Board of Advisers

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Elly Taylor (Australia) is an internationally recognised Perinatal Relationships Expert and Founder of Becoming Us. Over 15 years, Elly combined her clinical experience, studies in psychology and international research to create a world-first integrated model of the transition into parenthood which supports the mental, emotional and relationship wellbeing of mothers, fathers and families. Elly has served on advisory panels for Monash University, Newcastle University and The Australian Catholic University. She has written for several leading Australian publications, is the author of the award-winning book Becoming Us and an advocate for Maternal and Paternal Mental Health. Her passion is to educate and support professionals who educate and support parents.

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Gareth Presch (UK) is the founder and CEO of the World Health Innovation Summit (#WHIS) a platform to inspire, innovate and share knowledge to improve healthcare while stimulating vibrant communities. He is a healthcare strategist and has experience working in public, private and voluntary healthcare settings in the NHS (e-health) and abroad.  He has extensive networks around the world. He has advised and been a member of a number of successful charity fundraising events in the past and continues to support charitable causes locally, nationally and internationally. He supports businesses in marketing, leadership and governance. He was the Winner of the Carlisle Living Innovation award (2016), Special Recognition Award Zenith Global Healthcare (2016) and is the Leadership Fellow St George's House, Windsor Castle (UK).

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Maeve O'Connell (Ireland) is an HRB Clinical Research Fellow and PhD candidate at the Irish Centre for Fetal & Neonatal Translational Research, University College Cork (Ireland). Maeve received her MSc in Advanced Practice by Research from King’s College London (2012) and expects to complete her doctoral studies and Cochrane Training at University College Cork in 2018. The focus of her PhD is tocophobia in an Irish context and her other research interests include perinatal mental health, smoking cessation in pregnancy and reducing primary caesarean births.

She trained as a nurse and a midwife in University College Cork and currently practices as a midwife in Cork University Maternity Hospital. She also worked previously as a midwife in London (UK). She is a part-time lecturer in Midwifery at University College Cork. Maeve is an advocate for women, passionate about individualised woman-centred care and shared-decision making with the aim of empowering women, facilitating a positive birth experience and promoting evidence-based care in women’s and neonatal health.

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Shweta Panchal (UK) is a Yoga Therapist for Mental Health. She is supervisor and a lecturer at the Minded Institute, an Active Birth Pregnancy Yoga Teacher, an Ambassador for Charity PANDAS, and is a member of the UK Parliamentary group bringing yoga to the NHS. She has a first class honours degree in Psychology and Social Anthropology, and before becoming a full-time mother to her two boys, she had a successful eight-year career as a Management Consultant. In collaboration with the Minded Institute, she has created a specific evidence-based Yoga & Mindfulness Therapy intervention to help improve physical & mental health in pregnancy. She is a renowned speaker and has been invited to speak at Maternal mental health Conferences and also the UK Parliament about strategies required to successfully integrate Yoga into the NHS.  She is passionate about reforming mainstream ante-natal educationHer classes and workshops are grounded in a scientific approach that combines deep philosophical, neurobiological, psychological and physiological perspectives on the mind, body, and brain.

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Tracy Donegan (USA) is a Registered Midwife, author, and Founder of GentleBirth a specialized antenatal education program focused on emotional wellbeing. Born in Ireland Tracy is a contributing writer for pregnancy & birth related advice for several European and US publications. Tracy is a global advocate for humanized, positive birth experiences and has a special interest in the impact of mindfulness on mental health and stress reduction for parents. Tracy is also a DONA International Birth Doula trainer and lives in California with her two sons and husband Philip.

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Selina Shaikh (UK) is the founder of Breathe Mumma which supports mothers in pregnancy, early motherhood and beyond promoting mental wellbeing through meditation and mindfulness. She is a trained and accredited Meditation Teacher, has studied at Oxford Mindfulness Centre (University of Oxford) to train to teach Mindfulness-Based Childbirth and Parenting and works towards meeting the UK Network for Mindfulness-Based Teachers Good Practice Guidelines.

Selina has been teaching meditation to mothers since 2014, including for charity Cocoon Family Support. Previous to becoming a mother she’s had a fulfilling career working in health and social care and the voluntary sector.

