Our Advisors

GenMH is lucky to have a board of expert advisors to help us develop the best experience possible for our Fellows and our host organisations. 

We are continuing to grow this board as we develop. 

Dr. Harvey Whiteford

Professor Whiteford leads the Policy and Epidemiology Group at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research which has a research program in psychiatric epidemiology, burden of disease, mental health policy analysis and the reform of mental health services. He has held senior clinical and administrative positions, including those of Director of Mental Health in the Queensland and Federal governments in Australia. He worked for ten years on the design and implementation of Australia’s Mental Health Strategy and was Chairman of the Working Group which oversaw this initiative. In 1999 he was appointed to the first mental health position in the World Bank in Washington DC with the task of developing the Bank’s capacity to respond to the rising global burden of mental, neurological and substance use disorders.

Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni

Dr. Abhijit Nadkarni is a general adult and addictions psychiatrist trained in India and the UK. Having completed his medical degree and a specialized degree in psychiatry in Goa, India; he further pursued his post graduate training in General Adult and Addictions Psychiatry under the South London and Maudsley training scheme in UK. He then earned a Masters in Mental Health Services Research from the Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College, London and did his PhD studies at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. His research interests encompass global mental health, and particularly alcohol use disorders in India. He is actively involved in the capacity building of mental health researchers and lay health workers across India and other parts of the developing world. He is an Associate Professor of Global Mental Health at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, UK and Co-Director of the Addictions Research Group at Sangath, Goa.

Dr. Fiona Jayne Charlson

Dr Fiona Charlson is a Post-Doctoral Research Fellow specialised in Global Mental Health. She holds an affiliate position with the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington for her ongoing work on the Global Burden of Disease Studies. Dr Charlson's PhD focused on the epidemiology and burden of mental disorders in conflict-affected populations and she now consults internationally on this topic. She received her undergraduate degree in pharmacy at the University of Queensland and has completed a Masters in International Public Health. Dr Charlson has over 20 years of experience in Australia, New Zealand, Hong Kong, Geneva, Africa, South East Asia and the Islands of the South Pacific and maintains several international research partnerships addressing mental health in developing countries.

Dr. Crick Lund

Dr. Crick Lund is a Professor of Global Mental Health and Development in the Centre for Global Mental Health, King’s College London, and Professor in the Alan J. Flisher Centre for Public Mental Health, University of Cape Town. He is the CEO of the Programme for improving mental health care (PRIME), a DFID funded research consortium focusing on the integration of mental health into primary care in low resource settings in five countries. He trained as a clinical psychologist at the University of Cape Town and was subsequently involved in developing post-apartheid norms for mental health services for the national Department of Health. He worked for WHO from 2000-2005, on the development of the WHO Mental Health Policy and Service Guidance Package, and has consulted to several countries on mental health policy and planning. His research interests lie in mental health policy, service planning and the relationship between poverty and mental health in low and middle-income countries.

Shin Daimyo 

Shin Daimyo most recently acted as Senior Advisor for Mental Health at Partners In Health, providing key service delivery, training, research, strategy, management, and capacity building advisement for PIH’s mental health teams throughout the world. He managed the scale up of integrated community based mental health services into 11 district hospitals serving 1.3 million people in the Central Plateau and Artibonite region of Haiti, and acted as Co-Investigator for the scale up of integrated mental health services and mentoring and supervision of health center nurses in the Burera District of Rwanda. He also provided advisement for the creation and integration of community based mental health systems into the public sector primary care systems of Lesotho, Malawi, Peru, Mexico, and Russia. Shin is a graduate of the Yale School of Nursing and is a board certified Psychiatric-Mental Health Nurse Practitioner in the State of Pennsylvania. He currently acts as a psychiatric nurse practitioner for Project HOME, a nonprofit in Philadelphia aimed at eliminating chronic homelessness through sustainable housing, education, medical care, and employment. 

Iregi Mwenja

Iregi Mwenja is a mental health advocate who has over 3 decades of lived experience.  He grew up in rural Africa where faced the unbearable social challenges of growing up with undiagnosed ADHD. He received his diagnosis as an adult, a revelation that became a turning point in his life. Though an accomplished wildlife biologist, he left a well-paying job as a Country Director of an International NGO to establish a mental health non-profit - Psychiatric Disability Organization (PDO). PDO works to foster mental healthcare and advance the rights of people with mental illness focusing more on the socially disadvantaged in his community in Nakuru, Kenya. Through his organization, thousands of Kenyans have received free diagnosis and treatment, and the much-needed social support for those in recovery or those rejected or ostracized by society or their families. Iregi was a Mental Health Speaker at the 43rd UNAIDS Board meeting in Geneva. He is an Acumen Fellow and the Executive Committee member of the Global Mental Health Peer Network.

