dramatherapy from the National University of Ireland Maynooth in 2009 and continues to promote the use of play and creativity within individual and group work that she carries out. This emphasis on creativity has continued to be an interest that she nurtures for herself and others, both within her work and her own life.

Denise Glavic

Specialist Mentor

Denise has been working with UMO as a Specialist Mentor since 2017. Denise’s background is in Arts and Literature. She completed a MA in Psychotherapy and Counselling at Regent’s University and a MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development at Birkbeck University. Her clinical experience is in the NHS, charity sector and, since 2016, runs her own private practice. Denise is a UKCP accredited Existential Psychotherapist. And she is a native Spanish speaker. Denise has supported undergraduate and postgraduate students from different backgrounds whose academic progress has been disrupted due to mental health difficulties. She aims to help students recognise their individual strengths and develop coping strategies to manage the demands of study and life.

Don Boyle

Specialist Mentor

Don is a qualified mental health Social Worker who has worked extensively as a coach, trainer and facilitator in the fields of employment, health and education. He works with people who have experienced psychosis, personality disorder, ADHD, substance misuse and life trauma to achieve their education and career goals. Don is also a Practice Educator in the NHS and is passionate about addressing issues of homelessness and social exclusion. His approach to mentoring acknowledges students’ psychological and emotional needs while helping each person develop their own practical solutions to planning university work, managing confidence, overcoming procrastination and other obstacles to get the best out of their university experience.

Dr Sangeeta Sardiwal

Specialist Mentor

Sangeeta is one of our Specialist Mental Health Mentors at UMO. Sangeeta completed a MA in Social Worker at Middlesex University, PhD in Management Science applied to health and social care, completed a level 4 in Counselling and a PGCHE. Sangeeta has a strong academic background, and has won numerous research awards including in the UK, Dubai and America for her PhD work. She is experienced with working with adults and children in the fields of counselling and social work. Sangeeta has practical experience supporting, assessing, safeguarding people with their mental health in a range of settings. These have included working in semi-independently health provisions and with the homeless. Sangeeta believes that everyone with mental health needs should be supported to help them have a fulfilling happy life, and enjoys working in collaboration with people to help improve people’s mental health and wellbeing.

Emma Garrard

Specialist Mentor

Since completing a first degree in Philosophy in 2001 from the University of Birmingham, Emma has worked in schools, colleges, universities and private practice settings supporting young people and adults with various educational, emotional and behavioural development needs, in a number of roles including as a mentor, coach and lecturer. Emma has worked as an Integrative Counsellor/Psychotherapist since 2007, training along the way in various approaches including Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, Solution Focused Practice and obtaining an MSc in Psychotherapy Studies from the University of Sheffield. Emma has been a lecturer in FE settings since 2008 and in HE settings since 2016, responsible for the development and internal verification of some of the courses, so has a thorough understanding of the expectations and pressures of study from all sides; her training as a mentor, coach and therapist enables her to support students in navigating their way through their courses whilst managing additional challenges. Emma has a special interest in neurodiversity.

Emma Bailes

Specialist Mentor

Emma is a empathic, warm and caring counsellor using person centred and psychodynamic modalities. Emma has over nine years experience in both group and one to one settings and has supported clients with a wide range of complex needs and mental health diagnoses. Emma has worked in addiction clinics and family service charities for those affected by addiction and trauma, Emma also runs a small private practice.

Hannah Kanter

Specialist Mentor

Hannah Kanter is a Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist who worked for many years in CAMHS services . Prior to that she worked as a book editor. For UMO she works as a mentor and supervisor .

Hyun Lee

Specialist Mentor

Hyun qualified as a psychodynamic therapist in 2011, having social care as his background. He has worked as a counsellor/therapist in various organisational settings such as a primary school, NHS and Age UK Camden. Currently, he works with university students as a mental health specialist mentor individually as well as in groups. He is also an assessor and counsellor at Wimbledon Guild Talking Therapies and Connect: North Korea. He is interested in creative activities such as music and community building as a therapeutic engagement. Awarded MA in Jungian and Post-Jungian studies at Essex University in 2004. An accredited member of BACP.