As well as her professional background Selina has nearly 20 years of personal meditation practice experience including during her pregnancy and motherhood journey, and mindfulness was a key part of her recovery from Postnatal Depression.

Selina is passionate about empowering mothers to live with greater self-love, how meditation and mindfulness can improve wellbeing and the impact this will have on future generations to come.

Dib Datta

Dr Dib Datta (UK) is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist (O&G) and gained extensive clinical experience having worked and trained both in the British Isles and India. He had an outstanding academic career and obtained MRCOG (UK) and MRCP (Ireland). He remains committed to research as a scientist registered with the National Institute of Health Research, England.

He is very passionate about education & training and has made important contributions in under- and postgraduate O&G training both as a College Tutor and a Trainer in Simulation Training.

He is a Patient Safety champion and has spoken extensively on minimising risks in patient care at various symposia and meetings. He led the Maternity Risk department (2005 – 2015) in the largest and the busiest Maternity Unit in Southern England (UK).

He is a member of the Executive Committee of the RCOG’s initiative in Tanzania and South Africa, ‘Towards Safe Choices’, a program delivering safe and effective contraception in Tanzania and South Africa.

He has served many roles at the RCOG including an elected Member of the Council and the Board of Trustees (2012-2016) and Council Representative on the Finance & Executive Committee and an appointed member of its Appointments and Remuneration Committee (2012 to 2015).

He has also served on many Regional and National Boards in England and has written up business plans for innovative techniques and newer medications, particularly in the fields of intrapartum care and Perinatal Mental Health.

Dib is a renowned Speaker and has been invited to speak at many national and international conferences.

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Mark Williams (UK) is an International Fathers Mental Health Campaigner, Author, Public Speaker and Trainer. Mark has spoken around the world on television and radio stations about the importance of supporting all parents including fathers after experiencing depression himself and talking to over 2000 fathers around the world.

He is the founder of International Fathers Mental Health Day and #Howareyoudad campaign.

Mark also works with Dr Jane Hanley and have published several articles and was awarded Inspirational Father of the year and Local Hero at the Pride of Britain Awards in 2012.

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Lindsay Robinson (UK) is the founder of the movement 'Have you seen that girl?' and creator of 'Bags of Hope' - a reminder for parents that even on the hardest days there is always light, hope, help and community. 

Having struggled with severe Perinatal Mental Illness, with her first and only child, Lindsay is determined to help and support others parents who are going through similar. Have you seen that girl? shares stories from parents all over the UK who have experienced mental ill-health in pregnancy and postnatally. Lindsay herself has written extensively, telling her own story, both on the website and for many publications. She is a regular guest speaker at events and has also given a Ted Talk.  

She is a campaigner and advocate on the need for better PMH services for all parents and has developed the campaign #TimeForChangeNI to help deliver change for parents in Northern Ireland. Lindsay (via Have you seen that girl?) is an active member of the Maternal Mental Health Alliance and herself has a Diploma in Counselling & Psychotherapy.

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Pip Hardy is the co-founder of Patient Voices Programme, which was established in 2003 as an effective, affective and reflective way of communicating patients’, carers’ and clinicians’ experiences to those who design and deliver healthcare. The Programme is now the repository for hundreds of short videos – digital stories – created by patients, carers and clinicians about what really matters to them in relation to health, care and sometimes the lack of it. The stories are used throughout the world to encourage reflection, stimulate discussion, promote empathy, and remind viewers of the need for compassionate and humane care. Each story offers an opportunity chance to walk in someone else’s shoes for a few moments, reminding us all of our shared humanity. The programme has won several awards, including the 2010 BMJ award for Excellence in Healthcare Education.

Before setting up Patient Voices, Pip spent many years developing, writing and editing educational programmes, particularly in the field of healthcare quality improvement.

Pip has a BA in English Literature from Durham University and an MSc in Lifelong Learning from the University of Ulster, in which she looked at the impact of the Patient Voices stories. Her PhD investigates the potential of digital stories to transform healthcare and her most recent book, edited with Tony Sumner, is called Cultivating Compassion: How Digital Storytelling is Transforming Healthcare.

