What we do
We support young people, parents, schools and educators by providing a range of specialised courses and programmes on mental health education, resilience and wellbeing for:
Young People & Children, through delivering:
- The 10-session iheart Curriculum, a preventative educational programme delivered in schools, universities and other youth settings
- Subsidised one-to-one sessions for follow-up learning and to address individual issues
Teachers & School Staff, through delivering:
- Our 8-session Wellbeing & Resilience Foundation Course for Teachers/Staff
- Our 10-session advanced certification course to teach the iheart Curriculum to students
Schools & Senior Leaders, through offering:
- A bespoke Whole School Wellbeing Strategy for individual trusts/schools, including one-to-one coaching for senior leaders and leadership team orientation in the iheart approach
- Resources, materials and initiatives to embed resilience and wellbeing across whole school environments
Facilitators & Youth Workers, through providing:
- Our 4-module training course to gain certification in delivery of the iheart Curriculum for Young People
- Ongoing learning and progression within the iheart Academy by developing knowledge and skills to share our paradigm-shifting approach in mental health and resilience education
Parents & Families, through offering:
- One-to-one sessions for parents/carers
- Online parenting workshops, webinars and conferences
The iheart framework
At iheart, we focus on:
RE-EDUCATING youth about their mental health & wellbeing.
- We want young people (everyone really, but we focus on youth) to understand that they are WHOLE, WELL and RESILIENT. In recent years, society has re-cast normal negative emotions like disquiet, distress and discomfort as mental illness. There is also an expectation that we should feel good and tranquil all the time. When we don’t, we become convinced we have a ‘mental health problem’. This reinforces the belief that we are deficient, lack resilience and wellbeing. Our focus on innate wellbeing challenges these beliefs.
REDEFINING mental health.
- We believe mental health is KNOWING there will be moments when we will NOT experience our wellbeing, but NEVER doubting it is within. This is the difference between feeling hopeful and feeling hopeless.
- Not installing it. Nor building it. iheart explains that wellbeing is innate to the human psychological system. It’s like a factory setting. In fact, it’s already there, our natural setting. It doesn’t need to be acquired, achieved, practised, developed or installed.
NORMALISING the human experience.
- No one is going to experience their wellbeing 24/7. That’s just life. We want our youth to understand that wellbeing ALWAYS resides within them, EVEN when they are not experiencing it. Sure, we want them to experience their wellbeing more of the time, but we believe that it is equally important that young people appreciate that wellbeing is within them, EVEN when they are not experiencing it.
EMPOWERING young people.
- We encourage them to explore WHY their wellbeing is covered up and HOW they can uncover it again. We do NOT teach them to wait until it passes. We show them that they have the resilience to manage setbacks and overcome adversity.
PROVIDING youth with an instruction manual for life.
- We explain WHY they think, feel and behave the way they do. They develop a roadmap to navigate their journey through life. It comes complete with signposts, a compass and a North Star!
We implement the iheart framework by exploring how:
Wellbeing is BUILT INTO each and every one of us.
This means it is NOT conditional, dependent on or attached to factors like genetics, acquisitions, achievements or requirements being met. No one and no thing can give us wellbeing. No one and no thing can take it away from us. It resides within ALL of us, ALL of the time.
Wellbeing CAN be covered up, but it CANNOT be damaged, lost, broken or stolen.
This is vital to know because everyone’s wellbeing WILL be covered up at times such that they do not experience it. When this happens, they will feel non-resilient. They might even fear it has gone. Understanding that wellbeing is still there EVEN when it is covered up, is key to someone remaining hopeful in challenging times.
Our wellbeing WILL be covered up from time to time.
We explain precisely WHY this happens. We all have moments where it REALLY does seem like someone or something can take our wellbeing away. In these moments, we will feel stuck, insecure and anxious. We have outsourced our wellbeing. These are the ‘clouds’ that cover up our wellbeing.
Our wellbeing is covered up by ‘clouds’.
These are the things we outsource our wellbeing to. Things like: What if I fail? Am I good enough? Do I look ok? Am I meeting everyone’s expectations? What must I do to get your approval? I need you to think I’m ok in order to be ok!
We can help lift the ‘clouds’.
We explain EXACTLY what it is that lifts the ‘clouds’ so that we can experience more of our innate wellbeing. We then make wise, appropriate and responsive choices. People who are content and secure always do.
It is NORMAL to experience the full range of human emotions.
EVERY single person (no exceptions!) has moments of sunshine, moments of grey skies and everything in between. When the ‘sun of wellbeing’ is covered up, we do NOT need to worry that there is something wrong with us. We know WHY it’s covered up, HOW it gets uncovered again and that we are NOT LACKING in any way. MENTAL HEALTH is knowing that there will be moments where we DO NOT experience our wellbeing, but NEVER doubting it is within.
