Council Members


Prof Eamon McCrory

Professor Eamon McCrory is Professor of Developmental Neuroscience and Psychopathology at UCL where he co-directs the Developmental Risk and Resilience Unit.His research focuses on early adversity and behavioural problems in childhood.Using brain imaging and psychological approaches, Professor McCrory investigates the mechanisms associated with developmental adversity and resilience with focus on the impact of maltreatment on children’s future mental health.

David Trickey

David Trickey is a Consultant Clinical Psychologist who has specialised in working with traumatised and bereaved children, young people, and families for more than 20 years. He continues to focus on direct clinical work, as well as the training and supervision of other practitioners. He routinely acts as an expert witness in civil and criminal cases and in 2018 was part of the NICE committee to revise guidelines on PTSD.

Council Members

Prof Alastair Black

Professor Alastair Black is a Consultant Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist.  He is the Clinical Lead for Child and Young Person Trauma in the Belfast Health and Social Care Trust’s Psychological Services and part of the Regional Trauma Network.  Alastair leads the Children and Young People’s Trauma Service.  This service provides specialist trauma consultation, supervision, training and joint treatment collaboratively with a wide range of clinical teams across the Belfast Trust.

Alastair is a BABCP Accredited Cognitive Behavioural Psychotherapist, Accredited BABCP Clinical Trainer and BABCP Accredited Clinical Supervisor.  He is an UKCP Registered Psychotherapist and an EMDR Europe Approved Adult Consultant, EMDR Europe Approved Child Consultant and EMDR International Association Training Facilitator.

Alastair believes strongly in the importance of evidence based approaches combined with child and young person centred practice that is developmentally informed.  He has a special interest in the area of ‘man made’ traumas including the impact of terrorism and conflict and teaches on a number of courses, lectures nationally and internationally and has provided consultations to a range of government bodies on psychological trauma.

Prof Claudia Bernard

Claudia Bernard is a Professor of social work at Goldsmiths, University of London.  She is a qualified social worker and has worked in the practice, policy, and academic fields for several years. Claudia’s research generally falls in the area of child abuse and neglect, with a particular focus on racially minoritised children.  An interest in trauma-informed approaches and in particular racial trauma as a safeguarding issue is at the heart of her work. Claudia has written widely on these topics and has edited the book  Safeguarding Black Children: Good Practice in Child Protection (2016).

Professor Bernard has a deep commitment to enabling children and young people’s participation in research – for example, including projects such as Ethical Issues in Researching Black Teenage Mothers with Harmful Childhood Histories: Marginal Voices (2013); How Black Girls navigate the Physical and Emotional Landscape of the Neighbourhood: Normalized Violence and Strategic Agency (2021); and more recently, a study that examined Racially Minoritized Youth Perspectives on the Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on the Well-Being and Resilience of Black and Asian Children (2023).  Her most recent book, Intersectionality for Social Workers: Theory and Practice (2022) addresses how multiple and intersecting inequalities affect the psychological safety and physical well-being of marginalised groups. Claudia also has a strong commitment to linking research and practice and in particular, in getting research messages to policy-makers and practitioners.  In terms of knowledge exchange, she has worked in partnership with several public sector organisations, most recently, delivering a programme of research on safeguarding children in affluent families in the City of London Corporation.

Dr Jala Rizeq

Dr Jala Rizeq is a Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Glasgow.  Prior to joining the Mental Health and Wellbeing group in 2021, Jala completed a postdoctoral fellowship at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, where she conducted clinical work and research with a particular focus on families’ mental health and wellbeing during COVID-19. Jala’s primary research focus is on mental health outcomes as a function of early stress and trauma.  In her research, Jala hopes to delineate the diverse developmental pathways to serious mental health difficulties and disparities in young people.


Dr Rochelle Burgess

Rochelle Burgess is Associate Professor in Global Health at the Institute for Global Health at UCL. For the past 10 years she has worked on global health issues with an emphasis on community participation and qualitative methodologies. She is interested in the promotion of community approaches to health globally, and views communities as a route to studying the interface between health concerns and broader development issues such as poverty, power, systems of governance, and community mobilisation (civil society). For more than a decade she has researched community mental health care systems and their capacity to respond to the needs of marginalised groups, including HIV/AIDS affected women living in poverty in South Africa (since 2007), and Black and Minority Ethnic groups in South West London (since 2013). She is currently co-PI of a study exploring the post-conflict mental health needs of internally displaced communities in Colombia with an emphasis on female ex-combatants and the Afro-Caribbean community. She is also developing new projects on the mental health consequences of child marriage in the SADC region, alongside colleagues from the African Union.