While living in Sri Lanka in the late 1970s, Pip had the good fortune to learn Buddhist meditation and she’s been meditating (on and off) ever since. She also enjoys yoga, gardening and reading novels when not working or looking after a variety of grandchildren, most of whom were born at home, as were their mothers – so she understands the importance of looking after mothers during pregnancy!

Pip is an honorary lecturer at the University of Manchester Medical School, a visiting teaching fellow at Manchester Metropolitan University and a Fellow of the RSA.

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Rebecca Ryan (Australia) is the author of Mindfulness for Mothers, staying calm and present while caring for your child (Pan Macmillan 2016), yoga and meditation teacher.

She has been a meditator for more than 17 years and is also a mother of two. Rebecca is the founder and principal yoga and meditation teacher at Surrender Yoga and Meditation. She has been teaching meditation, prenatal and postnatal yoga, and mums & bubs yoga since 2007. Rebecca enjoys sharing her passion for meditation with other mothers, whether long-term meditators or newbies, and encourages her students to allow mindfulness to seep into their daily lives.

A full member of the IYTA (International Yoga Teachers Association), Rebecca was also a faculty member of the inaugural IYTA Diploma of Yoga Teaching (Pre & Post Natal) in 2012. Before all this, she had a career in Finance, working in Singapore, London, and Sydney for companies including Credit Suisse, Deutsche Bank and IAG.

Rebecca’s current focus is teaching Mindfulness for Mothers workshops around Australia. She shares with other mothers how they can find stillness in their busy lives and nurture themselves with simple mindfulness and meditation practices. Rebecca also provides online content to help mothers learn how to meditate and is finalising her second book Put On Your Own Oxygen Mask, self care, mindfulness and meditation for mothers of school children.

Rebecca would like to see more research on the potential benefits of mindfulness and meditation that is conducted specifically for pregnant and postnatal women. She is working on a research proposal to collaborate with a clinical psychologist and neuroscientist at the University of Melbourne. More information about her work could be found on her websiteFacebook & Instagram.

Claire-Wilson

Dr Claire Wilson (UK) is an MRC Clinical Research Training Fellow in the Section of Women's Mental Health at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King's College London. Her research interests are in maternal and infant mental health and the physical and mental health interface during pregnancy, with a specific interest in nutrition.

Claire studied medicine at the University of Glasgow (UK), where she also obtained an intercalated BSc in Psychological Medicine with First Class Honours. After finishing her foundation years on the Academic Foundation Programme and her first year of psychiatry training in Glasgow, she moved to South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust to complete the remainder of her core psychiatry training and take up an NIHR Academic Clinical Fellowship in her current department at King’s College London.

Having obtained membership of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and completed her core psychiatry training, Claire is now working on her PhD, funded by the MRC (Medical Research Council). Claire's work focusses on exploring the relationship between gestational diabetes and maternal and infant mental health.

Claire is passionate about medical education and regularly teaches a range of undergraduate and postgraduate healthcare professionals. Claire is also the academic and events lead for the Royal College of Psychiatrists' Women and Mental Health Special Interest Group.

Claire tweets @drclairewilson and also @womeninmindUK.

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Hala Jawad (UK), a pharmacist who’s passionate about all things pharmacy!

She has been one of the lucky ones to have been involved in many other activities outside of a traditional pharmacy career. She has tried her hand at some media-related performances, and she loves writing blogs! She has worked in a community pharmacy settings and as a GP practice pharmacist in the UK. Every role has been different, but equally vital to her learning process. She has developed a special interest in public health and improving patient http://outcomes.Foundation Champion and she has recently become a GP practice pharmacist mentor for the RPS, public health moderator for the RPS network and she sits on a steering group for the RPS in Surrey (UK).

She has received some accolades, such as being recognised as the very first Pharma Face, has been referred to as The Brighton Titan and has also been shortlisted as one of the Top 50 Pharmacy Influencers by Chemist & Druggist.

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Emily Tredget (UK) is the founder of MummyLinks App - the safe place for mums to meet for local playdates in the UK.

