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Key Speakers' Profiles

Professor Richard Warner.jpg

Professor Richard Warner, Director of Colorado Recovery, USA

Richard Warner is a British psychiatrist, anthropologist, and the director of Colorado Recovery, a program which provides intensive treatment for people with serious mental illness in Boulder, Colorado. He is also professor of psychiatry at the University of Colorado. For nearly 30 years, he was the medical director of the Mental Health Center of Boulder County where he and his colleagues developed an innovative and internationally recognized system of community psychiatric care. His research has focused on social and economic factors that affect outcome from mental disorder and on effective programs for the psychiatric treatment and rehabilitation for people with serious mental illness. He is the author of Recovery from Schizophrenia, third edition, Brunner-Routledge, 2004; The Environment of Schizophrenia, Brunner-Routledge, 2000; and, with Julian Leff, The Social Inclusion of People with Mental Illness, Cambridge University Press, 2006.  

  

Rachel Perkins.JPGDr Rachel Perkins, Consultant with the English Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change Programme 

Formerly Director of Quality Assurance and User Experience at South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Rachel Perkins is now: Chair of Equality 2025 Chair of Equality 2025 (the UK cross Government strategic advisory committee on issues relating to disabled people hosted by the  Department of Work and Pensions). A consultant with the ‘Implementing Recovery  through Organisational Change’ project team (a programme to help organizations to develop recovery-focused practice commissioned by the English Department of Health and delivered by a partnership between the NHS Confederation and Centre for Mental Health). A member of the English Mental Health Strategy Ministerial Advisory Group. Co-chair of the English Ministerial Working Group on Equalities in Mental Health. External advisory member of the UK Government Inter Ministerial Group on Disability Employment. She is also a long term user of mental health services and a member of National Mind External Relations Committee. 

In 2010 she was voted Mind Champion of the Year and awarded an OBE for services to mental health. In 2009 she was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to lead an independent review into how Government might better support people with mental health problems to gain work and prosper in employment. (Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition, DWP, December 2009). She has written and spoken widely about recovery and social inclusion for people with mental health conditions and has pioneered the UK development of programmes to help people with mental health difficulties to access employment and education based on the ‘Individual Placement with Support’ approach, including one designed increase employment opportunities within mental health services for people who have themselves experienced mental health problems. Her latest book, written with Julie Repper, is Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice (2003, Balliere Tindall).

 

San Leonard.jpgSan Leonard, Chief Executive - Social Firms Wales, UK

Currently employed as a Chief Executive of Social Firms Wales, San Leonard is a highly professional businessperson and entrepreneur who is passionate about working at the heart of community regeneration to develop opportunities that bring about sustainable social change. Working within family businesses from a very early age, she has successfully grown several business enterprises. Now, with more than 30 years in management and business development within the private sector, she uses that experience whilst working to support the growth of commercially viable social businesses that offer paid employment and career advancement in a mixed ability, supportive business environment. 
With considerable first-hand knowledge of working with people with disabilities, San is well placed and understands fully, the need to develop training and work opportunities for people who are often the furthest from the labour market. These valuable experiences and skills are utilised to their fullest in helping and advising organisations who work directly with some of the most excluded groups in today’s society. Successes have been built on both a good understanding of all sectors within the community and the ability to look at the wider vision and opportunities. Recognised by her peers as a clear strategic thinker, San clearly demonstrates the ability to build long-term cross sector supportive relationships. More recently San has specialised in helping Local Authorities to move trading operations / day services out of Local Authority ownership into external independent Social Firms, and is working towards establishing Social Firms / enterprises inside HM Prisons in Wales, with links to Social Firms within local communities. A well-respected advocate of cross-sector partnership working, she recognises the real benefits that can be accrued by working with other professional practitioners to bring about sustainable social change. She is ever mindful however, that this approach is not a “quick fix” option but more, a longterm solution to address changing attitudes in society.