The team behind State of Mind

Professor Steven Broomhead PRESIDENT

Professor Steven Broomhead holds the Chair of Entrepreneurial Education at Liverpool Hope University. He also is the Chief Director of Institutional Development at the University. Prior to this Steven has had a full career furthering education and regenerating the North West community in a range of roles from Chief Executive of the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) to Principal and Chief Executive of Warrington Collegiate Institute. Steven is committed to the promotion of lifelong learning for which he was recently awarded the BT National Lifelong Learning Award for his contribution to skills and education. He is a member of the National Skills Alliance (since 2003) which was driving the demand led national strategy for skills and learning. He was also a member of the Basic Skills Agency from 1996 to 2004.


Malcolm has extensive experience working in a range of Mental Health specialties. Former Director of Nursing in both Wigan and Salford. From 1997 until 2002 Nurse Advisor for Mental Health and Forensic Psychiatry at the Department of Health. Malcolm then became the Joint Lead for the Acute Care Programme of the National Institute for Mental Health England (NIMHE) for eight years. He was an Independent Member of the Parole Board for seven years. Currently Malcolm is largely employed as an Independent Investigator into serious untoward incidents, in particular, suicide and homicides in both inpatient and community settings. He is keen to ensure that the lessons learnt from tragic incidents are actually implemented. Malcolm was awarded the OBE in 1996 and is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, an Honorary Fellow of the University of Central Lancashire and the first Fellow of the National Association of Psychiatric Intensive Care Units (NAPICU). Malcolm was honoured with a Lifetime Achievement Award for Leadership in Nursing by the Journal Of Psychiatric and Mental Health Nursing

Dr. Phil Cooper MBE TRUSTEE

Phil is a Nurse Consultant in Dual Diagnosis at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust and developed the ‘Feel Good, Play Better, Live Well’ education and awareness session with the support of his colleague Carol Ede. Dr Phil Cooper was a co-Founder of State of Mind. Phil is an award winning and widely published mental health nurse who has piloted a number of clinical and service innovations. He has devised and implemented successful training programmes in the area of substance misuse, mental wellbeing and resilience for Rugby League players, students and communities. In 2012 he was awarded the Royal College of Nursing’s Nursing Standard Mental Health Award for his work with ‘State of Mind and in 2013 a Lifetime Achievement Award at the National Positive Practice in Mental Health Awards. Phil has delivered the player awareness presentation to all Super League Clubs, Championship Clubs and now with community clubs – helping players to identify how they can improve their mental well-being and encouraging them to ask for help if they need it.


Born and brought up in Bedfordshire, Owen moved up to Liverpool at the age of 18 to study media at Liverpool John Moores University. Following graduation in 2000, he went on to establish film and motion design agency Mocha – a company now in its 15th successful year and one of the leading film agencies in the UK. It was through Mocha, and their work with Simon Howes at CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably), that Owen became involved with State of Mind at the point of the campaign’s inception in 2011. Owen and his colleagues at Mocha were instrumental in the naming and branding of State of Mind and have produced a number of high quality campaign films that have earned the campaign invaluable exposure across media platforms. As a keen long distance runner – and occasional marathoner – Owen loves nothing more than tying up the laces and heading out the door for mile after mile of stress relief and fresh air. One of his proudest achievements to date pushed this love to the limit in September 2011 when he ran 214 miles in ten days from Wrexham to Hull, via every northern Super League stadium to raise awareness and funds for State of Mind. His appointment as a trustee of State of Mind is one of his proudest professional achievements. 18 years after first moving to Merseyside, Owen still lives happily in south Liverpool with his wife Kate and two kittens.


Dr Allan Johnston MBBS, MRCPsych, Cert.Med.Ed(IU) is a Consultant Psychiatrist with the National Health Service. Dr Johnston is currently employed by Derbyshire Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust as Consultant Psychiatrist to the Crisis Resolution & Home Treatment Team where he has been responsible for a range of innovations in crisis care and facilitating early discharge home from hospital. In Derbyshire Dr Johnston chairs the Derbyshire Suicide Prevention Strategy Group and works with colleagues from across health, social care and public health to achieve this aim. He is a Sports Psychiatrist and Trustee to the award winning State of Mind Sports charity, a mental health charity which aims to improve the mental health, wellbeing and working lives of Rugby League players and the communities we serve. Dr Johnston was employed as World Rugby League’s first Sports Psychiatrist by the Bradford Bulls RLFC over the 2012/13 and 2013/14 seasons. He is widely published in both Liaison & Sports Psychiatry across a variety of social and traditional media including the forthcoming Oxford Handbook of Sports Psychiatry. Allan lives in South Yorkshire with his family and enjoys all sports from Aizkolaritza to Zui-Quan.


