Who we are
United for Global Mental Health is dedicated to creating a world that enables good mental health for all. We focus on what will make the most difference to global mental health, and we build whatever it takes to make that happen.
We are experts in advocacy, campaigning and financing to secure significant results.
We are informed by people’s lived experience, across a diverse range of backgrounds.
We are driven by a vision of a healthier, more productive and kinder world.
We unite – working with campaigners, practitioners, national organisations, businesses, people with lived experiences, funders, researchers, governments, and international bodies so that they can learn, collaborate and make greater progress together.
We incubate - designing and setting up the initiatives with partners that will make the most impact on global mental health and helping them to grow.
CEO and Co-Founder
From 2012 to 2017, Sarah worked with and for the WHO. She saw first hand the impact of poor mental health on individuals and communities. Having fundraised for WHO on mental health, Sarah was inspired to help develop and launch United for Global Mental Health. She has also worked for the World Bank, British Government, Oxfam GB and launched and ran another charity, Malaria No More UK.
Celeste has an MBA and over 10 years of experience supporting the effective use of private capital for the public good. She recently relocated to London from her hometown of Seattle, USA where she was the founding lead of the Reboot Representation Tech Coalition. In addition to experience as an entrepreneur, Celeste has also worked at Pivotal Ventures and for many years at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.
Director, Global Business Collaboration
Rebecca has a decade of experience in bringing together corporates and charities to campaign and build coalitions around important healthcare agendas such as mental health, cancer, and heart disease. More recently Rebecca has focused her career on supporting businesses define and execute social purpose strategies as a consultant and in-house a global health business. She has also worked as a director of a charity which builds corporate volunteering programmes on behalf of businesses based in Islington, London, connecting them to the local community. At United for Global Mental Health she leads on the Global Business Collaboration for Workplace Mental Health, which is a business-led initiative with a mission to advocate and accelerate progress on workplace mental health on a global basis.
Senior Policy and Advocacy Officer
Amy has previously worked in policy and advocacy for a variety of international development NGOs including Childreach International, UNICEF, WaterAid and SEED Madagascar. She has seen first hand the impact that a lack of mental health support has on individuals and is passionate about working to ensure that everyone everywhere can access the support they need.
Ana María Heilbron
Born and raised in Colombia, Ana has a background in social communications, audio-visual media and cultural management. Back home, Ana worked as comms manager at the Friends Association of Colombia's National Museum, and she volunteered teaching children displaced by Colombia's armed conflict. She also lived for a year in Berlin, where she worked in the Colombian Embassy. Ana moved to London in 2016, where she has worked as research assistant in King's College in a study about anti-microbial resistance, among other roles. While in London, Ana also did a MA in Visual Sociology.
Policy and Advocacy Officer
Anna is a passionate mental health advocate, with a particular focus on the links between mental health, HIV and TB. Having worked with health care providers in Liberia and Malawi, Anna witnessed first hand how unaccessible mental health support is in many countries. She has a degree in International Development from the University of East Anglia, and is experienced at using events and global moments as advocacy opportunities to drive social change.
Divya is an experienced Operations Assistant with a background in social science research. She holds an MA in International Security from Warwick University where she led and supported research projects on topics including: ‘generational trauma,’ ‘justice and equity,’ and ‘intergenerational ethics’. She has witnessed first-hand the implications that cultural stigmas around mental health can have on entire communities. She is passionate about driving meaningful conversations about mental health to help produce social change on a global scale.
In 2013, Elisha suffered a trauma and was diagnosed with PTSD and depression. While she received the support and treatment she needed to recover, she recognised most don’t, and set about using her wealth of experience in international campaigning to propel the world into action. In 2018, alongside her founding team, partners and advisors from around the world, she launched United for Global Mental Health.
Emma is an experienced Communications Assistant with a background in the non-profit sector. Having graduated from the University of Cambridge with a degree in French and Russian, she has spent time working with NGOs in the UK, France and Eastern Europe, as well as at the Human Rights Council. She is passionate about making good quality mental healthcare accessible to all, and combatting the stigma surrounding it.
Erica has worked on Indigenous mental health services in Australia, mental health policy research in Tanzania and anti-stigma research with War Child. She is passionate about making mental healthcare affordable, accessible and of high quality for all. She also holds an MSc in Global Mental Health from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine and King’s College London.
Country Campaigns Manager
Faty Kane is a passionate campaign leader with a record of successfully driving change at community, national and international levels. She has extensive experience of working with youth, women and community-based groups in her previous roles with Actionaid, Plan International and Girls Not Brides. She has worked with victims of child marriage, domestic violence and conflicts, and has witnessed first-hand how poorly mental health is dealt with when stigma, myths and ignorance go unchallenged. She speaks four languages including French and brings a fresh perspective on the issue.
Harsha Sharma joined UnitedGMH from Unicef UK where she led PR / reputation strategy and delivery across key Unicef partnerships. This included multimillion pound corporate and philanthropic partners such as L'Oreal, Microsoft/Cambridge University and the Ethical Tea Partnership. Prior to Unicef, Harsha worked in communications roles at organisations including Comic Relief, the Tony Blair Institute for Global Change and the Varkey Foundation. She is a passionate social good communications specialist with extensive international development experience.
Policy and Advocacy Manager
James joined UnitedGMH from Save the Children where he led global health financing policy and advocacy, and previously established Transparency International’s health sector anti-corruption programme. James began his career in public financial management and governance at Crown Agents after working on vaccine surveillance for The World Health Organisation. James has worked across sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.