Having struggled with severe post-natal depression and anxiety after the birth of her son, Emily is on a mission to help mothers. In particular, her passion is to help those struggling with loneliness - a known risk factor for maternal mental health issues, and something she struggled with. The MummyLinks App helps mums to beat loneliness by encouraging them to meet locally, face-to-face, and build villages for support and friendship.

 Emily also writes blogs for the Huffington Post, and speaks out across the media about her motherhood experience with the aim of raising awareness, and reducing the stigma, of maternal mental health issues. She launched #ShoutieSelfie in May 2017 to help achieve this, and is a supporter of the National Childbirth Trust's (NCT) #HiddenHalf campaign.

More information on MummyLinks could be found on Twitter or Instagram

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Kristina Cowan (USA) was born in a working-class suburb of Cleveland, Ohio (USA). She can’t remember a time when she wasn’t writing. At bath-time, for instance, instead of water toys, she brought a pen and paper into the tub and wrote stories. At the public library, she wandered away from the children’s section, nosing her way into the grown-up aisles. Somehow, she convinced her mom to check out books on prosimian biology and the space shuttle.

Curiosity set her on a path to Evanston, Ill., where she attended Northwestern University—twice. She first earned a bachelor’s degree in speech and returned a few years later for her master’s degree in journalism. She moved to Washington, D.C., with Medill’s graduate program, to cover the election of 2000. After graduation, she landed a job on the higher-education beat, where she stayed for several years. After that, she covered energy and environment policy on Capitol Hill, as an editor.

For almost eight years, Cowan relished the nonstop work weeks that are second nature to Washington journalists. But when an opportunity to pursue freelance writing came about, she seized it. She returned to the education beat and launched into business stories. Freelancing was her most challenging gig—until her son was born in 2009. His complicated birth kicked up postpartum depression (PPD), and a chance to re-evaluate her life’s path.

Her brush with PPD stirred her to use her writing skills to comfort and empower other women and men battling mood disorders. That stirring developed into her first book, When Postpartum Packs a Punch: Fighting Back and Finding Joy, which published in 2017.

During her 20 years of journalism experience, Cowan has written for a variety of publications, including The Huffington Post; Edward-Elmhurst Health’s Healthy Driven publications; The Mighty; The Presidency, a magazine published by the American Council on Education; the Harvard Education Letter; PayScale; AOL; Yahoo; The Ladders; Community College Week; Black Issues in Higher Education; and Tribune Media Services.

Cowan, who lives in the Chicago area with her husband and two children, plans to begin writing her next book in 2018.

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs 2017

Laura Godfrey-Isaacs (UK) is an artist, midwife, feminist academic and birth activist. She spent over twenty years in the arts, training in visual arts at Kingston University, Brighton University, University College London and The Pratt Institute New York. She worked as a feminist academic, an educator in gallery & museum education and as a creative producer and founded the radical live art and performance company, home live art www.homeliveart.com

In 2016 she graduated as a midwife from King’s College London and works as a community midwife at King’s College Hospital, London. She is currently Research Associate with The Digital Institute for Early Parenthood www.DIEP.org.uk Ambassador for Proceate Projects www.procreateprojects.com Co-Chair of the Health Policy Committee for The Women’s Equality Party http://www.womensequality.org.uk/ and a member of the NMC’s Thought Leadership Group on Education Standards for Midwifery Education.

She aspires to bring her knowledge and experience in the arts, together with midwifery, to bring fresh interdisciplinary perspectives to inform education, practice and research and regularly presents at conferences and writes for midwifery publications, including the blog ‘Birth, Art & Culture’ on www.all4maternity.com . In 2017 she ran two projects, Maternal Journal https://www.facebook.com/maternaljournal/ and Creative Birth https://www.facebook.com/creativebirthprogramme/ that specifically explored a holistic antenatal programme using art, midwifery and movement practices to promote positive wellbeing and support for pregnant women.

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Dr Pankaj Lamba (USA) is a psychiatrist working at a University hospital. After completing medical school (along with the founder Dr Raja Gangopadhyay) he went on to
complete a postgraduate degree in Physiology.