Dr Laura Davidson

Dr. Laura Davidson is a London Barrister and a noted authority on mental health and capacity matters, human rights, and disability law. She is a regular visiting Academic Fellow in the law faculty at the University of Cape Town, and has undertaken research on psychosocial disability and trauma in northern Uganda. She is also an international development consultant, including drafting mental health legislation in Rwanda and advising on disability law in Zimbabwe. 

Peer Advisory Board

At GenMH we believe that young people's perspectives are vital in creating a program that serves the needs of young people. 

We want young people to be involved in every step of GenMH's development and execution, and we are excited to recruit a board of peer advisors to help us with this. 

Scroll down to see who our Peer Advisors are:

 

Suhailah Ali

Suhailah Ali is a PhD candidate in the field of mental health epidemiology at the University of Queensland, with Dr. Fiona Charlson as her principal advisor. She completed her undergraduate degree in biological sciences at the University of East Anglia, United Kingdom and then went on to complete her MPhil in neuroscience at the Queensland Brain Institute, investigating the neurobiological mechanisms underpinning schizophrenia. Her PhD project is aimed at better understanding the excess mortality observed in people with severe mental disorders. She is originally from Fiji and also endeavours to promote mental health in the Pacific and other developing regions.

Kawa-Malhi Paul

Kawa-Malhi Paul is a Manager of a Community Mental Health Clinic in Charrier, Cap-Haitian, Haiti. Kawa grew up in Limonade, Haiti and became passionate about helping others. As an adult he was inspired to work in the mental health field after learning about what counselling and therapy can do for people who are facing mental health challenges.

 

In the future, Kawa is looking forward to continuing his studies, possibly in the United States. His dream is to continue helping others by becoming a licensed mental health clinician. Kawa speaks Hatian Creole, French and English.

Jemma Moody

Jemma Moody is a social worker and TCTSY Facilitator from Australia specialising in body-based trauma interventions and programs for children, young people and adults. Jemma holds a Masters of Social Work from Deakin University, Australia, is a Trauma Center Trauma Sensitive Yoga Facilitator (TCTSY-F) accredited through the Centre for Trauma and Embodiment in Boston, USA and a certified hatha yoga teacher.

Jemma specialises in cross-cultural mental health social work and has delivered MHPSS programs in Turkey, Greece, India and is currently based in Myanmar. Her expertise spans survivors of trauma, sexual and gender-based violence and refugee and migrant communities. She is an advocate for accessibility and trauma-informed practice in mental healthcare and is passionate about the incorporation of somatic interventions to address and prevent mental health issues and improve wellbeing.

Shagufa Habibi

Shagufa Habibi recently graduated from her undergraduate course in Economics with a minor in Development Studies at the Asian University for Women in Bangladesh and is originally from Afghanistan.

In her life, sports such as basketball and golf, have inspired her to reach her goals. She spent three years teaching computer skills to children in Bangladesh and recently completed a six month internship with the Integrative Medicine Program at Boston Medical Center where she helped patients with healthy behavior change. As a young economist, she is keen to study International Business and Economics in graduate school. Shagufa wants to develop innovative solutions to the issues Afghan women face, such as early marriage for brides. She is confident she can create change by involving girls in sports to empower their dreams. Shagufa speaks Farsi and English.

Kara Jaeschke

Kara Jaeschke is a PhD candidate in the field of mental health policy and epidemiology at the Queensland Centre for Mental Health Research and the University of Queensland, with Dr. Fiona Charlson as her advisor.

 

Kara’s PhD aims to quantify how many people in the world are being treated for mental illness. Kara has interned with the World Health Organisation’s Mental Health and Substance Abuse Team and subsequently established a collaborative project investigating mental health service coverage using the WHO Mental Health Atlas.

Esmeralda Altmeyer 

Esmeralda holds a B.A. in International Relations and Social Sciences from the University of Erfurt, Germany. She focuses on the nexus of gender and politics to mental health treatment. As an activist she writes about gendered mental health treatment in Germany, aiming to improve the access to gender-sensitive and holistic treatment, particularly for survivors of gendered violence.

