Defeating depression: What hope?

Wednesday 24 June 2015, 19.00 - 21.00, Royal Albert Memorial Museum

  • How has mental healthcare changed in the past twenty years?
  • How should we continue to address mental health issues in the future?
  • What hope is there for mental health provision?

Who should attend this event?

Everyone is invited to join Sue Baker (Director, Time to Change) and a panel of mental health experts and service users for an evening of discussion about the future of mental healthcare on Wednesday 24 June 2015.

What is this event about?

The national Defeat Depression campaign ran for five years from 1992. It aimed to enhance public education and awareness of depression as well as improving professional recognition and management.

Twenty years on, we invite you to join us to discuss how mental healthcare has changed, and where improvements could still be made.

During the event there will be an opportunity to meet panel members. You will also be able to find out about the latest research in this important area being undertaken at the University of Exeter.

The event will be hosted by the Centre for Medical History in connection with the Humanities and Social Sciences research strategy.


We will be tweeting about this event from @UofE_Research using #DefeatingDepression.


19.00 Welcome and registration.
19.30 Panel and audience discussion.
21.00 End of event.


To register for this event please visit

Panel members

Sue Baker

Director, Time to Change

Sue leads Time to Change, England’s biggest ever programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination. She is responsible for leading and delivering this exciting social movement in England. 

Time to Change is an ambitious £20 million programme (funded by the Department of Health and Comic Relief) being delivered by leading mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness.

Sue previously worked for the leading mental health charity in New Zealand setting up marketing, campaigns and fundraising programmes and supporting the world’s largest campaign to address the discrimination experienced by people with mental health problems, using human rights and mental health promotion models.  She also worked for nine years as Head of Media at Mind, in particular carrying out the UK’s first survey of the extent and impact of discrimination (in the mid 1990s). 

She has also been a Director of a leading substance misuse charity where she was responsible for marketing treatment services, delivering business growth and developing marketing and fundraising.

Professor Louise Howard

Chair of the National Institute for Clinical Excellence (NICE) Guideline Development Group on Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health

Louise is a National Institute for Health Research Professor in Maternal Mental Health at King's College London. She is Head of the Section of Women’s Mental Health at the Health Service and Population Research Department.

As well as chairing NICE’s Guideline Development Group for Antenatal and Postnatal Mental Health, Louise is a member of the International Editorial Board of the Journal of Epidemiology and Psychiatric Services and member of the World Health Organisation and NICE/SCIE guideline development group on Preventing and Reducing Domestic Violence.

Gavin Thistlethwaite

Joint Commissioning Manager, Mental Health, NHS Plymouth

Gavin has been Joint Commissioning Manager for Mental Health at NHS Plymouth since 2010.

Julie Harvey

Chair of the University of Exeter Mood Disorders Centre's Lived Experience Group

Julie is Chair of the University's Lived Experience Group. She has experience of mental health issues and has cared for someone with depression.

Julie is also a member of the PenCLAHRC Patient and Public Involvement Group. She currently studies Psychology and Criminology at Plymouth University.

Dr Niall McLeod

GP and member of the Centre for Sustainable Healthcare

Dr Niall McLeod has been a GP partner at the Heavitree Practice in Exeter since 2001. Prior to this he was a GP in Suffolk, having also worked in Australia and New Zealand, in the Navy, and on the Isles of Scilly. Niall is a GP trainer and he enjoys teaching medical students.

His passion is to try and shift the ownership of health from GP surgeries to healthier living in our communities. He sees the future of as General Practice working collaboratively with patient, community, and voluntary groups to this end. Health is over-medicalised and we need to learn to redevelop communities and return to simple, healthier pleasures away from the television, computer, and processed foods.

Niall tries to lead a healthy lifestyle and he cycles to work most days. He loves reading, sustainable living, and the wonderful natural environment we have on our doorstep.

Kevan Jones

Labour MP for North Durham

Kevan was born in Nottinghamshire in 1964, graduating in government and public policy at Newcastle Polytechnic. Between 1990 and 2001 Kevan served as a councillor on Newcastle City Council, Cabinet member for development, Chief Whip, and committee chairman on development and transport and public health.

He was elected Member of Parliament for North Durham in 2001. He is currently Chair of the All-Party Groups on Cardiac Risk in the Young and Coeliac Disease, and is Co-Vice Chair of the United Arab Emirates All-Party Group.

Kevan has received praise for speaking about mental health issues in Parliament, winning the Spectator magazine's award for 'Speech of the Year' in 2012 for speaking about his own battles with depression.