Jimmy Gittins was a Professional Rugby League player for 10 years when he broke his neck in two places during a match. He was told that he would never walk again or be able to feed himself. Jimmy was determined to rehabilitate himself by setting goals and incrementally moving step by step. Nine months later he walked out of hospital and has since gone on to achieve some incredible successes as he continues to challenge himself and give back to the community. He has undertaken many notable charity activities, including cycling across France and Sky Diving with the Red Devils and has been featured on Sky Sports ‘Super League Supermen’ TV Programme.


Danny Sculthorpe is a former Super League Rugby Prop Forward who recently retired as a result of injury and illness which impacted on his mood and wellbeing. Subsequently Danny has become involved in State of Mind as a key contributor to training programmes and in the media. Danny’s personal experience of injury and illness and how he is dealing with his problems, brings highly credible and powerful insights into responding to adversity.


Clair is currently the Associate Director of Acute and Crisis Services in Mental Health and Specialist services within Pennine Care Foundation Trust. She is an experienced, current PhD student, master’s degree educated, senior nurse and manager with effective leadership skills and a proven track record of achievement and change in a wide variety of settings and services. Qualifying as a Registered General Nurse in 1987 she went on to complete her RMN in 1992. Mother of two teenage girls, both of whom play rugby at both a county and England academy level, Clair is an avid, season ticket holding, follower of the Wigan Warriors and her passion for mental health and rugby league enables her role as Trustee for State of Mind to offer maximum impact.


Nick has held a wide range of senior and executive positions in the Utility Sector and in the NHS (Mental Health). Until his recent retirement, his career spanned Customer Services, Human Resources and Organisational Development and Corporate Services. Nick is now an active trustee and supporter of the work of State of Mind Sport and is currently the Treasurer and Charity Secretary. He is also a Magistrate within the adult criminal and family magistrate courts in the Lancashire area. Nick is a keen fan of Rugby League generally and has been an avid Preston North End supporter for many years. To compensate for this he is keen to manage his own mental wellbeing by spending most weekends in the Lake District with his wife Cathy and walking his two dogs on the high fells, whatever the weather.


Adrian Morley was born in Salford and is a professional rugby league footballer for the Warrington Wolves of Super League. A Great Britain and England international prop forward, he previously played for the Leeds Rhinos (winning the Challenge Cup with them in 1999), Australia’s Sydney Roosters (with whom he won the 2002 NRL Premiership) and Bradford Bulls (with whom he won the 2005 Super League X Championship), before moving to Warrington. Adrian signed a deal with the Warrington Wolves, beginning in 2006. He was also appointed captain the Warrington Wolves side. Adrian guided Warrington Wolves to Challenge Cup glory in 2009, beating Huddersfield in the Final at Wembley and again captained Warrington in the 2010 Challenge Cup Final victory over the Leeds Rhinos He captained the Great Britain test side that faced France in 2007. He was named in the 24‐man England squad for the 2008 Rugby League World Cup and was selected to play for England against France in the one‐off test in 2010. Adrian was to lead England in the 2010 Four Nations but was ruled out after injuring himself in a warm up match against the New Zealand. Adrian has agreed to be the Player Ambassador for the State of Mind programme. Adrian will now finish his career with the Salford Red Devils after moving back home after the 2013 season


Brian is a former Irish rugby player who played rugby league for most of his career before switching codes to play rugby union for Munster, from 2007 to 2009. He has played for the Gateshead Thunder, Hull, Wigan and NRL side Newcastle Knights before finishing his rugby career with Super League team Warrington Wolves. Brian won a Challenge Cup Winners medal for Wigan in their 2002 defeat of St Helens. He was included in the 2003 Super League ‘Dream Team’ and the 2003 Rugby League World magazine World XIII, and voted BBC North West’s Rugby League Player of the Year in the same season. Following his switch to rugby union Brian was selected in the Irish squad for the 2007 Rugby Union World Cup. Since his retirement from the ranks of professional rugby Brian, who graduated with a business and law degree, has begun a career in sports broadcasting with Sky TV covering all aspects of rugby league. Brian also works with Warrington Wolves on player welfare issues.


