The project team holds and steers the vision for the Synergi Collaborative Centre and its effective delivery, supported by the Advisory Board and Lankelly Chase Foundation.
Professor Kamaldeep Bhui is also an Honorary Consultant Psychiatrist at the East London NHS Foundation Trust, Co-Founder and Director of Careif, Editor of the British Journal of Psychiatry and International Journal of Culture and Mental Health. He has led research and learning programmes on ethnic inequalities in mental illnesses, suicide, self-harm, chronic fatigue, violence and traumatic experiences, homelessness, refugee experiences, drug use and Mental Health Act detentions in hospitals and in the criminal justice system, including prisons. Kamaldeep has been an adviser to the Department of Health and Public Health England, and formerly chaired the Royal College of Psychiatrists’ committees on public health and transcultural psychiatry. He has supported three projects for the National Clinical Director on Mental Health (Consultation and Advice for NHS England, Public Health England, and providing a national public health online resource called Mental Health 4 Life). In 2016, Kamaldeep was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s New Years’ Honours List for services to mental health care and research.
Joy Francis specialises in strategic communications, social policy, media relations and creative entrepreneurship. She co-authored the UK’s first survey on ethnic minority service users for Mind in 1997 and has worked on national mental health campaigns and policy initiatives, including the David ‘Rocky’ Bennett Inquiry and Delivering Race Equality, and developed media and public engagement campaigns targeting African and Caribbean communities for Time to Change. Joy was the Media Liaison Lead for the Hillsborough Inquests, appointed by Birnberg Peirce law firm which represented 77 of the 96 families of the deceased, and reprised the role for the Camber Sands Inquests. She helped establish the world’s first Diversity and the Media MA (University of Westminster) with the Media Diversity Institute, and her work on media and publishing inclusion and reporting diversity has been recognised by the European Commission and Society of Editors. Joy is one of Eastside Community Heritage’s ‘Woman of Colour Trailblazer’ 2019 and she has been selected for the UK’s first Museum of Colour’s People of Letters Digital Gallery 2019.
Professor James Nazroo has conducted research on inequalities in health for almost 30 years, with a focus on the patterning and drivers of inequalities in later life, and on the inequalities faced by ethnic minority people. This work describes the patterning of differences in health across and within broad ethnic groupings, and assesses the contribution that social and economic disadvantage makes to these differences. Central to this approach has been developing an understanding of the links between ethnicity, racism and inequality, and how this evolves across the life course and over time. His research also covers the role of access to, and quality of health services, including a critical examinaIon of mental health services. James led the only national population-based surveys assessing ethnic differences in the prevalence of mental illness, and has written extensively on ethnic inequalities in severe mental illness.
Dr Kristoffer Halvorsrud is a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the Centre for Psychiatry, Queen Mary University of London. Kristoffer previously worked as a Research Associate in the Evidence Synthesis Team in the Institute of Health and Society at Newcastle University. His duties included conducting systematic reviews informing guideline and policy development processes for key stakeholders within health such as the World Health Organisation (WHO). Before taking up a position at Newcastle University, Kristoffer worked as a Research Associate for the Knowledge Centre for Education (part of the Research Council of Norway). His main responsibility was conducting systematic reviews in educational research commissioned by the Norwegian government and informing reports/guidelines at an international level for the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD).
Kristoffer has a PhD in Sociology from the University of Nottingham. His thesis was on the topic of migration and ethnic relations through a case study of South African migrants in Britain.
Dr Maria Haarmans (CPsychol) is a Research Associate within the Cathie Marsh Institute of Social Research at the University of Manchester. Her 20+ years in the mental health field in Canada, Japan and the UK, specialising in psychosis, both as a therapist and researcher, have sensitised her to inequalities and their role in psychological distress. Maria has used mixed methods and a sex- and gender-based analysis to investigate the impact of intersections of gender, class, ‘race’ and other social categories on the development and expression of psychotic experiences. She is interested in participatory approaches to research and has recently facilitated Participatory Action Research with male prisoners within a medium security prison. She aims to expand the focus from individual to social-structural levels of analysis for understanding severe psychological distress and enhancing practice. She is the project lead for the Synergi Participatory Action Research project, based at the University of Manchester.
Dr Roisin Mooney graduated from Brunel in 2012 with a first class honours degree in Psychology with Professional Development, after which she worked in both research and teaching at the University of Hertfordshire. With a longstanding history of being employed in East and North Herts NHS Trust, her teaching specialisms relate to undergraduate research skills, conducting research in the NHS and health psychology, with research experience in multicentre NHS research, systematic reviews and qualitative research. In 2019 she completed a PhD on the experience and screening of depression in South Asian Haemodialysis patients, and has presented research at various professional conferences. Roisin’s research interests relate to identifying and measuring depression in people with chronic kidney disease, the lived experiences of depression in ethnic minority people and exploring the relationship between illness perceptions and depression.
Dr Shamea Mia Shamea previously worked on the SHARMED (Shared Dialogues and Memories) collaborative project at the University of Suffolk. She researched the co-production of narratives of schoolchildren in north-east London. The project was coordinated by the University of Modena and Reggio Emilia (Italy) with partners in Germany (Jena) and the UK. She has also taught on Sociology modules at the University of Greenwich. Shamea has a PhD in Sociology from Goldsmiths’ College, University of London, which explores the lives of second-generation British-Bangladeshi Muslim women living in London as a way of looking at relationships in nuclear families and understanding identity. Shamea is an experienced qualitative researcher.