Prof Andrea Danese

Andrea Danese is Professor of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, King’s College London. Research from his team has led to highly-cited publications on the measurement of childhood trauma, risk factors for trauma exposure, biological mechanisms through which trauma affects later health, mechanisms of resilience, modelling of individualised risk prediction for trauma-related psychopathology, and the epidemiology of child trauma and trauma-related psychopathology. Professor Danese is an active clinician working as Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist at the National & Specialist CAMHS Clinic for Trauma, Anxiety, and Depression, South London & Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust. He is also the Academic Secretary for the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ Faculty of Child & Adolescent Psychiatry.

Dr Sarah Davidson

Sarah Davidson is Head of Psychosocial and Mental Health at the British Red Cross.

Sarah has over 30 years of experience within the British Red Cross, including elected member of the Board of Trustees (2001 – 2007), Vice Chairman (2004-2007), Psychosocial Advisor (2008 – 2013) and Head of Psychosocial (2013-2019). She is also a Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the Tavistock and Portman NHS Foundation Trust specialising in work with children and families, and delivering consultation to various multi-disciplinary teams across the UK and Ireland. She has previously chaired the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent’s (IFRC’s) European Network of Psychosocial Support and Co-Chaired the IFRC’s Psychosocial Research Network. She is currently the Vice Chair of The Listening Place and was previously Vice Chair of the National Children’s Bureau.

Dr Michael Duffy

Dr Michael Duffy is a Senior Lecturer and Director of the Specialist MSc in Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (Trauma) at Queen’s University Belfast. He is a Cognitive Psychotherapist specialising in PTSD and complex grief. He leads the QUB Trauma Research Network; is a Fellow of the Centre for Evidence and Social Innovation; Associate Fellow of the George J Mitchell Institute for Global Peace Security & Justice and Fellow of the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapy. He is a research advisor to the Northern Ireland Regional Trauma Network. He led the work of the Trauma team after the Omagh bombing in 1998 and published large, school-based studies into the psychological effects of this event on children and adolescents. He later was Team Leader at the Northern Ireland Centre for Trauma (NICTT) and has provided many workshops on PTSD after large scale traumas including: 2004, New York the 9/11 Twin Towers attack; 2005, 7/7 London bombings; 2012 Oslo bombing and Utoya Island shootings; 2017, the Manchester Concert bomb. His main research area is on PTSD and evidence-based psychological interventions. His current research is on PTSD with children who have been maltreated or abused and cognitive therapy for complex grief.

Dr Sandra Ferguson

Dr Sandra Ferguson is Associate Director of Psychology and Head of Programme for the Trauma Training Framework at NHS Education for Scotland.

Sandra currently leads the workstreams for The National Trauma Training Strategy commissioned by the Scottish Government. In her previous role as a Consultant Clinical Psychologist Sandra had a specialist interest in complex trauma, particularly domestic and childhood abuse, and has developed and researched interventions for survivors.

Anna Feuchtwang

Anna Feuchtwang is Chief Executive of the National Children’s Bureau. Alongside this role, she is Chair of the End Child Poverty Coalition, a Commissioner on the Fawcett Commission on Gender Stereotyping in Early Childhood, a member of the Nominations Committee for the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, co-Chair of the Lambeth Early Action Partnership (LEAP) Board. In addition, Anna is a strategic advisor to the board of Juconi: a specialist charity in Mexico working with highly excluded children.

Before joining NCB in September 2014, Anna was the Chief Executive of EveryChild and a founder of Family for Every Child, a membership organisation for national civil society organisations providing care and protection for children.

Anna has worked in international development for most of her career. She was Oxfam’s Head of Communications, the Chair of ActionAid UK and Chair of Bond, the membership organisation for the UK’s international development organisations.

After working for Oxfam, Anna became Director of Communications and Public Affairs at the Association of London Government where she worked with London’s 33 authorities on child protection issues following the Victoria Climbie case and the introduction of Every Child Matters legislation.

Prof Sarah Halligan

Sarah Halligan is Professor of Child and Family Mental Health at the University of Bath.

Sarah’s research examines the development of psychological disorders, particularly post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and depression, with a focus on young people. In the PTSD field, Professor Halligan has studied the cognitive-behavioural, biological and social factors that contribute to disorder following trauma exposure, working with both national and international populations. She is particularly interested to learn how parents and others can support children and adolescents who are struggling with mental health problems, and to identify potential intervention targets.