Professionally, she has worked on youth and gender projects in the Arab region with the United Nations. Engaging in gender in conflict projects on Eastern Europe has led her to learn about mental health issues in conflict. She cares to make mental health treatment more accessible, sensitive and inclusive. Esmeralda speaks German, English, Spanish and is learning Arabic. 

Damian Omar

Damian is a final year Medical Psychology undergraduate student at Moi University, School of Medicine with plans to graduate in August 2020 and is a mental health advocate in Kenya. He is a young leader for the Lancet Campaign on Global Mental Health and Sustainable Development. He has volunteered with the Young Professionals Chronic Disease Network, YPCDN in implementing heart2heart project and he is part of the team that started the rheumatic heart disease support group at the Chandaria Cancer Centre, Eldoret. Damian is also a sexual reproductive health youth champion with DSW-Kenya. He is working on the Mental Health; Unveiling the Mask project (targeting college youth) in Kenya with support from @mymindourhumanity and young leader Laura Mwangi as well as community based organizations (growth catalysts and believe mental health-Africa). He is also a health advocate with One Health East and Central Africa, OHCEA. He is passionate about mental health, research, health policy and human rights. Damian recently earned a diploma in Mental Health, Human Rights & amp; Recovery from the WHO. Damian speaks Swahili and English. 

Lahmea Navaratnerajah

Lahmea Navaratnerajah is a Master of Public Health Candidate in the area of Social and Behavioural Health Sciences at City, University of London. She completed her undergraduate studies at the University of Toronto with a double major in Human Biology and Mental Health. In her time at the Canadian Mental Health Association, Lahmea worked with various refugee, immigrant and marginalized communities within the Greater Toronto Area. She aims to understand and promote mental health services for victims of trauma, refugees and those displaced, with the aim of creating awareness and reducing stigma among these communities.

Matthew Batson

Matthew Batson is a practicing Clinical Psychologist in Trinidad & Tobago. He is committed to providing access to mental health to all persons, and reducing the stigma that surrounds this. Matthew has spent years working with vulnerable youth and children including areas of sexuality, gender, trauma, migration and the humanitarian context. Matthew’s work in mental health won him the Queen’s Young Leader award in 2017, an award given to inspiring leaders across the Commonwealth. Matthew’s research and areas of passion lay in areas of creativity & expression. He aims to study the unique coping strategies and how they are related to creative expression. Matthew enjoys building systems and structures that provide access to sustainable, diverse and community driven programs.

Matthew currently designs and develops psychosocial programs for migrant and refugee children, and by extension their families. Matthew’s guiding philosophy, is that all people are inherently good – and thus deserve universal access.

Pavel Reppo

Pavel Reppo is passionate about fostering opportunities for sustainable positive change. He is a proud founder and previous CEO of The Wayfaring Band, an organization that creates travel opportunities for adults experiencing intellectual disabilities, and leadership fellows, facilitating an inclusive culture built on the principle of mutual aid. Pavel is a native of Belarus and an avid traveler who has worked directly with orphaned youth and children living in slums in Uganda.

 

Most recently, he has launched Finemind, an initiative that offers people what they need to recover from common mental disorders by empowering local people to bridge the mental health treatment gap. Finemind is currently working in post-conflict Agago District, northern Uganda. When not working to affect change, Pavel likes to both make and eat omelettes.

Tejaswi Shetty

Tejaswi Shetty is a mental health practitioner based in Mumbai, India and has been working in the field for over 4 years. She has completed her Masters in Psychology from University of Mumbai, followed by the ‘International Diploma in Mental Health, Human Rights, and Law’ with Indian Law Society & the World Health Organisation. She has been involved in providing mental health care in diverse settings (a community based clinic, a low income school, and hospital). Her current work at a paediatric hospital centres around children and their families with illnesses or NCDs who have co-morbid psychological problems. She is also coordinator for a hospital-wide program implementing family-centred care. Tejaswi is a trained Narrative therapy practitioner and believes in a right based, inter-sectional approach to mental health. She has an interest in designing large impact interventions and strengthening mental health systems in community settings. She also has a special interest in the intersection between physical and mental health, especially in children and adolescents.

Interested in being a part of Generation Mental Health's work?