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Hanna Kienzler

I am a Professor of Anthropology and Global Health in the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London and Co-Director of the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health also at King’s.

As an anthropologist, I investigate how systemic violence, ethnic conflict and complex emergencies intersect with health and mental health outcomes in the occupied Palestinian territory and Kosovo, and, among refugees in the UK. I conduct research on the mental health impacts of war and trauma on survivors; on what it means for persons with severe mental illness to live and participate in their respective communities; and on humanitarian and mental health interventions in fragile states. I am also co-founder of the Refugee Mental Health & Place Network. Methodologically, my work combines ethnography with a range of other qualitative methods, participatory action approaches and arts-based techniques.

Follow me on twitter: @HannaKienzler

Find out more about my work:

Photo credit: Francesca Barichello

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Sonia Thompson

Sonia Thompson has spent most of her career in academia and currently works as a freelance in Organisational Development. She is also a Co-Director of the Survivor Researcher Network.

The Survivor Researcher Network is a UK based user-controlled network for mental health service users and survivors with an interest in research. She has volunteered in the Third Sector since her teens and continues to be involved in projects that support mental wellbeing. Her alter ego is an afro-wearing superhero that writes fantasy fiction.

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Bethan Edwards

Dr Bethan Edwards has long term experience of living with a mental health condition and is passionate about survivor/service user collective activism.

She has been involved in a number of grassroots service user led initiatives, including Stop Sim, Mad Covid, Recovery in the Bin and the CALMED Trial campaign. Bethan currently works as a researcher at the University of Manchester and her research interests include emergency, urgent and crisis mental healthcare. She is a member of the CSMH’s Lived Experience Advisory Board (LEAB).

Twitter: @ResearchPixie

Website: Dr Bethan Edwards | The University of Manchester

Rick Burgess

Rick Burgess is a disabled activist based in Greater Manchester, he co-founded the WOW Petition calling for a Cumulative Impact Assessment of welfare reform, he co-founded Manchester Disabled People Against Cuts and is an admin of Recovery In The Bin.

He works at the GM Coalition of Disabled People and the Lived Experience Advisory Board at the Economic and Social Research Council Centre For Society And Mental Health at King’s College. He is a contributor to the Deaths by Welfare timeline, he has survived several WCA’s. He is also, time, energy, and focus permitting, an artist. He is developing thinking towards Disability Equity which combines the social model of disability, mental distress, disability justice, and intersectionality.

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Bwalya Mulenga

Bwalya Mulenga is an alumni of King’s College London. She completed her BA in Global Health and Social Medicine and is currently studying for her Master’s in MSc Medical Anthropology at the University of Oxford.

Bwalya is passionate about social justice and empowering marginalised communities to drive change in policy and practice. She worked as a Youth Advocate on the ‘Help Us Move On’ project at No Limits, lobbying to give Hampshire’s young people a voice in local affairs. Bwalya has also worked as a Community Involvement Officer for the NHS Hampshire and Isle of Wight Integrated Care Board. Her work focused on appropriately engaging diverse communities with health and wellbeing services, encouraging their involvement in the development of these services.

Bwalya’s work within the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health has involved supporting a project entitled, ‘Innovating Research Methods and Service User Engagement’.


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Madison Wempe

I joined the Centre for Society and Mental Health at King’s College London in 2022 as the Coordinator for the Lived Experience Advisory Board and Research Assistant supporting the development of the Research Methods Toolkit.

Prior to joining King’s, I earned a BSc in Public Health at the George Washington University, USA, in 2018 and an MSc in Epidemiology from the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine in 2021 where I led thesis work examining the impact of police presence on safety in United States public schools. Informed by this work and my time spent participating in mutual aid efforts in London (Streets Kitchen) and Texas (O.D. Aid, Funky Town Fridge), my current interests include social epidemiology, participatory research, community building, harm reduction, and emerging, non-biomedical approaches to psychiatric care. Before pursuing my MSc, I spent two years working as a Research Associate at a not-for-profit cancer research organisation (Friends of Cancer Research) in Washington, DC where I used data to investigate questions around patient access to care.

I feel strongly that research should stem from and return to communities in real, tangible ways and I seek to upend traditional notions of what it means to be a ‘holder of knowledge’ in research spaces.

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Raza Hussain

Hello! I’m Raza, a final year BA Social Sciences student at King’s College London and I have had the pleasure of working on this website as a Research Assistant.

I joined this project because I am deeply passionate about creating wider access to research methods. I believe knowledge created by academics hidden away in universities can only create so much change. We need a diverse range of people involved in the research process, centring on and/or making space for local stakeholders who are immediately affected by the research. In the words of James Charlton, ‘Nothing About Us Without Us’.

I am a qualitative researcher and my areas of interest include democratising research, decolonising research, participatory action research methods, reflexivity, black feminism and social justice.