Prof Ann John

Ann John, a public health trained former General Practitioner, is a Professor of Public Health and Psychiatry at Swansea University Medical School with a research focus on suicide and self-harm prevention and children and young people’s mental health.

She is a Principal Investigator at the National Centre for Mental Health and Co-Director of DATAMIND, the Health Data Research UK Hub for Mental Health. During the pandemic Ann co-led a number of pivotal projects in the field including the Living Systematic Review.

Ann works across sectors translating research into evidence-based practice and policy to prevent suicide and self-harm. She played a key role in the development of Wales National Suicide and Self-harm Prevention Strategy, UK Cluster Guidance, UK Postvention Framework in Higher Education and leads the Suicide Information Database-Wales.

Ann chairs the National Advisory Group to Welsh Government and co-chairs the Cross- Government Group on suicide and self-harm prevention, and is the national lead for suicide prevention for Public Health Wales. She has worked on a number of major TV storylines from Eastenders, Coronation Street to the BBC’s This is Going to Hurt enabling the responsible depiction of suicidal behaviours. She is regularly called upon to provide advice to both Wales and UK Government.

Prof Richard Meiser-Stedman

Richard Meiser-Stedman is a Professor of Clinical Psychology at the University of East Anglia, having joined the university in 2014. Richard’s primary research interest is PTSD in children and adolescents. He completed his PhD and trained as a clinical psychologist at the Institute of Psychiatry, Psychology and Neuroscience, KCL. Between these periods of study he was a Peggy Pollak Fellow in Developmental Psychiatry, also at the Institute. From 2009-2014 he was an MRC Clinician Scientist Fellow at the MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit in Cambridge. While there he led the ASPECTS study, looking at early treatment for PTSD in children and adolescents. He is currently an NIHR Career Development Fellow, through which he is leading a clinical trial that evaluates cognitive therapy as a treatment for PTSD in NHS child and adolescent mental health services.

Rebecca Regler

Rebecca Regler is an Expert by Experience and a member of the UK Trauma Council. She recently completed an MSc in Mental Health Recovery and Social Inclusion at the University of Hertfordshire and holds a BA (hons) degree in Social Work. She was a Committee member advising on the revision of the NICE guidelines on PTSD and is committed to using her lived experience to improving the lives of others impacted by trauma.


Dr John Simmonds, OBE

Dr John Simmonds, OBE, is Director of Policy, Research and Development at CoramBAAF. John is a qualified social worker and has substantial experience in child protection, family placement and residential care settings. John’s recent research has focused on unaccompanied asylum-seeking children in foster care with the Universities of York and Bedfordshire, a study of 100 women adopted from Hong Kong into the U.K. in the 1960s with the Institute of Psychiatry and a DfE-funded study on Special Guardianship with York University. John sits on the Adoption and Special Guardianship Leadership Board.

Dr Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is Reader in Clinical Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry at Kings College London, Consultant Clinical Psychologist at the CAMHS Trauma Anxiety and Depression Clinic, South London and Maudsley NHS Foundation Trust, London. Patrick’s collaborative research has focused on understanding children’s psychological reactions to trauma, and evaluating individual and group interventions for children and young people. He has published widely, and regularly teaches and trains other professionals.

Jaime Smith

Jaime Smith is the Director of the Mental Health and Wellbeing in Schools (MHWiS) programme at the Anna Freud National Centre for Children and Families (AFNCCF).

Jaime has worked with children and young people in education settings throughout her career, starting as a secondary teacher in London. Jaime has a wealth of experience of planning and running large scale projects and interventions into schools. At the NSPCC, for example, Jaime
established the School Service in London, managing and coordinating the delivery of safeguarding workshops into over 3,000 Primary Schools in London and the South East.
Since joining AFNCCF, Jaime has overseen the delivery of the first, second and now the national rollout phase of the Mental health Services and Schools and Colleges Link Programme which is due to reach over 20,000 schools over the next four years. As well as this she has led on the delivery of three other major government programmes that focus on young people’s mental health in schools, including the education for wellbeing research trials, a peer support training programme and the Mental Health Awareness in Secondary School training. Under Jaime’s direction the MHWiS Programme was established and the Schools in Mind in Network set up which has now engaged over 14,000 schools’ professionals. This network supports schools by working with them to provide resources and run events enabling them to transform the way they support children and young people with their mental health.

Dr Dave Williams

Dave Williams is a Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist and the Clinical Lead in the Strategic Programme for Mental Health in NHS Wales Executive. He advises the Welsh Chief Medical Officer and Welsh Government on Child Mental Health.