Terry, a native of Widnes, was a former BARLA international. In 1990 Terry turned professional signing for the original Red Devils Salford, and played for them for three years. He joined Wigan in 1994 and won the Challenge Cup, Charity Shield, Regal Trophy, Premiership and also the inaugural Grand Final. He was a mainstay of the Wigan pack for a decade and enjoyed a testimonial in 2004 for his services to Wigan. Terry donated part of his testimonial money to under privileged children, which allowed them to go on holiday to Euro Disney in November 2004. In the history of Wigan RLFC, only 27 players have worn the Cherry and White top more than him. Since his retirement from the ranks of professional rugby Terry has begun a career in sports broadcasting with Sky TV covering all aspects of rugby league. He also continues to work with Widnes Vikings on improvements to player welfare.

Simon Barber PATRON

Simon graduated from Durham University, and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with Price Waterhouse in Manchester. He has extensive commercial experience obtained from working as Finance Director and Commercial Director in a number of industries including Utility Supply, Advertising, Retail, Telecommunications and Manufacturing. Simon came to the NHS in 2006 to use his skills within the public sector. He has worked at The Christie in Manchester, at Salford Primary Care Trust and he led the successful turnaround project at Western Cheshire Primary Care Trust as Turnaround Director. Simon was appointed as Chief Executive at North West Boroughs Healthcare NHS Foundation Trust in December 2007 and successfully led the Trust to achieve Foundation Trust status from March 2010. Simon is a graduate of the European Health Leadership Programme at INSEAD (2010). Simon is a member of the North West Mental Health Chief Executives’ Group, which he chaired between 2010 – 2014. Simon is a patron of several mental health charities and is on the Board of Trustees of The Reader Organisation. Simon is a qualified Coach and Coach Supervisor and has led the introduction of a coaching style of leadership at the Trust.

Martin Coyd PATRON

Martin is a team manager and bus driver for a wheelchair rugby league team called the Medway Dragons. I coach teams and still play Masters as well – I just love the game. Martin was awarded the OBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours list for establishing rugby league as an official sport within the British Armed Forces and for playing a leading role in running games and in developing wheelchair rugby. Martin Head of Health and Safety for MACE Construction, attributes his work ethic to his time in the army and is passionate about making every work environment a healthy, safe and happy place to be.


James is the Warrington Wolves Sport and Lifestyles Manager and is responsible for the sport and lifestyle programmes initiated and delivered by The Foundation to encourage the local community to initiate and sustain positive lifestyle choices. Working with a range of schools, further/higher educational establishments, 3rd sector organisations and businesses, the projects address health inequalities across the community by empowering individuals to become more physically active.


RFL Operations Director, with responsibility for the RFL Player Welfare Programme.Emma is the Operations Director at the RFL and is the first person to contact regarding any player welfare issues. The RFL’s welfare package include a free career coaching service, education and/or training grants, financial advice and assistance with contractual or other club disputes.”


James has more than five years experience in digital and sport, mainly in project management and content production. He has worked on several projects across a range of sports with various organisations and clubs. Highlights include running the Carling Cup official website, covering the 2013 Rugby League World Cup, managing media coverage of State of Mind rugby league, working with the Football Writers’ Association and acting as media officer for Mersey Tigers basketball club. James founded rugby league website in 2005, and have grown it to become one of the leading rugby league websites in the UK. Efficient and confident content producer and journalist with a strong knowledge of rugby league, football, basketball (UK) and ice hockey (UK). James has a wide interest, knowledge and passion for sport, not just limited to the above.