Ieva Jansaviciute

Specialist Mentor

Ieva is a Specialist Mentor and also a Psychodynamic Counsellor working in private practice. She is a full member of the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (BACP) and European Association for Counselling (EAC). Ieva holds a BSc (hons) degree in Psychology and a MSc degree in Clinical Applications of Psychology. After completing these, Ieva went on to do her professional training in counselling and psychotherapy at the Highgate Counselling Centre and WPF Therapy. Ieva's experience involves working in a variety of NHS mental health settings and counselling services, where she has worked therapeutically individually and in groups, supporting her clients with difficulties ranging from mild emotional difficulties to more severe mental health problems. With the experience of working with very diverse student populations, also with the experience of being a student herself, Ieva is well familiar with how important it is to achieve well academically, but also with the challenges that students face, and she is passionate about supporting others on their academic journey.

Jennifer Dias

Specialist Mentor

Jennifer is a qualified social worker with extensive background and considerable and experience mentoring students,from a wide different ethnic backgrounds experiencing a range of mental health challenges. Jennifer focuses on aiding life/work/education balance of working with diagnosis’s including Anxiety, Depression, and ADHD. She is also a qualified (DBT) Dialectical Behavioral Therapist specialising in Personality Disorders. Jennifer strives to work with clients in a collaborative way. She has been with UMO for a number of years working as a specialst mentor and coach.

Judith Ellenbogen

Specialist Mentor

Judith has been working as a Specialist Mentor for UMO for over 12 years and has mentored a range of people with mental health issues. She is a BACP accredited Psychodynamic Psychotherapist and works in the NHS, where she jointly manages a counselling service for women and couples, supervises trainee counsellors and runs reflective groups for midwives and nurses. Previously she was a Senior Psychiatric Social Worker in a Child Guidance Unit and a School for Children with Emotional and Behavioural Problems. She has also worked as a family social worker.

Julia Childs

Lead Study Study Skills and Strategy Support (SpLD) Specialist and Specialist Mentor

With an MA in Education (Inclusive Practice) Julia is interested in identifying barriers to success and in collaborating with students to overcome these. She spent many years as an adult education tutor where she worked extensively with dyslexic students, and has been a secondary English teacher in an autism special school. Her complementary role as an associate university lecturer (English for specific purposes) means she has an excellent understanding of current academic requirements. Outside of work, Julia enjoys Tai Chi and walking her dog with friends and family.

Katie

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Katie spent a number of years working in PR in the Health sector and has a BA(Hons) in Public Relations. It was whilst working for a Mental Health Trust that she realised that she had a passion for working with people with Mental Health difficulties and decided to re-train. She gained a BACP Accredited Diploma in Humanistic Counselling based on Transactional Analysis in 2007 and a Diploma in Trauma and Mental Health Informed Schools in 2021. She has many years experience of working with vulnerable young people in different educational settings from Universities to Sixth Form Colleges and Secondary Schools. She believes that all people have worth and value and we all have the ability to change and the right to be fulfilled. She is passionate about supporting young people to embrace life despite any mental health difficulties they may have. She loves working with young people to support them to make the most of their time at University both in a learning and social sense.

Kim Woodall

Specialist Mentor

Kim joined UMO in 2021, having worked for over 12 years as a Disability Advisor in a large university in SW London. She completed an MSc in Education, Power and Social Change at Birkbeck College in 2013. Kim is an accredited specialist mentor for autistic students, member of BERA and is experienced in working on university life, anxieties and study challenges with disabled, Deaf and neurodiverse students from a wide range of backgrounds. She lives in Bournemouth and currently works remotely with students who prefer online support sessions, ranging from further education students to Phd researchers.