He completed his postgraduate dissertation in reproductive biology and then went on to do a postdoctoral fellowship with Daniel Bernard, PhD. at Population Council, New York and later with the same mentor at McGill University. During
this time, Dr Lamba worked on regulation of follicle stimulating hormone (FSH), one of
the hormone-regulating reproductive cycle in females and has publications in many Peer-reviewed journals. Some of his work could be found here.

Dr. Lamba then transitioned back to clinical sciences pursuing his interest in psychology and
currently is a practicing adult psychiatrist.

Dr. Lamba has always felt interested in working at the cross-road of mental issues and reproductive issues. He wishes to advance the work of this forum by contributing to blog articles. His unique background in physiology, reproductive biology, and psychiatry along with years of
experience in research, writing scientific articles and his passion about improving women’s mental health makes him a suitable addition to our advisory board.

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Ashley Curry (UK):  I am from Cambridgeshire, UK. I had Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) but remained undiagnosed until I was 35 years old when it took over my life during parental stages. Once diagnosed I was able to implement Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) and have remained free of OCD for the last 12 years

I have been a keynote speaker for the NHS regarding OCD and also did a talk at the first maternal mental health alliance conference 2017 covering OCD in fathers (paternal OCD).

I have worked alongside various experts in OCD in a teaching aspect, across many universities in helping to train IAPT therapists, in cognitive behavioural therapy specifically for OCD.

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Leroy Edozien (UK) is consultant obstetrician and gynaecologist, Manchester Academic Health Science Centre. He holds qualifications in the basic medical sciences, medicine and law and is a member of West African, Irish and UK postgraduate medical colleges. He established a multidisciplinary perinatal mental health service at St Mary’s Hospital, Manchester. He has championed a biopsychosocial approach to clinical practice and served as Chairman, British Society of Biopsychosocial Obstetrics and Gynaecology (BSPOGA) 2014-17 and is President-elect of the International Society of Psychosomatic Obstetrics and Gynaecology (ISPOG). He co-edited Biopsychosocial Factors in Obstetrics and Gynaecology (Cambridge University Press 2017).

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Knut Schroeder (UK) is a GP, social entrepreneur and Honorary Senior Clinical Lecturer in General Practice at the University of Bristol. Being passionate about improving health literacy, encouraging self-care and improving the health and lives of people in the UK and beyond, Knut founded social enterprise Expert Self Care Ltd to create digital solutions supporting people in looking after their physical and mental health. He has authored four books and created two health information apps for young people - a 'Student Health Guide' with a focus on mental health, and an app to support people who self-harm or feel suicidal.

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Dr Mano Manoharan(UK): I am a Consultant Perinatal Psychiatrist at South London and Maudsley NHS Trust, United Kingdom. I have a great passion for working to improve maternal well-being and maternal mental health. I also have completed Masters in psychiatric research in University College London.

Outside medicine, I have a great passion for organising maternal mental health awareness events, charity events and walking the ramp.I am looking forward to joining with the esteemed board of advisors at the international forum for wellbeing in pregnancy.

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Justina Perry (UK) is the founder of MamaBabyBliss. Having suffered from postnatal depression after the birth of her first child, Justina set up MamaBabyBliss in 2007 to support mothers, babies and mothers-to-be on their journey through pregnancy and early motherhood. She is a leading expert in perinatal wellbeing specialising in pregnancy and postnatal yoga and massage, baby massage and baby yoga and is passionate about delivering the benefits of these holistic therapies to ALL women and babies in the UK and worldwide. MamaBabyBliss classes and treatments are offered in communities nationwide and MamaBabyBliss also trains staff within the NHS to enable staff to support mothers and babies in Mother and Baby units across the UK. For more information, please visit www.mamababybliss.com.

 

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Donovan Jones (Australia) is the Deputy Program Convenor Bachelor of Midwifery at the University of Newcastle. He is a member of the Hunter Medical Research Institute HMRI and BRICS nursing and midwifery research network and actively involved in research projects. His area of interest in research is on perinatal mental health and psychosocial interventions that are used for both pregnant women and their partners, more specifically male partners.

