Richard Daniel Curtis

CEO, The Mental Health Tick & The Root Of It

Richard comes from a background in mental health nursing and teaching. He set up The Root Of It in 2013 to provide consultancy and training in the sector. The team run the Mental Health Awareness Programme, a suite of training programmes designed to ensure that staff in any organisation have access to mental health awareness.

The team also run The Mentoring School, delivering qualifications and courses for mentors in different sectors. Richard is chair of the National Special Educational Needs and Disability Awards. His specialist interest is in the development of social and emotional skills and the impact on mental health.

He is a parent to two young children and completing his Psychology PhD in his spare time.

Nick Maguire

Associate Professor, School of Psychology, University of Southampton

Alison Bennetts

Senior Teaching Fellow, School of Psychology, University of Southampton

Dr Alison Bennetts is a qualified Clinical Psychologist employed in both academia and clinical practice. Working in healthcare settings for over 10 years, she has a specialist interest in transdiagnostic and holistic, mind-body approaches to mental health and wellbeing.

Jessica Thom

Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Programme Director, NHS Surrey and the Borders

Jessica, is an experienced public sector commissioner who has specialised in children & young people’s mental health and the wider children’s services. Starting her career in the voluntary and community sector, she has focused undertaking roles and projects that focus on improving outcomes for children and young people through transformation and user involvement. She has continued to champion local services and mental health awareness through her work and volunteering. Academically Jessica has a BSc and MSc honours in Psychology and is currently working for NHS Surrey and Borders Trust as the Emotional Wellbeing & Mental Health Programme Director.

Tess Peters

Tessa is the Founder & CEO of the charity Been There. Been There supports people with body image issues by pairing them through an app with a vetted and trained Mentor who has relatable experience. Tessa set this up in response to her own battle with an eating disorder for 11 years. She desperately searched for help from someone who had gone through something similar and understood. After trying many different forms of professional help, she eventually found her Mentor, which was life changing for her. Being able to feel safe and speak freely without judgment enabled her to no longer feel so ashamed or alone.

Tessa has worked on Superyachts as a Sous and Crew Chef for most of her career and managed a number of and large scale events including CarFest and Frieze Festival, before embarking upon creating Been There with the purposeful aim of supporting people struggling with their body image and related mental health issues that are so prevalent in today’s society.

Tessa’s mission is to encourage self-acceptance and self-worth in everyBODY; Been There and its 1-to-1 mentoring service is bringing the solution to help those in need. Tessa wants no one to ever feel alone and encourages us all to help each other more