Mark Howard

Lead: Mental Health

Mark has worked with UMO since 2015, and as the lead for mental health since 2021. He trained as a mental health nurse, and his practice spans the instituional and contemporary eras. Practice and research interests in lived experience has driven his work and academic pursuits. He practiced primarily in community services across different parts of East London. From 2003 to 2015, Mark was a senior lecturer, admissions tutor and service user involvement coordinator with London South Bank University, and since leaving this position, has continued working part-time in academic roles. The combined practice and education roles have been particularly invaluable in supporting his work as a mentor and the work of mentoring provided a renewed energy and drive that had been compromised by a prolonged absence from day to day support of people managing their well-being challenges. Since 2016 he has worked in the additional role as mentors/coaches point of contact for student concern and risk. Mark also worked as a mental health advisor for two years from 2019. He is also a trained clinical hypnotherapist and continues to practice ocasionally. Outside of work Mark writes short stories (one publication thus far) and has a couple of novels part written and another, unpublished but complete.

Mimi Makina

Specialist Mentor

Mimi is an Occupational Therapist by training with experience across various settings. She is passionate about supporting people to prioritise their mental health whilst trying to find the balance with their work or studies.

Nancy Adande

Specialist Mentor

Nancy Adande is a passionate about supporting people to help them actualise their goals. She is a qualified integrative therapist and also holds a post graduate qualification in systemic family therapy. She joined UMO in order to be part of an team that supports people overcome any barriers to working or studying.

Natalie Edwards

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Natalie Edwards is one of our Specialist Mental Health Mentors and is the Development and Regional Lead in the North for UMO. Natalie completed a Psychology degree at Staffordshire University back in 2009 which sparked her interest in supporting people who are experiencing mental health issues. She then studied Clinical Psychology at Keele University in 2012 and trained as a Psychological Wellbeing Practitioner at Birmingham University in 2015 and became a member of University Mental Health Adviser Network (UMHAN) in 2021. Natalie has worked as a Clinical Lead and Area Manager supporting young adults, and is an experienced researcher in clinical psychology and writing mental health training content for universities and workplaces. Natalie believes that everyone who is experiencing mental health issues should be supported within their university or workplace.

Olivia Belam

Specialist Mentor

Olivia is a qualified Mental Health Social Worker accredited by Social Work England with a Degree in Politics, Sociology and Philosophy, PG Health Promotion and a Master’s in Social Work. Olivia’s approach is professional, relaxed and focuses on the development of the therapeutic relationship in non-judgemental and empathic manner with university students, using therapeutic models including, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT). Extensive experience working in the NHS with complex health conditions such as schizophrenia, psychosis, personality disorder, ADHD, Mood disorders, self- harm and substance misuse. Olivia has worked with clients with severe and enduring mental health disorders in the criminal justice system, forensic inpatient health units and in the community. Specialised research areas include Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and QI Trauma Informed Care.

Ragini Jha

Specialist Mentor

Ragini is a qualified counsellor (BACP) who has worked in a variety of clinical and educational spaces around the world. She is trained in cultural-relational, person centred, and cognitive behavioural therapy. Her own experiences as an international student have helped her support many of her clients and mentees. Currently, she also works with several advocacy groups and conducts mental health workshops focused on the South Asian community.

Sarah Jane

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Sarah-Jane has attained a BSc (hons) Sociology from London South Bank University (LSBU)in 2000, MSc Race and Ethnicity from LSBU in 2001. MSc Social Work at LSBU in 2014 , MA Special and Inclusive Education at UCL in 2017, CELTA at International House, London in 2012 and PGCE Applied Health and Social Care at St Marys University College, Twickenham in 2005. Sarah-Jane studied Sociology as I she is interested in society - the people and structures and how they impact on each other. She completed her Masters in Race and Ethnicity straight after, as she wanted to gain further insight into the institutions and structures that create barriers to learning, to employment and personal growth; and strategies to remove them to enable global majority people to thrive. Sarah-Jane's family have in-depth experience of the health and social care system. As such, she completed a Masters in Social Work due to her mother being a foster carer and everyone else in her family working in the caring professions - Nursing, Social Care etc. Sarah-Jane as extensive experience in supporting young people and young adults as a Teacher, Social Worker and Mentor in China, USA, UAE. As a pastoral leader and Inclusion Lead, Sarah-Jane believes in supporting people in the round - socially, emotionally and intellectually to up-skill them and to promote empowerment.