His PhD thesis is entitled, “Mindfulness, fathers emotional wellbeing during the perinatal journey into parenthood”. He has won many awards including, 2017 Vice-Chancellor's Award for Teaching Excellence and Contribution to Student learning (Centre for Teaching and Learning, The University of Newcastle).

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Dr Mendinaro Imcha (Ireland) is a Consultant Obstetrician & Gynaecologist at the University Hospital Limerick, Ireland. Her practice involves care for complex obstetric cases including those with perinatal mental health support needs.

She completed her medical training at Guy’s and St Thomas’ NHS Foundation Trust (London, UK) and worked as a Consultant at Queen Charlotte & Chelsea Hospital of Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust UK.

She is an adjunct faculty member at the University of Limerick and is involved in training the students of the Graduate Entry Medical Programme. She is a trainer for the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland with responsibility for guiding and mentoring junior doctors.

She is also a trainer accredited by The British Society for Colposcopy and Cervical Pathology.

Dr Imcha has taken on vital leadership responsibilities through key administrative positions at the University of Limerick Hospitals Group (ULHG). She is the Chief Clinical Information Officer for ULHG, whose role is to support and enhance the application of Information Technology in clinical care.

She is also the Chairperson of ULHG’s Quality Improvement Committee tasked with the duties of sustaining a quality and safety culture, as well as building the infrastructure for systemic quality and
safety practice.

She is an alumnus of Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland, HSE Leadership Academy in Ireland, King’s College London, as well as Dr MGR University in India.

She has achieved Memberships with the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists in the United Kingdom and with the Royal College of Physicians of Ireland.

Dr Imcha leads the Perinatal Mental Health (PMH) services at ULHG where she organises an annual conference on PMH, the first of which was held in 2017. She is bringing her considerable
organisational skills to establish a centre of research excellence at ULHG, with PMH as a focus area.

She works closely with mental health support organisations in the larger community to develop a comprehensive and holistic pathway for improved care of pregnant women, the unborn as well as
the newborn babies, and their families.

Dr Imcha is passionate about the empowering ability of knowledge. She works tirelessly in the field to spread awareness and to destigmatise the need for PMH care. She believes that even a small
investment in PMH leads to a lifetime of better outcomes for the individual, and for society.

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Dr Kedar Nath (India) is a renowned Yoga, Naturopathy and Acupressure professional. He obtained a Diploma in Yoga & Naturopathy from Swami Anandanand Yoga Mahavidyalaya, Yoga Sadhna Ashram, Rajasthan (India) in the year 1996 (approved by CCRYN (Janakpuri) Ministry of Health, Govt. of India, New Delhi). 3 years diploma in naturopathy Treatment from Gandhi National Academy in Naturopathy, Rajghat, New Delhi India. Diploma in Acupressure and reflexology.

Recently attended 85 hours Prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher training (Yoga Alliance U.S.A., Yoga Alliance International and also attended 200 hours RYT (Registered Yoga Teacher) from Yoga Alliance, USA. Dr Kedar Nath currently works with a leading India Prenatal - Postnatal Yoga Centre at Gurgaon, India.

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Siti Roshaidai Binti Mohd Arifin (Malaysia) obtained her BHSc from University Science Malaysia, MNSc from the University of Malaya, and PhD from University of Stirling, United Kingdom.

She previously worked as a staff nurse at Kuantan Medical Centre and took up a position as an assistant lecturer at International Islamic University Malaysia (IIUM) in 2006. Upon completion of her MNSc, she was promoted as a lecturer at the same university in 2011. She embarked on her PhD journey in September 2013 and returned to Malaysia in August 2016.

Dr Siti Roshaidai is now lecturing in an Assistant Professor post at Faculty of Nursing and was appointed as the Head of Department of Professional Nursing Studies, IIUM.

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Dr. Bronwyn Leigh (Australia) is a clinical psychologist and the Director of the Centre for Perinatal Psychology, an Australia-wide network of psychologists dedicated to mothers, fathers, infants, couples and families during the perinatal period, covering: planning of pregnancy/TTC, pregnancy, postpartum and early parenting to three years. 

Bronwyn specialises in the psychological aspects of becoming a parent, the emotional development of infants, and parent-infant relationships.

