jonny benjamin - thinkwell Ambassador

Jonny began making films about mental health on YouTube in 2010. His films have since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times. In 2012 Jonny began his career in television working for a production company in Manchester. He later progressed and became a reporter on a BBC Three documentary about mental illness. He had a book of his poetry, Pill After Pill, published. Jonny now specialises in producing cross platform content that engages with social change and advising on implementation of social media in communications.

SAM FORSDIKE- CREATIVE DIRECTOR

Since graduating in 2006, Sam has forged a successful career as a film producer. Working as a freelance documentary-maker, he set up Postcard Productions with Richard Bentley in 2010 to make film content that matters. He has produced and directed more than 100 films for a range of clients including educational content for mental health charities such as Rethink Mental Illness, Mind, Royal College of Psychiatrists and Time To Change. In 2015 he directed the Grierson-nominated documentary Stranger on the Bridge for Channel 4.

In addition to his film career, Sam has been a Project Worker for a north London homeless charity providing welfare support to guests of their winter night shelter, managing a weekly drop-in centre and developing a Jobs Club to assist those experiencing homelessness in securing appropriate employment.

Sam has a proven track record in pioneering innovative projects across a range of sectors that have at their heart a drive for social change. He has overseen the development of ThinkWell and is responsible for the creative content of Pixel Learning.

HELEN KNIGHT- LEAD THERAPIST

Helen is a trained mental health nurse and cognitive behaviour therapist. She has over 30 years’ experience of working in Child and Adolescent Mental Health for the NHS. She is registered with the Nursing and Midwifery Council and a member of the Royal College of Nursing and the British Association for Behavioural and Cognitive Psychotherapies.  

Helen was instrumental in rolling out the Targeted Mental in Schools Project (TAMHS) and Children and Young Person Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (CY-IAPT) in Southwark . She has worked extensively in primary, secondary and special schools in the state sector and currently provides a CAMHS service to an independent girls' school.

I have worked in mental health services for the NHS and voluntary sector for many years, providing expert support in communities, state and independent schools.  Many young people often reach treatment only after experiencing long periods of distress and unhappiness. Many don’t receive early intervention and fear being stigmatised by their peers, family and society. This can make their recovery from illness longer and more painful.

The ThinkWell workshop offers a safe, informative space for young people with different learning styles to explore and consider their mental health and wellbeing.  Jonny Benjamin’s powerful story helps break down myths and challenge preconceptions in a fun, positive environment. Group activities ensure that individuals are not singled out.  The provision of an on-site therapist for every session means that professional support is always there if it’s needed.

The message of encouraging young people to speak out if they are suffering is the right, healthy thing to do, and ThinkWell provides clear signposts to the appropriate agencies.

LOUISE MCNESTRIE - WORKSHOP LEADER

Louise obtained her QTLS in 2013 and her Youth and Community Studies Diploma in 2008. Since 2002. Louise has been working with young people in a number of settings including young refugee projects, local outreach, youth participation and community development. Louise was a founding member of the Lambeth Youth Council and has since gone on to develop many more youth participation and development projects across London and the UK. Louise has worked with young people aged 11-24 in both formal and informal settings obtaining a grade 1 in her last class observation.

PETRA NUNZI - WORKSHOP LEADER

Petra is a Co-Active Coach and Counsellor who is a member of the International Coach Federation and BACP Register. She holds an MSc in Psychodynamics of Human Development and has an extensive background in youth work and the mental health field. Petra regularly facilitates workshops in secondary schools and parent groups on topics around family, mental health, well-being, happiness and fulfilment.  Petra has worked for charities such as YoungMinds - campaigning for better mental health services and currently manages a free telephone counselling service for under 25s at Get Connected.

I've had the privilege of talking to young people all across the UK who would like mental health to be on their curriculum and who believe that talking about mental health will help them cope when life gets difficult. ThinkWell plays a part in starting the conversation and allowing young people to realise that they are not alone. It gives young people the experience of talking about their mental health and realising that this is the first step to getting the help they need.  

STEVEN SMITH - WORKSHOP LEADER

Steven has worked with charities for over 10 years, specialising in youth work, mental health and LGBT inclusion. In a varied portfolio of roles, he has managed projects in schools around anti-bullying, trained young people to support peers around mental health issues and created resources to look after the wellbeing of young people living in supported accommodation.

In addition to work within the charity sector, Steven is a musician and teaches in primary schools and community settings. He uses as music as a tool to build confidence and explore issues with a variety of different groups from children and young people, to people with disabilities and dementia patients.

ThinkWell is harnessing the power of a thought-provoking and moving documentary to tackle a topic that needs to be discussed in schools. It is opening the door for young people to access the support they may need.

SUE RICHARDS-GRAY - THERAPIST

Sue is a qualified Educational Psychotherapist accredited by UKCP. Sue has been working with young people individually and in groups for the past 15 years. Sue has over 30 years' experience in the education sector; teaching in mainstream and special needs settings as Head of Early Years and as a Senior Manager. Sue developed a 'One Stop Shop' multi-agency intervention in a special school to link agencies working with troubled young people.  Alongside her ThinkWell work, Sue also develops and delivers multi-family therapy groups in schools for the social enterprise, The School and Family Works.

I am very excited about Pixel Learning and the ThinkWell workshop. I believe that this is a much needed intervention opening up mental health issues to young people and giving them an easy way into acknowledging and discussing their concerns. ThinkWell relates clearly to accessible communication forms - film and social media - and has a genuine empathetic energy.