Stevie Downs

Specialist Mentor

I am a client-centred therapist with 4 years experience. I have a Bachelors Degree in Psychology, and a Masters Degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy. I am fully accredited with the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy (MBACP Accred). I have worked with clients with a wide range of concerns including depression, anxiety, relationship issues, self-esteem issues, bereavement, domestic abuse, cancer and many more. I have also helped many people who have experienced emotional narcissistic abuse. I work in a warm and non-judgemental way with clients. The foundation of my therapeutic work is client-centred, however I also apply elements of cognitive behavioural therapy, the emotional freedom technique, transactional analysis and mindfulness into my work. I will tailor the client's experience to suit their individual needs. I work as an Associate Counsellor with Xyla Digital Therapies. We work with various IAPT services over the country. I am also a Specialist Mental Health Mentor with UMO. In this role, my transferable skills as a therapist help me to build a strong healthy rapport with the students. Outside of work I thoroughly enjoy keeping fit through exercising and playing badminton.

Tina Yuen

Specialist Mentor

Tina is a qualified psychodynamic psychotherapist. She has previously worked in management in the health and fitness industry, appreciating how both talking therapies and exercise can help alleviate mental health issues. She has experience of working with those who suffer from loss and bereavement, anxiety and anxiety disorders, depression, relationship breakdown, major life changes, EUPD, hoarding, paranoid schizophrenia, borderline personality disorder, autism, learning disabilities and addictions.

Toni Clarke

Specialist Mentor

Toni has worked with students experiencing stress and anxiety at university and work in a practical way but also providing a space to be listened to and maybe explore things a little deeper. Toni has experience of working with students with ADHD and ASD and many years of working within education. Toni is a qualified Psychodynamic therapist now running a private practice, when not working with students at UMO. Toni also has a BA in Politics and a PGCE, having worked as a teacher of both History and SEN for many years before working full time in mental health.

Tricia Collins

Specialist Mentor

Tricia completed a MSc in Mental Health Studies and a Postgraduate in Dual Diagnosis (mental ill health and substance misuse) at Middlesex University. She is also a qualified Humanistic Integrative Counsellor with extensive experience of working with complex needs. Tricia is the Lead Mentor for Equality, Diversity and Inclusion projects for UMO/UMO Pro. She is skilled in many areas and has over 20 years experience of working in a variety of settings. Tricia is passionate about supporting people to overcome their challenges and hopefully reach their full potential.

Catherine Pearce

Specialist Mentor

Catherine has worked with disabled children, young peope and adults since 2000. She achieved a 2:1 in the BA (Hons) in Sociology in 2005 followed by an MA in Social Work with merit in 2007. From there she worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Service specialising in learning disabilities and autism spectrum conditions. She has 15 years expereince of working in mental health services and trained as a Dialectical Behaviour Therapist in 2016. In 2013 she qualified as a lecturer with an Post Graduate Diploma in Education from the University of Huddersfield and taught for 2 years including oin degree programmes. She continues to work within mental health services while mentoring. She signed up to UMO in June 2022 where she enjoys sharing her skills and knowledge and building positive relationshiops with mentees.