Dave has been a Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychiatrist in South East Wales since 1998. He currently provides psychiatric input as part of his team to children and young people with learning disabilities. He has developed integrated multi-agency services with local authorities, education and third and voluntary sector organisations in South East Wales, providing support to families and care leavers. His interest is in developing integrated services across disciplines, agencies and sectors, building networks and sharing good practice for the benefit of service users and staff, particularly the most disadvantaged. He has published research on alcohol withdrawal and a thirty year follow up of the Aberfan disaster survivors.

Dr Rachel Hiller

Rachel is an Associate Professor in Child & Adolescent Mental Health at University College London (UCL). She is also the Head of Postgraduate Studies at the Anna Freud Centre. Rachel is a member of the Board of Directors for the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies (ISTSS).

Rachel’s research focuses on complex child trauma and adversity, with a particular focus on the mental health and wellbeing of children who have a social worker (including those who are in care). Her work here spans investigating psychological and social mechanisms linking trauma and adversity to mental health, as well as the effectiveness and implementation of scalable interventions across social care and mental health settings.

Past members

Dr Marc Boaz (formally Bush)

Dr Marc Boaz (formally Bush) is co-Director of Human-Experience, an associate Director of YoungMinds, a Visiting Professor in Public Health at the University of Northampton and serves on the Disability Advisory Committee of the Equality & Human Rights Commission.

Marc has a background in research, policy, and practice change. He specialises in the fields of disability, mental health, and psychotraumatology; advising and working across Government, NGO and public sectors. Marc is a practicing Existential Psychotherapist and contributes to research and practice development in this field.

Prof Anke Ehlers

Anke Ehlers is Professor of Experimental Psychopathology at the University of Oxford and Co-Director of the Oxford Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma. Anke co-founded of the Centre for Anxiety Disorders and Trauma at the Maudsley Hospital in London and a Fellow of the British Academy, Academy of Medical Sciences, the German Academy of Sciences Leopoldina, and Academia Europaea. Her main research interests are the anxiety disorders, in particular posttraumatic stress disorder, panic disorder, and social phobia. In her experimental work, she has established cognitive and psychophysiological factors that maintain these disorders.

Dr Elaine Harrison

Dr Elaine Harrison, B.A., M.A., PhD, CPsychol, is a HPC Registered Consultant Clinical Psychologist working as a clinician since 1992. The primary focus of her work since 1999- in the Family Trauma Centre, a psychotherapy led Specialist Child and Adolescent Mental Health Service in Northern Ireland- has concentrated on intervention with children, young people and parents affected by exposure to significant traumatic events such as severe domestic abuse, suicide death, murder and rape. The Family Trauma Centre, established as a statutory response to children affected by exposure to Troubles-related events, has expanded over time, and now offers treatment to children, young people and families affected by trauma through war and conflict who are living as refugees or seeking asylum in Northern Ireland.

Elaine uses a variety of evidence-based interventions including EMDR, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and Systemically derived approaches. She has also offered training placements to numerous Trainee Clinical Psychologists over the past twenty years. She has contributed to research in the area of trauma, and has supervised, and is currently supervising, DClin research on Intergenerational Trauma. She has contributed to training on trauma and working cross-culturally or with difference in Northern Ireland throughout her career.

Pauline Mahon

Pauline Mahon is Consultant Child & Adolescent Psychotherapist at Western Health & Social Care Trust, Family and Child Care, Rossneal Therapy Services.

Pauline has worked extensively with children and families who have experienced either developmental trauma and/ or other types of traumatic events, including trauma related conflict in Northern Ireland.

Prof Helen Minnis

Prof Helen Minnis is Professor of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at the University of Glasgow. She has had a longstanding clinical and research focus on the psychiatric problems of abused and neglected children.  Currently her focus is on intervention research, including a randomised controlled trial of an infant mental health service for young children in foster care and a randomised controlled trial of Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy for primary school-aged children in adoptive or foster placements.  She is also conducting behavioural genetic research focussed on the role of abuse and neglect across the life-course.

Prof Bill Yule

Bill Yule was Professor Emeritus of Applied Child Psychology at the Institute of Psychiatry, King’s College London; qualified clinical psychologist; founding director of the Child Traumatic Stress Clinic in the Children’s Centre at the Maudsley Hospital in London; on the Board of Research and Implementation of the Children and War Foundation. Bill published extensively on traumatic stress in children.

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