Here are APNI trustees who work for or contribute towards APNI
Professor Merton Sandler - APNI President
Professor Merton Sandler is Emeritus Professor of Chemical Pathology in the University of London and, lately, Consultant Chemical Pathologist at Queen Charlotte’s Maternity Hospital. A medical graduate, he is fellow of three Royal Colleges and holds an honorary doctorate of the Semmelweis University, Budapest.
Merton Sandler has won a number of international prizes. His ongoing research programme involves a vigorous inquiry into the biochemistry of depressive illness, particularly in pregnancy and the puerperium, on which he has published a prodigious number of books and scientific papers.
David Clarke - APNI Chairman
David Clarke, 43, is a director of a coffee company based in London, he has a 17-year-old daughter & 3-year-old son & has been involved with the charity for the last two years. David lost his partner of 12 years, when she took her own life while suffering from postnatal depression 3 months after their son's birth. This encouraged in him a strong empathy for the work of APNI and he is the current Chairman.
Diane Nehmé - APNI Secretary
Diane Nehmé - is 48 years old, was born and raised in London and has two grown children (now flown from the nest!). Diane started working with the Association on a part-time basis more than 20 years ago, with what started as a part time job and became a passion. Diane recognises that each person is an individual and may need a different approach and level of help to get through post natal depression and applying this has let her help a wide range of people with a wide range of backgrounds.
Very much a 'hands on' person, Diane's leisure time away from APNI is spent reading, writing, attending the theatre and she also has a great passion for music and horse riding (not very successfully!) Diane is studying alternative and complimentary approaches that may help with post natal depression at the moment, however this will take some years before this mission is completed!
Clare Delpech - APNI Treasurer
Clare experienced post-natal depression after the birth of her third daughter Camilla in 1979. As she recovered from the illness she corresponded with Professor Merton Sandler, and with his active encouragement, and that of her psychiatrist the late Dr Gilli Oppenheim they founded the Association for Post-natal Illness. Since that time with a break of two years Clare has been actively involved with the Association firstly as Secretary for 20 years and then as Treasurer, a post that she currently holds.
Clare graduated in Biochemistry from Chelsea College, London University in 1975. She went on to do research towards a PhD but this was cut short by her illness. From 1980 to 1997 Clare ran, with a business partner, a printing firm. Following that she spent a year working in pre-print production. In 1999 she went to work as a Teaching Technician in the Biochemistry Teaching laboratories at Imperial College.
In 2006 Clare was awarded an MSc in Clinical Neuroscience with Immunology from Roehampton University. Clare also received an MBE in the Queens Birthday Honours List in 2009.
Clare has five grown up daughters and a grandson.
Cassandra Wiener is a 36 year old mother of two (Sebastian 6 and Rosie 4). She qualified as a lawyer in 1997 and stayed with an international City based law firm for 5 years, practicing as a corporate litigation specialist. Her first child, Sebastian, was born in London in April 2000, and following his birth she decided to leave London and the world of corporate law, and moved with her husband to idyllic West Sussex. She co- managed the citizens advice bureau in Petersfield, Hampshire for two years but left this post when she was pregnant with Rosie for the calmer atmosphere of the College of Law, in Guildford, where she is now a Senior Lecturer in Law. She teaches students about corporate litigation, contract and employment law and provides pastoral support to her 22 or so personal tutees each year.
Before she agreed to be a Trustee for APNI, Cassandra's interest in PND centred around a charity she set up with Liz Wise, the Cedar House Support Group, which funds supervised support groups for parents with PND. Cassandra’s particular concern with regard to PND is the lack of support offered by the NHS, and her hope is to campaign for support groups, like the ones facilitated by Liz, to be provided free of charge across the UK.
Liz Wise is a specialist Postnatal Depression Counsellor, with a diploma in Humanistic Counselling, who has been supporting and counselling women and their families for the past twelve years.
She is the PND support co-ordinator for the National Childbirth Trust and sits on the committee for The Association for Postnatal Illness. Liz was instrumental in the production of their training video and has more recently produced her own video, Understanding Postnatal Depression© which is an informative programme made especially for health professionals and parents, giving an insight into what PND is and its effects.
Liz has appeared on Kilroy, Richard and Judy, This Morning and various radio programmes regarding the work that she does.
Liz also works for Health trusts, developing and facilitating training courses on PND and facilitating PND support groups for mothers and fathers. She has also developed courses and trained volunteers for Home- Start and Sure Start schemes, MIND, the NCT and other voluntary organisations.
Liz also provides training on how to set up and facilitate PND support groups and speaks at conferences about the work that she does.
Having experienced severe PND herself, Liz not only has a wealth of professional experience but personal experience too, which has proved invaluable to many mothers and their families.