We will ALL be ‘on track’ and ‘off track’ at various times.
On track is when we feel secure. Off track is when we don’t. The good news is that there are SIGNPOSTS (or clues) that will let us know how we are doing, a COMPASS that redirects us toward wellbeing. Most important is the UNSHAKEABLE belief that whether we experience our wellbeing or not, we have EVERYTHING we need already inside of us.
Why this matters
iheart explains that mental health and mental wellbeing is innate. Knowing it is available to all people, is:
LIBERATING. Young people are excited to discover that they are whole and well. Nothing is wrong with them.
HOPEFUL. Young people discover that they have everything they need inside of them. This gives them the confidence to achieve their potential and overcome setbacks.
EMPOWERING. Young people gain the knowledge and skills to navigate their journey through life. No doubt, they will make detours, but they can get back on track!
Chair of Trustees
Having graduated with a law degree from the University of Cape Town and become a mother to four wonderful children, Dana went on to immerse herself in learning about the revolutionary understanding of how the mind works which is the basis for the iheart approach. Inspired by the immense transformational potential of this work, Dana set about co-creating, with Terry Rubenstein, the iheart curriculum for young people. And if you like the name iheart – Innate Health Education and Resilience Training – you can credit Dana; it was her idea!
Professor Anthony Kessel
Anthony, a public health physician, academic and author, is currently Clinical Director (National Clinical Policy) at NHS HQ, Senior Public Health Advisor to the Football Association (FA), and a consultant advisor to the World Health Organisation. Anthony previously worked for ten years as Director of Global Public Health at Public Health England and National Director of Public Health Strategy at the Health Protection Agency. Academically, Anthony is an Honorary Professor at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and has authored over 100 publications in areas of public health and the medical humanities. He is also a children’s fiction author and The Five Clues, first in his new ‘Don’t Doubt the Rainbow’ detective series which will be published by Crown House in July 2021, features a theme of psychological wellbeing and resilience in children threaded throughout.
After 15 years in GSK and other major pharma companies, developing and implementing commercial strategies on a local, regional and global scale, Ila co-founded Brand(x), a London based consultancy and communications agency. Having led the business to significant growth until its sale in 2018, Ila has since founded two further consulting companies supporting the pharmaceutical industry and currently works as an executive coach mentoring senior leaders, while also serving as a non-exec chairman. Ila’s commercial and organisational expertise and experience plays a key role in guiding iheart’s strategic direction and implementation of our vision.
Chief Commercial Officer at Endava, Julian was one of a very small team of people who over the course of twenty years, helped steer Endava into becoming a global public technology company employing 6500 people. With the experience of a career that has taken on a series of senior sales, marketing and business development roles focusing on IT across a number of industry sectors, Julian brings invaluable expertise to helping iheart navigate its own growth and technological development. Alongside his wife Jacqui – a certified iheart facilitator – Julian has been inspired to help share the iheart message which has deeply touched his own family.
An Education, Research and Development Consultant, Leonie is a retired – but not tired Headteacher. Her lifetime of experience of teaching and leadership in primary and early years included, as National Leader of Education, supporting school improvement in many primaries and setting up and directing a National Teaching School EYELA – Early Years Excellence Learning Alliance. Leonie’s vast knowledge of the educational field has been crucial in advising iheart on curriculum development, Ofsted requirements, school leader priorities, teaching practises and pupils’ needs.
One of the founding fathers of the health club industry, Allan has established over 100 health clubs globally since opening the first Holmes Place in South London in 1980, which he served as CEO for almost 25 years, including overseeing its listing as a public company in 1997. Having been on the board of several start-ups and large charities, Allan’s enthusiasm for creating aspirational brands, company cultures and organisations achieving significant value while retaining their own unique values, is as contagious as his appreciation of excellent wine. As a mentor and advisor to the iheart leadership team, Allan offers a unique blend of organisational experience, commercial knowhow and personal commitment to supporting innovative non-profits.
Dr Andrew Solomon
A Consultant Physician in Internal Medicine, Diabetes and Endocrinology at East and North Herts NHS, Andrew initially trained at Oxford Medical School, graduating with distinction. He was a research fellow at the Royal Free Hospital/UCL leading to a doctorate in medicine and is currently the Clinical Audit Lead for a team of senior health professionals. Having been involved in medical research for a number of years, including multiple published papers and book chapters, Andrew provides essential expert input into our ongoing evaluation processes and research projects.