Erika A. Pratte, PhD

Specialist Mentor

Erika is a psychologist specialising in a whole-person approach to mental health and wellbeing. Her strategies appreciate the lived experiences of people and how they make meaning, while also providing practical and research based strategies to helping oneself. She is originally from America and has personal experience being an international student. Erika balances her professional time between UMO, private practice, research, and writing. She is experienced working with people who have neurodivergencies, serious mental illnesses, and more situational/existential difficulties. Her hobbies include writing/reading fantasy novels, learning the piano, and traveling as much as possible.

Bethan Thomas

Specialist Mentor

Beth is a Specialist Mentor at UMO. She completed an undergraduate degree in Social Policy and Criminology in 2008 (BScSci) at The University of Manchester and a Masters in Psychology of Education (MEd) in 2015 from the same University. Beth’s early career was focussed on ensuring that those most marginalised in society have a voice in matters affecting their lives, mostly in forensic mental health working in Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA), a statutory role, in secure psychiatric hospitals around the Greater Manchester area. Beth has also specialised in working in the education sector as a SEND advocate and well-being mentor. Beth has an interest in mental health and connection to nature and is a Trustee of the charity Mind Over Mountains. Beth passionately believes that every person should have the opporunity to meet their own potential and is active in promoting this in all walks of life including higher education. She is a qualified Yoga Teacher and Mindfulness practitioner. As well as mentoring Beth is working towards a diploma in Yoga Therapy and towards becoming a qualified Mountain Leader.

Danielle Imbert

Specialist Mentor

Danielle has a BA in Communication, Culture and Media and a Post Graduate Degree in Social Work. Danielle has worked with children, young people and families since 2006 with a range of complex needs.

Ayan Ali

Specialist Mentor & Coach

Ayan joined UMO in 2018 and brings over 10 years' experience in mental health after a career in television and teaching international students. She is a Cambridge graduate, qualified teacher, and psychodynamic psychotherapist (MSc and BACP Accredited) who also studied group analysis. To tackle underlying issues in the workplace and improve group dynamics, she will complete her MA in Consulting and Leading in Organisations in 2023. She works part-time as a Staff and Student Counsellor in London universities. Her skillset can support you in various ways: specialist mentoring, executive coaching, group coaching, reflective practice, and training. Ayan’s holistic and practical approach supports her clients in making meaningful changes in their lives and outlook. Clients say it's challenging but it's worth it, with unexpected enjoyment along the way.

Sandra Glasgow

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Sandra joined UMO as a Specialist Mental Health Mentor in 2022. She qualified as a social worker in 2000, specialising in adult mental health, having obtained a DIPSW/MA in social work from Middlesex university. Sandra also holds a BA (Hons) in sociology and an MA in Social Policy. Having worked in inpatient forensic settings and community mental health teams since qualifying, Sandra gained knowledge and experience through supporting people with complex/severe and enduring mental health conditions including personality disorders. As well as her mental health care coordinator role, Sandra achieved a Graduate Certificate in CBT Carer Supportive Practice from Kings College (London) in 2016 and practiced as a family intervention specialist supporting families/carers to understand and manage psychosis. More latterly, Sandra worked as a Social Work Practice Educator and Consultant Social Worker training and supervising both undergraduate/post-graduate and Think Ahead Fast-Track MA students on social work practice placements. Additionally, Sandra supervised and managed newly qualified social workers (NQSW) employed on the Assessed and Supported Year in Employment (ASYE). She found these experiences rewarding and values her role as a Specialist Mental Health Mentor which enables her to continue supporting students to achieve academically and reach their full potential.

Pippa Jackson

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Pippa joined UMO in 2019 and is an experienced counsellor working with children, young people and adults in universities, schools and private practice. Her psychotherapeutic approach is integrative, allowing a flexible approach when working with students to support them to reach their academic and personal goals. With a background in teaching and research Pippa has completed a BSc in Psychology (Uni of Bristol), Diploma in Counselling and MSc in Psychoanalytic Developmental Psychology (UCL) and is accredited by BACP.

