Leading mental health ambassador joins the board at Innovating Minds!
Innovating Minds is delighted to announce that Dr Pooky Knightsmith has agreed to join them as a Non-Executive Director. This is a coup for the award-winning Birmingham company, just three years old, and sets the seal on a season where they have been shortlisted for multiple awards.
Pooky is a big name in the field of mental health. She is an advisor and author, a keynote speaker much in demand, and she holds many influential posts including Vice Chair of the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition and emotional wellbeing advisor at the PSHE Association.
She is a wonderful ambassador for mental health too. Partly this is because of her qualifications and professional success, and partly because Pooky is willing to speak openly about the lived experience of mental ill-health which gives her advice greater authenticity.
Her blogs deal with the big issues of our time: self-harming, supporting Looked After Children, eating disorders. Her advice is not just drawn from research and a theoretical perspective. In her blog Why I'm Proud I Asked for Help When Feeling Suicidal, she wrote: 'When I encourage others to reach out and ask for help in their darkest moments, I do so with the full knowledge that I would, and have, done the same, and that it worked out well.'
She joins Innovating Minds at an exciting time as the community interest company is expanding rapidly, taking on more staff, especially clinical psychologists who support their work in schools with staff and students.
Dr Asha Patel, CEO of Innovating Minds, is looking to meet the increasing demand for their services nationwide. This year the company is focusing on extending its digital resources and has recently taken a positive first step with a series of videos produced in conjunction with ClickView, one of the world’s leading producers of educational videos.
Pooky was attracted to Innovating Minds because they share her values. As a community interest company their profits fund new projects such as Healing Together which supports children affected by domestic violence.
Together they will make better use of digital technology and the virtual world: 'There is a huge appetite for skills-based learning now, rather than research and theory,' Pooky said. 'So many people want training so they can do the best for students who need their help and not just leave it to the experts.'
She has experience of developing low-cost, highly practical solutions delivered via video and online resources, and she can provide direction so that everything that Innovating Minds does will contribute to national strategic goals such as the Green Paper.
'They are adventurous in their approach and it is wonderful to see them treading new paths,' said Pooky. 'Innovating Minds is a young company not everyone has heard of them. I want to make sure their voices are heard loud and clear in schools, in wider communities and in Parliament too.'