Meet Our Leadership Team
We are a team of healthcare professionals, parents and young people with lived experience of self-harm and youth mental health.
Content Development Director
Claire is the Founder of the Youth Mental Health Foundation and mother to three children.
Her lived experience of guiding her own teenage daughter’s recovery from years of self-harm led to her creating the Horizon Plan methodology.
She has subsequently coached parents and healthcare professionals around the world.
Dr Lynn Suter
BA (Hons.) BSc. (Hons), MSc, DPsych, CPsychol (Chartered Psychologist) and AFBPsS (Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society)
Dr Lynn Suter originally trained as an occupational psychologist, specialising latterly in learning and development. She then retrained and achieved her Doctorate in Psychotherapy and practiced as a counselling psychologist. She has worked in the NHS, in both primary and secondary care. In addition she has worked as Clinical Director of a 3rd sector counselling agency and in counselling for students.
Calvin is a Systemic Family Psychotherapist with over twenty-two years of experience in Child & Adolescent Mental Health Services within the UK’s NHS. He has a vast knowledge of child & adolescent mental health difficulties and the impact this has on the young person, their family, and the wider system, including their schooling.
He currently teaches on the Foundation Course to Family Therapy at Plymouth University, supervises trainee Systemic Practitioners on the CYP IAPT Course at the University of Exeter and held an honorary tutor post in the teaching of Systemic Family Therapy on the Post Grad Doctorate Clinical Psychology Course at Leicester University.
Calvin has trained many family therapists to become qualified family therapists and as a qualified Systemic Family Therapy Supervisor has supervised many others.
Dr. Pia Pechtel
MPhil, PhD in Psychology, Registered Clinical Psychologist (HCPC), Wellcome Trust Research Fellow
Pia received her PhD in Psychology in New Zealand where she helped to develop national therapy guidelines for sexual abuse. She then joined the faculty of Harvard Medical School in the US to study the impact of trauma on the brain before completing her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology at the University of Exeter.
She is a registered Clinical Psychologist who specialises in working with young people who experienced trauma and who find self-harm helpful. She has worked in Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services and currently volunteers her time in a NHS specialist service for sexual abuse.
Pia also runs a research programme at the University of Exeter funded by the Wellcome Trust. Her research combines clinical psychology and developmental neuroscience to understand the neural mechanisms of self-harm and how this could help to develop better support for young people and families.
Director of Youth Genius
Sarah is an entrepreneur, educator and Founder of Know Your Purpose, a charity that guides teenagers to recognise their individual strengths, passions and purpose and make the positive difference they want to see in the world.
She is an instructional designer of e-learning and face-to-face training programs and the owner and Managing Director of Edutech KM Ltd, a learning solutions company that designs and delivers training programs for businesses.
She is a qualified high school teacher and mother of three grown-up children, and two stepchildren.
Jade is 17 years old and has spoken to over 35,000 young people about mental health, visiting over 70 schools.
She has been interviewed several times on the national TV news and radio about teen mental health. She was shortlisted for a National Diversity Award 2018 as a 'Positive Role Model For Young People'.
She is dedicated to destigmatising the issue of youth mental health and encouraging other young people with her recovery story.
Commercial & Partnerships
Joel is a businessman, father and co-founder of The Youth Mental Health Foundation.
He is passionate about sharing a father's perspective on the issue of child self-harm, coaching parents to play a key role in their child's healing and promoting awareness of the Horizon Plan to parents and healthcare professionals globally.
Meet Our Operations Team
Chloe manages and organises our assemblies and workshops at primary and secondary schools. She is also our liaison with the NHS trusts, Recovery Colleges and non-profits that share our free course and resources.
Resource Development Executive
Rebecca is an artist with a BA (Hons.) in Philosophy. She is dedicated to using her lived experience of post-traumatic stress disorder, depression, and anxiety to help increase awareness and empathy for those living with mental health issues.
Rebecca works alongside the team to edit and develop content for the Youth Mental Health Foundation. By developing online resources, she aims to provide young people and parents with the knowledge, support, and guidance they need to navigate through the process of self-awareness and recovery.
Operations Coordinator & Virtual Assistant
Chester (known as Ching) has wide experience in management and administration.
She supports the YMHF's Leadership team and is grateful for the opportunity to serve young people who are struggling with their mental health.
Resource Development Executive
Lucy is a second-year undergraduate Psychology student. She is passionate about advocating for youth mental health. By developing content, and through artwork, she aims to help provide knowledge to parents to support their child’s recovery.
Suzie is a 19-year-old filmmaker based in Bristol, UK. She cares about mental health and loves creating short films, music videos, and travel videos.
Meet Our Advisory Board
We're grateful for the advice and feedback from our team of parents with lived experience of caring for a young person with mental health challenges. Please get in touch if you'd like to join the Advisory Board.
I am honoured to be a part of The Youth Mental Health Foundation and offer my experience to support families on their journey.
I grew up with the perfect mixture of country and city living. I offered my 3 sons that same life and I now reside in regional Victoria (Australia) on 2 acres with a few pet sheep.
I raised my sons alone and at times endured a challenging journey. However we all got through by focussing on one moment at a time and not looking too far ahead.
I am currently working in my ideal position as Head of Girls Boarding in a regional school. I work closely with each boarder and the many issues teenagers bring.
I am blessed to have a full life with children whom are now well and fulfilling their dreams. I truly believe that we are all on this wonderful planet to help one another, and I look forward to helping in any way I can.
Our journey with mental illness began 9 years ago when my daughter was 12 and began with cutting.
At first, I was totally unaware there was a problem. My daughter was, and still is, very skilled at hiding her true feelings. It was only when summer arrived, and she was still wearing long sleeves and jeans, that I realized something wasn’t right. One day, after I refused to buy her a pair of $200 sneakers, everything came pouring out. She screamed “You just want me to be bullied”, the communication began. My daughter was being severely bullied. She had been sexually assaulted by a classmate and she began cutting. She cut her arms, legs, chest, and stomach. She cut anywhere she could hide with clothing. I never felt so guilty as I did that night. How could I not have known?
I began by saying “our journey” began 9 years ago. Mental illness affects the entire family. My husband and I experienced every negative emotion imaginable. We felt we had failed our daughter, we felt guilty for not knowing, we were unbelievably angry at the ones who bullied and assaulted our child. We watched helplessly as the cutting turned into more severe issues. We watched the child we loved fight to survive. We all needed, and still need help. Years of individual, family and in home therapy gave us skills we never dreamed we would need and kept our daughter alive. Not all cutting leads to the severity of mental illness our daughter deals with, however, the journey is too hard to navigate alone.