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Dr N Yoganathan

Consultant Psychiatrist

Member Group Analytic Society (International)

I have worked for over 30 years as a consultant in psychiatry in the NHS and independent sector managing most mental health problems in adults, and with a special interest in addictions. For 7 years, I was also a Royal College of Psychiatrists’ tutor responsible for the post-graduate training in psychiatry and training of GPs. I have been a full member of the Group Analytic Society International for more than 20 years and combine the scientific and psychodynamic approaches in my clinical and education practice.

Who are we?

Dr Jenny Willis

BA Hons, PGCE, MPhil (Ed), MPhil (Man), ADEM, PhD

Fellow RSA

I am an educationalist whose career began as a linguist teaching in inner London, followed by senior management in schools. I left the secondary sector to teach in FE and HE, and hold a PhD in education. My research interest in wellbeing dates back to my time as a Research Fellow at the University of Surrey. I have a special interest in mental health and have worked with Dr Yoganathan for nearly 20 years on the destigmatisation of mental illness. Examples of this work can be found at .

Additional interests

We are both international advisors for careif (the Centre for Applied Research and Evaluation International Foundation), an international mental health charity founded by distinguised psychiatrists Lord Albert Persaud and Professor Kamaldeep Bhui. 

Please visit  for more information about us, our work and our position statements

Jenny: I have a special interest in the history of psychiatry, especially related to the armed services. I grew up in a military background and have lived with the effects of PTSD since my early childhood. This experience gives me an insight into the impact on a family of an individual's mental illness.

I am a founding member of Lifewide Education and am Executive Editor of its companion magazine. Copies are free to download at

I am also Executive Editor of Creative Academic magazine, a higher education enterprise focused on creativity. Magazines are free to download at

About Kingston Wellbeing

Our Vision 

Our vision is to optimise the mental health and wellbeing of individuals through a process of personal reflection thereby supporting informed decision making on lifestyle choices. We believe that effective social change begins at the individual level.

Kingston Wellbeing has evolved out of our previous social enterprise, no2stigma .

Our Mission 

Wellbeing is a fundamental human right. We aim to help individuals and groups to optimise their mental health and personal wellbeing, and to dispel the stigma often associated with mental illness. We use inter-active educational techniques and Median Group principles to sensitise individuals to their own personal values, empowering them to take control of their mental health and wellbeing.

Stigma, Mental Illness and Wellbeing

For millennia, humans have struggled to understand mental illness. In spite of scientific advances which allow us to identify regions of the brain responsible for many processes, we remain in awe of the diversity and subjectivity of such experiences and conditions. If industrialised societies have become materially sophisticated, there is still extensive stigma attached to human diversity, including that related to mental health, despite this diversity being inherent to nature.

We humans have evolved from simple to complex biological beings, living in increasingly large and diverse societies. As this human complexity grows, so, inevitably, does the diversity of individual experience within these groups. Here lies a paradox: for a social group to survive and minimise chaos, agreed rules and regulations are necessary. These reflect the values and beliefs of the larger group and change over time but those who reject, rebel against or are unable to respond effectively to the accepted norm, will be stigmatised and either marginalised, persecuted or forced into acceptance. Fear, isolation and anxiety underpin these processes.

We can trace the concept of stigma can back to Ancient Greece when a person who had contravened the rules was physically marked out from the rest. Today’s form of stigmatisation may be more subtle, but it retains the same negative association it had in the past. One indicator of stigma is the language used to describe the person who deviates from the social norm. Terms used to describe those who deviate are usually pejorative and some have become politically unacceptable (Yoganathan, N. 2015). Some evidence from recent empirical studies regarding feelings and experiences as a result of the stigma of mental illness is strikingly similar to evidence from similar studies conducted a decade ago (Howe et al., 2014; Dinos et al., 2004).

So, can we really dispel the stigma associated with mental illness without dispelling a number of other stigmas, too? How can we reduce feelings and experiences of stigma associated with mental illness on the one hand if there is stigma experienced by possessing another stigmatised identity, e.g. gender or race related, on the other hand? Our work over the last twenty years has sought to educate the general public about the impact of stigma on someone’s life. We work from the individual level, confronting our own often unconscious prejudices, in our aim to bring greater understanding on the part of individuals, effecting change from the roots of society upwards.

Education provides the link to our second focus: personal wellbeing. We believe that self-awareness enables us to take responsibility for our health, and that we have a duty of responsibility to our communities (small and large groups). Why is this so important in the 21st century?

The global population is expected to rise from 7.6 billion to 10 billion by 2056. Life expectancy is increasing, causing demographic adjustments which challenge both individuals seeking to optimise their life span, and policy makers who must determine priorities for the use of finite resources. At the same time, globalisation and migration are eroding the once-staunch distinctions between cultures and identities, potentially threatening individual and social values, and contributing to mental illness. In this period of unprecedented change, it is even more essential for us to make informed lifestyle choices that support personal wellbeing. By taking responsibility for our choices, we exercise social responsibility. 

Kingston Wellbeing has a special interest in stigma related to mental illness, the perverse impact of language on our response to diversity and difference, and the group processes involved in addressing prejudice.

Really useful. Great talk and discussion. Complex subject.

Dr B Bhaskar

BMA webinar January 2018

Just wanted to say thank you for the last few months. I’ve learnt a lot from you in ward rounds – you are really good at teaching and generating discussions! People don’t often sit and talk things out these days, so it’s been a very insightful experience on (name of ward).

Trust pharmacist

SABP August 2018

This has been a very thought provoking and valuable two hours. Thank you.

Unnamed doctor

BMA webinar January 2018

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