The Shadow of the Asylum: A journey through social justice

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The lecture will start at 19:30 and there will be a drinks reception following the lecture. 

In his inaugural Professorial Lecture, Matt Fossey will discuss his journey into academia from his childhood in Northampton through his career in mental health practice, management, and Government policy work. Matt will use the concept of social justice as a navigator for this journey, discussing salient events that have shaped his approach to life, research, and academic leadership.


Matt studied Social Work at the University of Birmingham and worked as a Mental Health Approved Social Worker for seven years. He was a Visiting Fellow at the University of Sussex, assisting in the delivery of their MSW programme. In 2004 he joined the National Institute for Mental Health (NIMHE) and was a member of the national service improvement team. He moved to the Department of Health where he was the Deputy Director of the flagship Improving Access to Psychological Therapies (IAPT) programme, helping to convert an idea into a £1/2 billion nationally delivered service.

He has extensive expertise in the UK voluntary sector, including working with the mental health charities Mind and Rethink Mental Illness as National Stakeholder Manager on the national anti-stigma campaign "Time to Change". He has also held a number of local and national trustee appointments including The Ripple Pond and Health Watch Essex (Vice Chair) Matt is a member of a number of national and international working groups on military and veteran related matters.

He was a team member of the NATO research group exploring military to civilian transition and is currently co-chair of the NATO military sexual violence research panel. Matt is also a member of the international ministerial working group considering wellbeing in the military and veteran communities.

Matt has written widely including publications on veterans' health and wellbeing, mental health, and liaison psychiatry, including several key publications with economist Michael Parsonage.

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