Key contributors


Ruth Allen (Dr)

Chief Executive, BASW (British Association of Social Workers)

Prior to her role as BASW Chief Executive Dr Allen served as the Director of Social Work at South West London and St Georges’ Mental Health NHS Trust (2007-2016), as the Head of Social Care for Hertfordshire Partnership NHS Trust (2004-2007) and as Integration Manager for Tower Hamlets and the local Health Trust (2002-2004). Her career to date demonstrates values-based leadership in social work and social care with a commitment to transforming social work practice at both a national and local level.

Dr Allen’s ongoing dedication to social work practice has led her to co-chair the Practice Advisory Group to the Chief Social Worker for Adults (for the continuation of the work of the mental health and adults faculties of The College of Social Work), to chair the Social Care Strategic Network for Mental Health and to be the co-developer and facilitator for the Excellence in Social Work Leadership programme, alongside being a recognised author in social work and a practice development consultant.
Dr Allen holds a Master’s degree in Social Work, with distinction, from the University of Sussex and a Professional Doctorate in Education, also awarded by the University of Sussex. She is also actively involved in current social work research through her research fellowship with St George’s University.

Cecilia Lai Wan CHAN

Si Yuan Chair Professor of Social Work and Health, Department of Social Work and Social Administration, The University of Hong Kong

Professor Cecilia Chan is a world leader in health and social work. She advocated for a strength-oriented empowerment approach in working with traumatized individuals such as cancer patients, women of divorce, bereaved persons, couples with fertility issues, and victims of disaster. She adopted vigorous bio-psycho-social outcome indicators in her randomized trials on measuring impact of her innovative Integrative Body-Mind-Spirit (IBMS) interventions on different population groups. Her IBMS intervention can be found in this video: Her multi-disciplinary team used salivary cortisol (stress) and telomerase (anti-aging) as physiological impact of psycho-social-spiritual intervention by social workers. Her creative synergy of Chinese philosophies and qigong exercises into holistic behavioral health intervention is ground breaking. Her integrative meaning-making empowerment strategies effectively nurture spirituality of forgiveness, gratitude, hope, and optimism, which are fundamental to resilience and transformation. Her leadership in health social work is recognized by her many international awards and local recognitions.

Lynette Joubert

Professor of Social Work, University of Melbourne, Australia

• Aged abuse
• Carers
• Mental health, in particular the social aspects of depression and anxiety
• Psychosocial aspects of chronic disease
• Recovery after stroke

Dr Pashupati Mahat

Clinical psychologist with experience in public mental health in Nepal

Pashupati Mahat, clinical psychologist with experience in public mental health in Nepal. He is leading national level mental health NGO since 2003 in Nepal which supports in establishing the prevalence of mental health problems in different communities, develop and implement mental health intervention projects to establish evidence-based cost-effective mental health services at community level for targeted population and to national level as well. He is also involved in academic research and evidence-based researches in Nepal. His contribution lies in developing mental health policies of Nepal and the recent revision, mental health care practice guideline, standard treatment protocol in mental health, training package in child and adolescent mental health for doctors and health workers, training manuals for school teacher and parents, guidelines to establish mental health services to GBV survivors in district hospital, national mental health prevalence study and advocacy to address mental health service gaps.

Siu-man Ng

Department of Social Work and Social Administration & Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong

With a dual professional background in mental health social work and Chinese medicine, SM’s research theme is mental health and culture. His current research areas include (i) operationalization of the Chinese medicine stagnation syndrome as a psychological construct useful to all mental health practitioners; (ii) family expressed emotion of persons with schizophrenia and its impacts on the course of illness; (iii) critical re-examination of the conceptualization of mindfulness; and (iv) workplace well-being: a paradigm shift of focus from stress and burnout to meaning and engagement. SM is currently an Associate Professor and Deputy Head of the Department of Social Work and Social Administration, and the Associate Director of the Centre on Behavioral Health, The University of Hong Kong, HKSAR, China.