She co-authored the reflective self-help book Towards Parenthood: Preparing for the Changes and Challenges of a New Baby and is committed to assisting parents transition into parenthood.

Bronwyn also provides training and supervision to health professionals working with parents and infants and developed a unique three-day training workshop which she has facilitated nationally since 2012.

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Dr. Rukhsana Haider, MBBS, MSc, IBCLC, PhD

Rukhsana Haider  (Bangladesh) is a physician, International Board-certified lactation consultant and public health nutritionist who studied at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK. Founder and Chairperson of the Training and Assistance for Health & Nutrition Foundation (TAHN), she is also the Chair of the Civil Society Alliance for Scaling Up Nutrition (CSA for SUN) in Bangladesh, and Co-Chair of the World Alliance for Breastfeeding Action (WABA) Steering Committee which operates from Malaysia. Having experience of working with the World Health Organization's South-East Asia Regional Office in India, with Unicef and the International Centre for Diarrhoeal Disease, Bangladesh, she continues to be a resource person for these UN agencies, and for the national government and international non-government organizations.  

Rukhsana advocates and contributes to establishing policies, platforms and services that inform, encourage and support pregnant and lactating women with infants and young children, and adolescents, for improving their mental, emotional, physical well-being and nutrition. Her passion, however, is to develop and support community-based peer counsellors to provide services to these target groups. She is a firm believer and implementer of action-oriented research and has several publications to her credit. She loves to travel for relevant conferences and advisory group meetings where she can catch up with old friends, make new ones and get energised for further activities.

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Narendra Sing Thagunna, Ph.D. (Nepal) is a Psychologist contributing in the field of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Suicide prevention, Parenting, Internet Addiction and Psychology in Nepal. He received his Ph.D. in Cross-Cultural Psychology from Kumaun University Nainital in 2010. He received Masters Degree in clinical psychology. He received Bachelor of Art (BA) with major Psychology, English and Tourism and Travel Management.

Dr. Thagunna is working as Lecturer/teacher in MA Psychology Program in Tri Chandra Campus, Tribhuwan University and faculty member of K&K International, Army College, Bhaktapur Multiple campuses, Bhaktapur, Tribhuwan University and BBA programme Liberty College, Pokhara University. He is founder president and CEO of Psychdesk foundation which is working in the field of psychological research, training, testing, counseling/psychotherapy, and publication. Founder/President, The School of Psychology Nepal (TSOP Nepal) and working as Executive Manager.

Dr. Thagunna served as a psychosocial trainer at TPO Nepal for 4 years and was a refugee project and He served as a Project Coordinator/Technical Advisor on Emergency Response Project at KOSHISH, National Mental Health Self Help Organization for 7 Months. He served as a principal in Higher Secondary School (+2 Level) Nepal for 5 years.

I am a member of different international and national associations of psychology like American Psychological Association, International Association for Cross-Cultural Psychology (IACCP), International Association of Applied Psychology (IAAP), Association of Psychologists in Nepal (APN)- Founder Vice president, The School Of Psychology Nepal (TSOP Nepal)- Founder / President.

Dr. Thagunna has more than 10 years working experience with refugees and displaced populations in emergency setting on MHPSS with a reputed international humanitarian organization like UNHCR, CBM. He has designed training module on “Suicide Prevention Facilitation Training " for volunteers and community. He has written and spoken about suicide and mental health issues in National newspapers on several occasions. 

 

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Nuala Murphy (UK) is a tech entrepreneur and CEO of Moment Health – a ground-breaking digital solution that offers early intervention for maternal mental health illnesses.

Moment Health was conceived with the aim to connect mothers with the tools and knowledge they need to sustain good mental health and recover from illness.

Nuala was recently successful in receiving early-stage investment to build a team and bring the first consumer and corporate offerings to market.

She is characterised by energy, drive and commitment helping women achieve their ambitions demonstrated most powerfully through her leadership as part of the global Lean In movement.

She began her career as a marketing executive and progressed rapidly to director level with experience gleaned in manufacturing, health and technology sectors both at home and internationally. Becoming Chartered in 2010 and a fellow of the Chartered Institute of Marketing.