A Teach First Ambassador, mental health and well-being champion, and advocate for educational reform, Arron is currently a Head of Department/Head of Year at a large secondary school in North London. Alongside being the school-lead for the iheart Programme, Arron’s pedagogical insights and experiences in working in other London inner and outer schools place him in a strong position to advise and support the implementation of iheart’s holistic educational vision. Having been inspired by and seen first-hand the impact of iheart, Arron believes that all students and teachers can benefit from the innovative curriculum.
For the last twenty years, Branwen has, by choice, worked in inner city primary schools located within areas with high levels of deprivation. Starting as a teacher and culminating in a successful headship in a culturally diverse school with over 60% of children entitled to pupil premium, she has always sought to empower pupils and staff to be confident and fulfilled within the school’s learning community. Underpinned by a focus on the health and wellbeing of children, families and staff, Branwen’s leadership work contributes to developing happy, achieving and well-rounded young citizens of the future.
Giles is the senior partner of the London-based Chartered Accountancy firm, Numera Partners LLP, where he specialises in providing complex tax advice and structuring, accounts, audit, management consultancy and fund raising through venture capital and flotation. With thirty years of experience in adding value to clients’ businesses through helping to achieve growth, efficiency and profitability, Giles’ background and skills is of great benefit to iheart in terms of financial management, governance, complex-problem solving and future growth.
An Advisory Teacher for Autism at London Borough of Barnet, Kim has worked as a teacher, SenCo and wellbeing specialist for children and teenagers with special educational needs for the past 17 years. She has extensive experience in primary school education and was part of senior leadership in school for many years. Kim’s knowledge, expertise and experience in providing support for children and families is of great benefit to ihearts’s holistic approach to improving young people’s wellbeing, as is her past work as an Inclusion Manager working with pupils with SEN, EAL and Pupil Premium.
Matthew has been a partner in a City law firm for over 20 years specialising in banking and finance work, and has also sat on the management board of an international legal practice. Having served as a trustee of a number of charities in the youth and education sector, Matthew offers significant experience and knowledge to iheart, both as a legal expert and from a governance perspective.
An education consultant, leadership coach and certified iheart facilitator who leads professional development in schools and corporate settings, Michael has held numerous leadership posts during his 25 years of involvement in education, both in the UK and overseas. In focussing on communication and self-empowerment, Michael believes that in addition to supporting students with the necessary skills and experiences to become confident and independent learners, the job of an educator is to develop the student’s core skills that will prepare them to enter the big wide world and support their emotional wellbeing.
For over 35 years Peggy has worked in local government specialising in working with hard to reach communities, young people and their families. She previously led on mental health within Wandsworth Integrated Youth Service and has managed multiple teams including Ending Gangs and Youth Violence, Borough Early Intervention Team, Teenage Parents, and Prevention from Extremism. Peggy currently manages Wandsworth’s Targeted Youth Service teams and has recently been commissioned by a Croydon Pupil Referral Unit to deliver a whole school and family project underpinned by the iheart approach.
A senior Business Director at Ogilvy, one of the world’s most prestigious advertising agencies, Ryan is an award-winning executive with vast experience in the fields of Advertising, Marketing, Brand Stewardship, Media and PR. Having led accounts such as Audi, Caterpillar, IBM, Inmarsat and Rolls-Royce, Ryan’s expertise, passion and knowledge is of great value to iheart as we continue to expand our vision, footprint and impact.
Professor Tom Kelly
Professor Thomas Kelley, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor at the Department of Criminal Justice, Wayne State University, Detroit, Michigan, USA. Tom has authored or co-authored over 70 peer-refereed journal articles, many of which explore cutting-edge approaches to addressing issues regarding resilience and mental health in children and adolescents. With the benefit of over 45 years of professional experience in this field, plus extensive knowledge of similar interventions in the USA and globally, Tom provides essential guidance and input towards the rigorous research and evaluation of the iheart Programme.
Toni is the Founder and CEO of the Schools Counselling Partnership which specialises in providing a counselling service supporting children, schools and families. Moreover, as a qualified Integrative Child and Adolescent Psychotherapist, who also serves as Attachment Lead for Ealing, Harrow & Tower Hamlets and as an advisory board member for BASE Babywatching, Toni offers great expertise and experience in how to integrate mental health support and solutions within school environments.
Currently Head of Digital at Newton Investment Management, Jonny is a seasoned digital marketing leader with over 15 years of experience across digital transformation, strategy, tactical delivery and financial services. Armed with wide industry knowledge that includes having previously led digital functions at Investec and PIMCO, Jonny now brings that expertise to advising iheart on its fast-evolving digital strategy. Passionate about mental wellbeing with first-hand experience raising his four children, Jonny has been engaged with iheart’s mission from the early days and continues to offer support and guidance from near and far.