For further information about training, counselling and the video, Liz may be contacted on the following number: 07773 283556 or e mail,
Dr Raj Persaud
Dr Raj Persaud is a Consultant Psychiatrist at The Bethlem Royal and Maudsley NHS Hospitals Trust in London which are the leading teaching, research and clinical institutions in psychiatry in Europe. Unusually for a psychiatrist he also holds a degree in psychology that he obtained with First Class Honours, and in addition he has been awarded over 8 degrees and diplomas including a Masters in Statistics. He has been recognised for the innovative nature of his research by the receipt of numerous academic awards and prizes including the prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists Research Medal and Prize and The Maudsley Hospital's own Denis Hill Prize plus the exclusive medical award, the Osler Medal. The Royal College of Psychiatrists recently awarded him the Morris Markowe Prize for his Public Engagement work and elected him a Fellow of the College – the highest honour it can bestow on a member. In 2004 he has been appointed Gresham Professor for Public Understanding of Psychiatry – Gresham College was founded in the 16th Century and the venerated Royal Society developed from it. He has extremely unusually been appointed for a fourth consecutive term. He is also currently President of the Alumni Society at University College London.
The Royal College of Psychiatrists has recently elected Raj Persaud to be the Editor of its first book aimed at educating the public on psychology and psychiatry entitled ‘The Mind: A Users Guide’ to be published later in 2007 consisting of over 50 chapters from distinguished members of the profession. He has also supplied consequential entries for most of the established textbooks in the field, including the Oxford Companion to the Mind. He has published over 100 academic papers in learned journals like the British Journal of Psychiatry, British Medical Journal and The Lancet, but he also writes regularly for the National press including The Financial Times, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, The Independent, The Times Educational Supplement and The Health Service Journal. His best-selling book ‘Staying Sane: How to make your mind work for you’ published by Bantam press, remains the only serious scientific guide to preventing mental illness. His second book, ‘From the Edge of the Couch’ won the special commendation Tony Thistlewaite Award from the Medical Journalists Association for medical book of the year.
He referees papers for the key medical journals of repute and has acted as external examiner for medical schools which include St George’s Hospital Medical School, University of London. He has become known as the psychiatrist doctors turn to when they themselves develop mental health problems and runs the largest UK psychiatric clinic dealing with doctors. Besides his work in Britain he has been a research fellow and clinician at the top medical school in the USA, Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore. He returned to work in the UK because of the strain of having to constantly search his American patients for guns!
Raj Persaud has delivered many of the distinguished annual lectures in British Medicine including the prestigious 2002 Florence Nightingale Lecture, the annual oration of the Medical Society of London and the keynote lecture of the annual conference for National Institute of Clinical Excellence. He gave the widely publicised lecture celebrating the 50th anniversary of the foundation of The Samaritans. He has chaired prestigious panels, including chairing the International Aventis Science Book Prize for 2002 – the top book prize for science books given annually and judges the annual UK Broadcast Medical Journalism Awards, as well as the Health Service Journal Awards which include the Minister of Health’s Award. He broadcasts widely for TV programmes like Horizon, Tomorrow’s World, Newsnight and BBC Question Time. He will continue presenting All in the Mind on BBC Radio 4 from April 2007, for which he recently won a prestigious Mental Health Media Award. Besides featuring in several of their flagship programmes like File on Four, The World Tonight and The Healers, he has himself presented several special Radio 4 series including The Psychology of Fame, Measuring the Mind and The Negotiators. He also presents a regular series on BBC Worldservice Radio called ‘Travels of the Mind’ where he draws attention to mental health issues all around the world, from remote Kenya, Siberia, India to Belgium.
Recently he was elected the rare honour of a Fellow of University College London and is a patron of numerous mental health charities including Depression Alliance and The National Phobics Society. He is a trustee of Childline and Ambassador for The Samaritans. In 2004 The Times Newspaper elected Raj Persaud one of the top twenty Gurus in the world in terms of influence. The Spectator has described him as ‘the most eminent psychiatrist of the age’ and The Guardian, ‘the crown prince of media dons’. In 2002 The Independent on Sunday Newspaper conducted a poll amongst members of the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the Institute of Psychiatry to discover who were the top ten psychiatrists in the UK as rated by fellow psychiatrists. Dr Raj Persaud was the youngest doctor to make it into this esteemed list. He is one of an extremely small group of doctors who are members of both the Royal College of Psychiatrists and the British Psychological Society. He lives in Central London, is married to an eye surgeon and has two children who are the ultimate test of his sanity. To relax he plays poker at The Savile Club in Mayfair and tennis at Queens Club in Barons Court.
For updated articles by Dr Raj Persaud CLICK HERE