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June 2021

Two new trustees join Think Ahead’s Board

We have been delighted to welcome two new additions to our Board of Trustees, Levi Chambers-Cook and Professor Kamaldeep Bhui.

Levi completed the Think Ahead programme in 2018 and is the first member of our alumni network to sit on the Board of Trustees. Her frontline experience will bring an important perspective to the position, adding useful insight to discussions on priority issues affecting social workers and the people with lived experience of mental health problems that they work with.

Commenting on her appointment, Levi said: “I am really excited to become a trustee for Think Ahead and never imagined I’d join the board when I started as a trainee. I am a huge advocate for the programme and look forward to representing the Think Ahead participants, past and present, and supporting the charity as it continues to grow from strength to strength.”

Psychiatrist and psychotherapist Kamaldeep brings a wealth of expertise from his longstanding career which has been dedicated to tackling mental health inequalities and improving services.

Kamaldeep said: “I am delighted and honoured to join Think Ahead’s Board of Trustees. Think Ahead makes a vital contribution to supporting mental health services and empowering those with the most severe mental illnesses to lead more fulfilling lives. Social interventions are amongst the most powerful to protect and promote mental health and social workers are essential for more effective prevention and care. I am especially keen to ensure social inequalities are tackled and that diverse communities enter the profession. I look forward to working with my fellow trustees to continue to expand and build on the impact of this incredible organisation.”

Alongside the other Board members, Levi and Kamaldeep will be responsible for determining Think Ahead’s long-term direction, furthering the charity’s objectives, and ensuring that it is effectively and properly run.

Read on to find out more about them:

Professor Bhui CBE MD FRCPsych FRCP(E) FRSA PFHEA holds a wide range of roles across mental health, research, and academia. He is Professor of Psychiatry at the Department of Psychiatry and Nuffield Department of Primary Health Care Sciences at the University of Oxford, Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at East London NHS Foundation Trust, and Honorary Professor at the Centre for Psychiatry, Barts & the London School of Medicine and Dentistry, at Queen Mary University of London; he is Chair of the Publications Management Board and Editor in Chief of the British Journal of Psychiatry at the Royal College of Psychiatrists.

Kamaldeep has a strong interest in preventing health inequalities and improving mental health services for diverse communities. Some of his current research projects focus on multimorbidity (the presence of two or more long-term conditions) and ethnicity, and ethnic inequalities in experiences and outcomes of severe mental illness.

Having initially studied Pharmacology at University College London and Medicine at what is now King’s College London, Kamaldeep also holds postgraduate qualifications in psychiatry, mental health studies, epidemiology, and psychotherapy. He is a founder and former trustee of the international mental health charity Careif and current trustee of the Centre for Mental Health.

Ms Chambers-Cook was a participant on the Think Ahead programme from 2016 to 2018, joining in our very first year. She started her social work training with South West London and St George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, and has since moved to Manchester where she continues to practise as a mental health social worker. Working in a Community Mental Health Team, Levi supports people experiencing a range of severe mental health problems, such as psychosis, personality disorders, and eating disorders.

Levi is currently training to become an Approved Mental Health Professional at the University of Manchester. This specialist training will give her added responsibilities, for example to determine whether an individual needs to be temporarily detained in hospital for treatment under the Mental Health Act.

Before joining Think Ahead, Levi completed an undergraduate degree in English Literature at Loughborough University, and worked for a pharmaceutical recruitment company.