Kate Pickett

Professor of Epidemiology, Department of Health Sciences, University of York, UK

Kate trained in biological anthropology at Cambridge, nutritional sciences at Cornell and epidemiology at UC-Berkeley. She is currently Professor of Epidemiology in the Department of Health Sciences, and the University’s Research Champion for Justice and Equality.  Kate was an UK NIHR Career Scientist from 2007-12, is a Fellow of the RSA and a Fellow of the UK Faculty of Public Health. She is co-author, with Richard Wilkinson, of The Spirit Level chosen as one of the Top Ten Books of the Decade by the New Statesman, winner of Publication of the Year by the Political Studies Association and translated into 23 languages. She is a co-founder and trustee of The Equality Trust.

Lyn Romeo

Chief Social Worker for Adults

Lyn qualified as a social worker from the University of New South Wales, Australia, in 1978. She has worked in health and statutory sectors in a variety of practice, leadership, inspection and management roles. Lyn took up her post as Chief Social Worker for Adults at the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) in September 2013; working collaboratively with the Chief Social Worker for Children and Families.
Previously, Lyn worked as the Assistant Director for Adult Social Care in the London Borough of Camden, an inspector with the Social Services Inspectorate, and for over 20 years worked in Yorkshire as both a field social worker and in a variety of management roles across children and adults.

Diana Rose

Professor of User-Led Research, Service User Research Enterprise (SURE)

Diana Rose is a social scientist and has been a mental health service user all her adult life. After researching in the sociology of language and then teaching social psychology, anthropology and women’s studies, her first academic career was ended by the intolerability of her distress – both to her and her employer. For ten years she ‘lived in the community’, using or refusing mental health services, but also becoming involved in the user / survivor movement and finally working in a small organisation for disabled people. Much to her surprise, she was offered a position in a national NGO where her stigmatised identity was an asset rather than a liability. In 2001 she moved to the then Institute of Psychiatry at King’s College London and somehow has ended up the world’s first Professor of User-Led Research. She is currently researching the history, impacts and current configurations of user-led research internationally.

Mike Spencer

Professor of Social Work, University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI)

Mike Spencer is a UW Presidential Term Professor in Social Work and the director of Native Hawaiian, Pacific Islander, and Oceanic Affairs at the University of Washington Indigenous Wellness Research Institute (IWRI). He received his Ph.D. from the University of Washington in Social Welfare (’96).  Prior to his return to UW, Mike served as the Fedele F. Fauri Collegiate Professor of Social Work and Associate Dean for Educational Programs at the University of Michigan. He is of Native Hawaiian descent and is a graduate of the Kamehameha Schools (’83).

His research examines health and wellness among Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islanders and is focused on interventions that promote health among Native Hawaiians through indigenous practices and values. Currently, his funded research examines the added benefit of integrating Native Hawaiian healers into primary care in Waimanalo, O’ahu.  He also works with colleagues at the University of Hawai’i  to promote food security and wellbeing through the use of backyard aquaponics systems in Waimanalo among Native Hawaiians.

Jerry Tew

Professor of Mental Health and Social Work, University of Birmingham, UK

Jerry has over 20 years’ experience as an Approved Social Worker, manager and training officer within Social Services Departments and the voluntary sector. He has lectured in Higher Education since 1998 and has particular interests in mental health, recovery and social inclusion, whole family approaches and service user involvement.

Bruce Thyer

Research Professor of Social Work at Florida State University, USA

Dr. Bruce A. Thyer is a Distinguished Research Professor of Social Work at Florida State University, USA.  He is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and a Board-Certified Behavior Analyst.  Dr. Thyer has published extensively in the field of clinical social work and mental health, and has Edited the journal Research on Social Work Practice for 29 years.  He also co-edits the Journal of Evidence-Based Social Work and the Child and Adolescent Social Work Journal. He is active in promoting evidence-based practice within the field of social work, the practice of clinical and programme evaluation, and application of behavior analysis within our field.