I hope you enjoy the Toolkit as much as I do!


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Verity Buckley

Verity Buckley (she/her) is the Impact Projects Manager for the ESRC Centre for Society & Mental Health at King’s College London.

Her main responsibilities include co-ordinating the Centre’s impact monitoring and evaluation strategy, as well as overseeing public engagement and communication activities.

Prior to working at King’s, Verity led a range of social impact and leadership development programmes in the charity sector.

Twitter: @veritybuckley

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Vanessa May

Vanessa May is a Professor of Sociology and Head of Department at the University of Manchester. Her research has focused on family relationships, people’s sense of belonging, and ageing.

She has a particular interest in the use of creative qualitative methods in research. Vanessa’s publications can be found in various journals including, SociologySociological ReviewTime & Society and British Journal of Sociology. She is the author of Connecting Self to Society: Belonging in a Changing World (Palgrave Macmillan) and co-editor of Sociology of Personal Life (2nd edition, Macmillan).

Photo credit: Mikko Käkelä

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Leonie Ader

Leonie Ader is a PhD candidate and research associate with a clinical psychology background in Public Mental Health at the Central Institute of Mental Health in Mannheim, Germany.

Her research interests are transdiagnostic psychological mechanisms in daily life, and positive interventions and mobile health approaches for chronic pain and mental disorders. She is currently working on the PerPain project, a randomised controlled pilot trial investigating personalised psychological therapy approaches for chronic musculoskeletal pain. This includes a self-help app with self-monitoring, feedback and a small daily exercise routine. Her enthusiasm for positive interventions is rooted in her work as a Zurich Resource Model trainer. This is a self-management tool to activate personal resources and sustainably pursue personal goals.

Twitter: @LeonieAder

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Jonathan (Jonny) Adams

Jonny completed an MSc in Bioethics & Society at King’s College London in 2022. His master’s dissertation used interviews with science and technology experts to explore the ethical and social implications of digital technologies for mental health.

Jonny previously earned a BA in Philosophy and Theology from the University of Oxford and acted as a Research Intern for two Participatory Action Research projects at Toynbee Hall, a community organisation based in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

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Michaela Ross

Michaela Ross is an artist and researcher who lives and works in London. She is an associate lecturer at Goldsmiths College, University of London, research lead at the Bethlem Gallery, and visiting research fellow at the Department of Global Health and Social Medicine, King’s College London.

An experienced arts professional and academic with an interest in public engagement and the democratisation of research, Michaela has played a key role in developing partnerships between universities (Goldsmiths, King’s) and cultural institutions like the Tate, Firstsite, (East of England’s contemporary visual arts organisation) and the Whitechapel Gallery. This work has generated new audiences and created opportunities for ongoing professional development in sectors within and beyond the arts. Her practice-led research explores the relationship between artists and institutions and the social value of participatory practices in museums and galleries.


Tony James Allen painting with sponges

Tony James Allen

Inspired by the sculptural reliefs of artist Vladimir Tatlin, Tony James Allen creates dark, monochromatic stencil works as well as vibrant, expressionistic paintings.

He describes his work ‘….as the extension of constructivism…I call the stencils Neo-Gothism – that’s the genre.’ In 2021, Tony was commissioned to create a large scale post abstract expressionist work for King’s College London.

Tony has been fascinated by water and the sea throughout his art practise and donates a percentage of his sales to the RNLI charity which is close to his heart.

Mayah Ramachandran

Mayah is a second-year student studying BSc. Global Health and Social Medicine at King’s College London. Mayah worked as a research assistant for the Research Method Toolkit.

Mayah applied to the Toolkit as she is keen to learn the practical application of issues discussed in her course concerning democratising research. Through writing resource descriptions and creating the Observation page for the website, Mayah has greatly improved her skills in writing accessibly. Mayah has developed a better understanding of the research, discussions and editing that goes into making an accessible, engaging resource for the public. This experience has improved her knowledge and highlighted the importance of research methods. The skills Mayah has developed will be helpful during her time at university and for her career in which she contributes to diversifying research and elicits inclusive community change.

Julia Mathews

Julia Mathews is a final year BSc Philosophy, Politics & Economics student at King’s College London. In 2023, she joined the ESRC Centre for Society and Mental Health as a Research Assistant to support the development of the online Research Methods Toolkit.

Julia is an advocate for mental health and policy research in her community; she has been elected to a range of positions, including President of KCLSU’s leading wellbeing society, Research Director of KCL Policy Research Centre, and VP/Treasurer of ThinkMental. Julia works as a Student Wellbeing Engagement Assistant at the School of Politics and Economics, where she helps engage 3000+ students with health and wellbeing services. She is also a mentor for low-income students at Zero Gravity and is trained in mental health first aid.