In October 2018, Simon Blake OBE joined MHFA England as Chief Executive, leading the organisation to achieve its vision of normalising society’s attitudes and behaviours around mental health, through training one in ten of the population in mental health skills and awareness.
Simon has dedicated his career to working with young people and has a long track record of championing difference and creating platforms for people’s voices to be heard. In doing this, Simon has worked on some of the most talked about and complex social issues of today; sex and relationships education, sexual and reproductive rights, volatile substance abuse, Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship and LGBTQ rights. He is driven by a passion for a better, more inclusive society where everyone can be themselves.
With over 20 years working with young people Simon has been involved in several projects and initiatives to promote positive wellbeing and mental health. He has written over 40 publications on all aspects of PSHE and Citizenship.
In his roles at the Sex Education Forum, National Children’s Bureau, sexual health and wellbeing charity Brook and, most recently, as Chief Executive of the National Union of Students (NUS), Simon has considerable experience in balancing the competing agendas of various high-profile organisations and stakeholders, finding ways to build consensus and collaboration to achieve positive social outcomes.
Simon received an OBE in 2011 for his services to the voluntary sector and young people. He was recognised as a 2020 Global Diversity Champion in the Global Diversity List. He is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, Governor at Bath Spa University, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow at Windsor Castle Society of Leadership Fellows. He enjoys running, equestrian eventing and walks with his dog.
Director of Development
Fionuala Bonnar is Director of Development at MHFA England. She has been involved with MHFA England and the development of its training courses since 2006 and was an original member of the National Training Team. Fionuala supported the CEO and senior leadership team by assisting with the implementation of the organisation’s initial governance, before taking up her current post in 2020.
A registered mental health nurse with a BSc in Health and Social Care, Fionuala has over 30 years of experience working in the public sector, working within mental health services as a nurse, manager, provider and commissioner.
With experience at working across all levels, Fionuala has commissioned services from large local and national providers in addition to small user led and independent organisations to deliver improvements or support business development. She is a dynamic leader, with proven skills in organisational transformation change and service improvement within health and social care, able to negotiate with stakeholders and ensure the objectives of programmes are met.
Director of Marketing and Communications
Eleanor Miller is Director of Marketing and Communications at MHFA England. She is an accomplished communications professional, majoring in Public Relations and is a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR).
Eleanor ran her own consultancy business until 2015, offering communications and marketing services to a range of clients, including those from the commercial, public and third sectors. Prior to this, Eleanor was Head of PR for the government’s marketing and communications agency, the Central Office of Communication.
Over the course of her career Eleanor has been responsible for delivering a number of high profile media relations campaigns, including those for the Royal Air Force, Department of Trade and Industry and Home Office. More recently she has directed a full rebrand of MHFA England, developed and delivered a number of successful social marketing campaigns and elevated the profile of the organisation and its training products in the national, specialist and regional media.
Eleanor holds a BSocSci in Political Science and CIPR Diploma (with Distinction) in Crisis Communications. She was shortlisted in the 2020 Women in Marketing awards. Eleanor is also a trained Mental Health First Aider and is an all-round advocate of Mental Health First Aid training.
Director of Delivery
Sarah McIntosh is Director of Delivery at MHFA England. She leads on culture and wellbeing for the central staff team, as well as quality assurance and member and customer experience.
Sarah has over 20 years of HR leadership experience in a wide range of organisational cultures, including financial services, retail, education, political and third sector settings. Her previous change roles have given her specialist knowledge and experience of strategic and operational HR, employee engagement, culture development, diversity inclusion, wellbeing, and corporate social responsibility.