Ernie is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and a former Director of Human Resources for NHS Trusts at Board level for whom he had a long and distinguished NHS career. Ernie was one of the co-founders of the ground breaking and innovative State of Mind Programme in rugby league. He went on to lead the State of Mind Sport application through the various stages of process for Charitable Incorporated Organisation status with the Charity Commission. He is one of the originating trustees of State of Mind Sport acting as Treasurer. Ernie also acted as Chief Executive of League 13 for whom he led the work to establish League Thirteen (Super League RL Players Association). During his time with State of Mind and League 13 he has appeared on TV, radio and presented to parliamentary groups at Westminster on issues connected with State of Mind, League 13 and rugby league in general. Ernie was a member of the Professional Players Federation (PPF) led working group that along with the Sport and Recreation Alliance developed a pan sport Mental Health Charter for Sport and Recreation launched on 25 March 2015 at the Oval Cricket Ground by the Deputy PM. He is a registered players’ agent accredited by the sport’s governing body, the RFL, and is also a UK Anti-doping Advisor. He was a Member of the PPF Executive Board. Ernie is a school governor acting on numerous committees and being part of the school’s strategic group. He was a Trustee Director of Fairfield Independent Hospital, Crank, St Helens and also acted in a voluntary capacity as Secretary to the Wigan Rugby League Past Players’ Association.

Carol Ede Co-Founder

Carol has been a registered Mental Health Nurse for over twenty five years as well as an enthusiastic Rugby League Supporter. She was previously employed as a Mental Health Practitioner by 5 Boroughs Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, working with people who have a severe and enduring mental illness who also use drugs and alcohol. Carol was one of the original group that met following the sad death of Terry Newton in September 2010. Carol has delivered educational presentations to Superleague players to raise awareness and reduce the stigma associated with mental health problems. Carol retired in 2014 from the NHS

Simon Howes

Simon has over 10 years experience in suicide prevention, strategic communications and men’s wellbeing. He is an affiliate member of the Chartered Institute of Marketing and has worked on award winning campaigns over many years. as development co-ordinator of the Merseyside CALMzone and recently at Public Health England. Simon is the facilitator and co-founder of the Cheshire & Merseyside Suicide Reduction Network, which is now recognised as a national example of good practice. In the early stages of State of Mind’s development, and during each years campaign, Simon uses his branding and campaign experience to ensure the messages we produce are accessible to our audiences of rugby league players, fans and wider communities, building the credibility of the SoM brand and ensuring it’s practical roll-out.

Claire Needham

Claire is Programme Support to the State of Mind Programme and makes sure everyone has the right information at the right time and hopefully all in the right place! Claire commented ‘working on the State of Mind has been a privilege to give something back to a sport I have enjoyed all my life and which has given me and my family the best of times’. After qualifying as an Occupational Therapist Claire spent many years working within Adult Mental Health Services and latterly before the change in direction within her career in Offender Health services across a variety of secure environments. She retired from the NHS in 2014

Jen Brown/Drew Perkins

Jen and Drew, both Health Improvement Specialists, worked closely together over the boroughs of Halton and St Helen and formed part of the original State of Mind group. Both with backgrounds in mental health and prevention they worked on a successful national lottery bid to help the State of Mind group, in the early days. After holding 10x well attended events over the boroughs of Halton and St Helens (with Saints and Widnes Vikings), they raised the profile of State of Mind locally and helped reduce the stigma associated with poor mental wellbeing.


Emma has a background in physical medicine combined with clinical nutrition. She is from good rugby stock and having a Super League player for a younger brother, has witnessed the depression that goes hand in hand with injury in the sport. Emma has suffered a serious injury herself as a result of a car accident, which has on separate occasions led her to have periods of extreme pain, living a life on crutches, and which led to her having severe bouts of depression herself. Emma has battled this and more recently has undergone major surgery due to breast cancer, again another battle both physically and mentally she does not intend on losing. Emma first raised money for State of Mind before we even became a full charity, she raised £2000 by hosting a Man vs Food competition attended by sports fans, the one and only Jimmy Gittins as well as some well known super league stars. Her next project to raise money was through avenue of one of her keen interests. Emma wrote a nutrition information and recipe book, which uses food and natural ingredients to lessen the symptoms of anxiety, stress and depression. This is still available for sale in ebook £4.99 and print £6.99 from Emma is continuing to work on future projects and we have heard on the grapevine it may involve some singing with a band!