With accolades in 2017 such as Top 40 Under 40 Northern Ireland, Sync NI’s Most influential people in Rech NI 2017, Belfast Top 50 Business award and Young Business Ambassador Award …, The Irish Times describes Nuala as “rapidly developing a reputation as one of the next generation of female business leaders in the North.”, Nuala is a frequent participant in expert panel line-ups across the corporate sector and avid champion of female health and equality. 2017 saw Nuala host a fireside chat with two of the most influential women in tech; Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook in London and Sarah Friar CFO of Square in her home city Belfast.

Nuala graduated with an honours degree in Applied Languages and Linguistics with French from the University of Manchester Institute of Science and Technology and studied at the prestigious Universite de Geneve followed by a year placement in Sanofi Aventis HQ in Paris.

 

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Dr. Chandra Mohan Kumar MBBS, MD, PGDAP, MAMS
Chief Consultant Paediatrics and Adolescent Medicine

Professor and Head, Paediatrics, Hamdard Institute of Medical Sciences & Research and Associated HAH Centenary Hospital, New Delhi (India)

He is a clinician, academician, and a passionate child rights activist. After completing
his graduation from Calcutta National Medical College, Calcutta, and specialty
training in Paediatrics he did get opportunity to work in different states helping in
gaining diverse experiences. He worked in government as well as private hospitals
and institutions located in both urban and rural settings of West Bengal, Odisha,
Uttar Pradesh, Telangana, Andhra Pradesh, Haryana, and Delhi. His areas of interest
are Neonatology and Adolescent Health. He has been a teacher for more than 15
years having got opportunity to teach and train thousands of undergraduate and
many postgraduates too. He has more than 25 publications to his credit and has
been a reviewer for many journals which include Indian Pediatrics, BMJ and Journal of
Tropical Pediatrics. He has been involved in research projects including vaccinology
research too. Currently he is a Co-PI of National Surveillance System for Enteric Fever
in India and has been PI for vaccine immunogenicity, efficacy, and safety trials for
Rotavirus vaccine, Pentavalent Vaccine, and Pneumococcus vaccines.
He is an executive board member of Indian Pediatrics. He has been an active member
of IAP and has served as Executive Member (2017) of IAP Delhi State. He is a
member of the Adolescent Health Academy and been part of it’s executive too. He is an
elected member of National Academy of Medical Sciences of India.
He is an avid cricket fan and his other hobbies are debating and quizzing. Issues
pertaining to maternal and child health are very close to his heart.

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Linos Muvhu (Zimbabwe)

I am a passionate and committed Maternal Mental Health advocate in Zimbabwe and beyond.

I was born in Ndanga area in Masvingo Province, Zaka District in Zimbabwe.

My upbringing was in a typical Shona village, with typical Shona values, morals, norms, standards, cultural practices, and entertainment. It was a culture I fully assimilated and was to use
effectively to reach my destiny. In the process of soaking myself in my people’s way of life, I trained with Connect (Zimbabwe Institute of
Systemic Family Therapy) as a Systemic Counsellor.

In 2008, I enrolled for an Advanced Diploma In family Therapy with Connect for two (2) years. Because of my passion, highly committed and
dedication to helping people to solve mental health problems that troubling them, at the age of 25 (twenty-five) I decided to register SPANS to implement programmes aimed at supporting the National Health Strategy through the provision of education, ongoing supportive family therapy/Counselling, and psychological support Services to the reproductive age group and the entire community.

In 2016, with the support from the Ministry of Health and Child care in Zimbabwe and other team members, I initiated the International
Conference on Maternal Mental Health in Africa (ICAMMHA).

In 2016 I led a team that initiated International Conference on Maternal Mental Health in Africa (ICAMMHA) and contributed immensely on its success. Currently, I am the Chairman of ICAMMHA and the Chief Team Leader for Society for Pre and Post Natal services the host of the ICAMMHA.

Currently, SPANS initiated a program Maternal (Perinatal), Child and Family Mental Health in Zimbabwe. I am very committed and passionate
to push mental health issues in Africa.