Corporate Account Manager
Kuljit is an experienced account manager with a background across both the private and charity sectors with a particular focus on corporate responsibility and social impact. He is a keen advocate of the role of businesses in creating positive social change and passionate about helping them to achieve impact. In his time at the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF), he worked with businesses across sectors including insurance, utilities and oil and gas to operationalise global philanthropic programmes.
Executive Assistant and Development Coordinator
Nikita is an experienced Executive Assistant and has been working in admin for the past 4 years. She previously worked as a Personal Assistant in financial services and as an Executive Assistant in the healthcare industry. She has also volunteered over the years with a number of charities including Cancer Research UK, Children in Need, Macmillan Cancer Support and White Ribbon UK. Nikita has a true passion when it comes to the topic of mental health, specifically removing the stigma around it, she hopes to help provide a platform to enable people to speak comfortably about the issues they are facing.
Senior Campaign Officer
Victor is the founder of Nigeria's and one of Africa’s largest user-led youth mental health network, Mentally Aware Nigeria Initiative; with over 1500 active volunteers and chapters in 15 out of 36 states in Nigeria. Victor is the Nigerian representative for the Global Mental Health Peer Network as well as the Nigerian lead for the United for Global Mental Health’s country led advocacy and policy campaign – Speak Your Mind, and has been involved with the drafting of Nigeria’s new mental health legislation as well as integrated mental health into the adolescent and youth health policy of the federal ministry of health in Nigeria.
Co-Founder and Consultant
Having seen people close to him affected by mental health issues, Zander was excited to develop and launch United for Global Mental Health. With over 20 years experience on campaigns and advocacy for the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Bono’s ONE Campaign, Comic Relief, Global Citizen, Oxfam, David Cameron, Amnesty and Peace Child International, Zander is keen to help global mental health get the attention it deserves.
Samantha is Regional Head of Practice - Employment, Pensions and Incentives at Herbert Smith Freehills law firm and Co-Chair of Herbert Smith Freehills’ Ability Network. Alongside her legal career, Sam is a mental health mentor and has spoken extensively about her own experiences and the importance of raising awareness around mental health in the workplace.
Colombian/Swiss by heritage, Natasha manages a private portfolio of investments, including impact investments and philanthropic endeavours. She serves on both the steering committee of the NextGen Impact Leadership Accelerator program at the University of Zurich as well as the advisory committee for The Conduit social membership club’s impact fund.
Neelesh is currently Chief of Staff, Europe; the Middle East, North Africa and Turkey; Latin America; Canada at HSBC Holdings Plc. Neelesh has been with the HSBC Group since 1989 and has undertaken leadership roles in Latin America, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Mauritius, India and the UK. His extensive experience in Financial Services has encompassed Banking Operations, Internal Audit, Human Resources, Strategy and Planning, Credit and Operational risk management, Securities Custody & Clearing, Trade Services and Retail Branch Management. Neelesh is a Trustee of Blind Veterans UK, a charity that supports ex-service men and women overcome sight loss and The 88 Foundation, a private charity established for general charitable purposes.
Sir Ian Cheshire
Sir Ian is a British businessman leading efforts on global mental health in the private sector. He is Chairman of Barclays UK and the Heads Together campaign, spearheaded by Their Royal Highnesses, The Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry.
Professor Sir Graham Thornicroft
Professor Sir Thornicroft is a pre-eminent psychiatrist, professor and global mental health practitioner. As an expert in the field, he writes about global mental health practice and stigma reduction and chaired the WHO mhGAP guidelines.
Alan Court is Senior Advisor to the United Nations Secretary General’s Special Envoy for Malaria. Before joining the UNSE office, Mr Court was the Director of the UNICEF Programme Division and had previously been posted in Latin America, Africa and South Asia. As the Director of the UNICEF Programme Division, he led the division’s strategy development, programme guidance and implementation processes and was responsible for seeing UNICEF’s programs were focused on the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals.
AMERICAN FRIENDS OF UNITED FOR GLOBAL MENTAL HEALTH - BOARD
Gabrielle is the founder and CEO of Panorama, an action tank dedicated to achieving ambitious goals and solving the world’s toughest problems, and has over 2 decades of experience leading teams to spark global change as an expert in innovative philanthropy, global health diplomacy, and governance. Prior to founding Panorama, she directed the $100 million Ebola Program at the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation. She previously served as the director of Global Program Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, led the public affairs strategy for HIV/AIDS at the US Agency for International Development and served as the communications director for the US Committee for Refugees.
Zak is a passionate advocate for removing the stigma and ending the discrimination associated with mental illness. He is Co-Founder and CEO at PYM and is an experienced business, operations, and marketing professional in addition to investing in and advising a number of successful start-ups. He is currently a Board Member for mental health non-profits Bring Change to Mind (BC2M) and an advisor for Inseparable and Project Healthy Minds. He holds an MBA from Columbia Business School.
Dr. Collins is a Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Professor of Global Health at the University of Washington in Seattle, where she directs the Global Mental Health Program. She is a psychiatrist and mixed methods researcher with 25 years’ experience in global public health and global mental health research, education, training and capacity-building and science policy leadership. She is currently the Principal Investigator of EQUIP Nairobi, a pilot implementation of Trauma-Focused CBT in Nairobi and previously directed the Office for Research on Disparities & Global Mental Health at the National Institute of Mental Health.