Ian Cheshire

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

I joined UMO in March 2021. I am an Integrative Counsellor drawing on many different skills and tools that I have learnt from attending professional training and from the clients I have worked with. I have worked within the school environment as a contracted therapist and I have been able to work with clients from various backgrounds and with various specialist needs. I have been able to enjoy a varied career as a counsellor with young people because I have worked hard to achieve my professional goals.

Olivia Belam

Specialist Mental Health Mentor

Olivia is a qualified Mental Health Social Worker accredited by Social Work England with a Degree in Politics, Sociology and Philosophy, PG Health Promotion and a Master’s in Social Work. Olivia’s approach is professional, relaxed and focuses on the development of the therapeutic relationship in non-judgemental and empathic manner with university students, using therapeutic models including, Motivational Interviewing (MI), Mindfulness, Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) and Solution Focused Therapy (SFT). Extensive experience working in the NHS with complex health conditions such as schizophrenia, psychosis, personality disorder, ADHD, Mood disorders, self-harm and substance misuse. Olivia has worked with clients with severe and enduring mental health disorders in the criminal justice system, forensic inpatient health units and in the community. Specialised research areas include Adult Survivors of Child Sexual Abuse and QI Trauma Informed Care.

Annelaine Tobin

Specialist Mentor

Annelaine Tobin/Nawaz is a Specialist Mental Health Mentor within the Northwest. Annelaine has been a practicing Counsellor since 2004, when she completed her studies at Lancaster University and decided to further her career, by continuing at Lancaster University, to complete a degree in Criminology. Annelaine worked full-time within the private and public sectors as a Counsellor, while studying full-time. Annelaine went on to complete a ‘Post Graduate Diploma in Education (M)’ at the University of Bolton. She worked with students as a mentor for a year and taught within the CBT/Counselling programme, while also working at Buckley Hall Prison teaching PHSE. Annelaine has always had a special interest in helping Children and Young People (CYP) and worked with a project called the M3 Project where she offered accommodation to homeless young people, between the ages of 16 to 25 years old. Annelaine continued with her studies completing a ‘Cognitive Behavioural Therapy’ (CBT) Diploma in 2015. Annelaine has worked for two EAP Providers ‘Employee Assistance Programme’ offering Counselling on a face-to-face basis but mainly offered online and telephone Counselling for seven years, working with well-known clients such as BMA, Football Clubs, BBC, NHS, Mercedes, and House of Commons offering short-term Solution-focused Counselling. Annelaine worked within colleges, schools, universities, and the youth offending team, working alongside CYP and offering short-term CBT/Counselling. Annelaine has continued to study and work as a Counsellor and recently completed an MSc in ‘Advanced Counselling and Psychotherapy’ at the University of Salford, where she completed her Dissertation on ‘University Student’s Experiences with Mental Health Issues: Managing Transitions and using Mental Health Support Services Alongside Counselling and Psychotherapy’ which she enjoyed researching into this very interesting topic, with the added issues of the impact of the pandemic and social media, which has added to students Mental Health problems and added on effects of academic issues, with stress and worry for their future careers. Annelaine was offered a part-time lecturer position at the University of Salford in September teaching ‘Intermediate Counselling Skills’ and has worked there since September 2022 working with students to achieve their potential.

Alex Leach

Specialist ASC Mentor and Study Skills Tutor

Alex joined UMO as a specialist ASC mentor in late 2021 following a varied career in education. She achieved BSc (hons) Psychology in 1999 and later Qualified Teacher Status via the graduate route in 2003. Alex has worked with students across the age range both in mentoring and teaching roles. Her passion is in supporting students with Autism and ADHD (and associated mental health difficuties) to achieve their potential and she has held the role of SENCo in recent years. During 2019 Alex trained as a level 1 coach something which has had a hugely, positive impact on her work with students. Alex is an empathetic and supportive practioner who has excellent insight to the hidden difficulties of Autism Spectrum Conditions and can offer a range of tools to help manage these diffculties and improve wellbeing. Alex works from a social model approach

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