Co-ordinating group

The coordinating group was responsible for organising the call for and collection of evidence, advertising the Inquiry and analysing the findings. They also provided administrative support and oversaw the overall running of the Inquiry.


Suman FernandoSuman Fernando

Suman has been advocating for better services for black and minority ethnic people and for reform of the psychiatric system for many years. He was a psychiatrist in Enfield for over twenty years and then later became an academic. Now he is honorary professor in the Faculty of Social Sciences and Humanities, London Metropolitan University. Also, he was a member of the Mental Health Act Commission 1988 – 1995. He has written several books about racism and ‘race’ and culture issues in mental health and psychiatry, including Mental Health Worldwide: Culture, Globalization and Development, published in 2014.

Jayasree KalathilJayasree Kalathil

Jayasree is a researcher and writer. Having encountered psychiatric services in India and in the UK, and spent most of her adult life negotiating six different psychiatric diagnoses, Jayasree has developed a political identity as a survivor. She leads Survivor Research, a virtual collective of user/survivor researchers and trainers interested in promoting critical perspectives in mental health and Mad Studies, especially around issues of marginalisation and minoritisation. Her publications include Dancing to our own tunes, exploring black mental health service user involvement, a report on black women’s recovery narratives, Recovery and Resilience, the co-authored book Values and Ethics in Mental Health: An Exploration for Practice, and the children’s book The Sackcloth Man. Jayasree is currently co-editing a special issue on user/survivor research and co-production for the journal Philosophy, Psychiatry & Psychology.

Philip ThomasPhilip Thomas

Philip worked for over twenty years as a consultant psychiatrist in Manchester, North Wales and Bradford. He has always held the strong belief that we can understand distress if we take into account culture and history (both individual and group). In 1999, he became a founder member and co-chair of the Critical Psychiatry Network. Although he left clinical work eight years ago, he continues to write about madness and culture and is currently writing a book about critical psychiatry. Until recently, he was Chair of Sharing Voices Bradford, a community development project working with Bradford’s diverse communities in the wide field of distress and madness.

Janet WallcraftJanet Wallcraft

Jan Wallcraft is a freelance researcher whose work is informed by experience as a mental health service user and activist. She has worked in service user involvement for a range of NGOs. She has a PhD from South Bank University, London examining narratives of first experiences with psychiatric hospitalisation. Currently she is a Fellow of Birmingham and Hertfordshire universities, and is engaged in evaluation work on two different self-management programmes for people with long term mental health problems. Her publications include On Our Own Terms, a report about the service user/survivor movement, Healing Minds, a report on complementary and alternative therapies in mental health, and the Handbook of Service User Involvement in Mental Health Research.