Who are Mindhealth360
The MindHealth360 Team
Kirkland Newman Smulders
Founder and Editor
I am a half english, half american, writer, researcher and philanthropist specialising in Mental Health and the Middle East.
I was inspired to develop MindHealth360 after suffering debilitating post-partum depression after the births of both of my boys, in 2005 and 2009. Conventional psychiatry and medicine had me on antidepressants and sleeping pills, to which I had a terrible reaction.
Integrative medicine, however, helped me tremendously. I was lucky that I had the resources to pursue my own healing journey, identify the best integrative practitioners and attend their webinars, read their books, and sometimes see them. This enabled me to heal completely, and now I want to make this healing available, for free, to everyone suffering from mental health issues.
In order to do this, with help from a fabulous team of researchers, web developers and designers, I have developed MindHealth360 — a free, easy to use, comprehensive online resource compiling the best information and the latest research on integrative mental health, from the top integrative health specialists around the world.
Educational and professional background
- First Class (Summa cum Laude) BA in Modern Languages and Literature from Oxford University; MSc in European Studies from The London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE); MA (with Merit) in Near and Middle Eastern Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS)
- 1996 to 2004 worked for Rockefeller Brother’s Fund (Programme associate on Democratisation in Central and Eastern Europe, and adult literacy in South Africa) and Ogilvy & Mather (Strategic Planner for IBM software) in New York; and Musiclegal.com (co-founder and VP marketing) and The Prince’s Trust (Senior business development manager) in London
- 2004 founded and successfully implemented Europe’s largest hip hop festival at Earl’s Court, London, for the Prince’s Trust, featuring Jay-Z, Beyonce, Alicia Keys, Mod Def, Dizze Rascal, etc…
- 2005 to 2009 co-chaired and fundraised for Lessons with Love, a UK based charity set up to support a community and education centre for a refugee camp in Bethlehem, Palestine
- 2006 co-founded Horizon Foundation (www.horizonfoundation.info), which provides scholarships to young people from the Middle East and Asia to UK and US schools. Currently Trustee of the Horizon Foundation. You can watch a documentary about one of our wonderful Horizon students here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XFzgknaJx-M
- 2011 worked on a project for the Bureau of Investigative Journalism doing research on Z drugs (sleeping pills and hypnotics), which deepened my understanding of the pharmaceutical approach to mental health
- 2012 directed and produced a short, fundraising documentary for Wish, a fantastic charity which helps women with mental health issues in prisons, secure hospitals, and the community in the UK. You can watch it here: http://www.womenatwish.org.uk/womens-stories/#
- 2013 published a chapter entitled “The Battle for Victimhood over Victimhood; roles and implications of narratives of suffering in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict“, in Dina Matar and Zahera Harb’s “Narrating Conflict in the Middle East: Discourse, Image and Communication Practices in Lebanon and Palestine“. https://www.amazon.co.uk/Narrating-Conflict-Middle-East-Communications/dp/1780761031/ref=sr_1_fkmr0_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1505197915&sr=8-3-fkmr0&keywords=narratives+of+dina+matar
I have a MSc in Development Studies from SOAS University of London and a First Class BA in Linguistic and Cultural Mediation with a focus on Arabic language and the Middle East from the University of Naples, “L’Orientale”.
I have worked on refugee response programmes in Jordan and volunteered for a refugee charity in London.
As an experienced social media and communications professional, I have played a crucial role in developing and maintaining an online presence for a variety of high-profile brands and planning and executing a range of campaigns in entertainment, technology, fashion and food. Although I enjoyed the majority of this work, since graduating with a First-Class BSc in Psychology from Goldsmiths, University of London I have always felt something was missing from my work.
My interest in mental health specifically stemmed from severe bouts of depression and anxiety I suffered throughout my teenage years and into my twenties. During my degree, I established the ‘Dedicated Listeners’ program in which a group of us volunteered a few hours of our time each week to provide other students with a safe and confidential place to talk. I also worked as a mentor to students from underrepresented groups in higher education to promote social mobility and fair access to further education.
I am especially interested in the connection between physical and mental health as a keen cyclist and lover of dance and yoga, all of which have helped improve my own mental health.
I connected with Kirkland over our shared interests and now bring my marketing, communications and research skills to MindHealth360 to increase awareness of integrative mental health and functional medicine psychiatry and make it more accessible to people from all walks of life.
Laura von Hardenberg
Practitioner and Clinical Liaison
I am a psychologist whose special interest lies within the clinical field, especially psychotic illnesses. My experience in clinical research teams in psychiatric hospitals in both Germany (Charite Hospital, Berlin) and the US (Harvard Medical School & Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston) has given me insight into the many benefits, but also flaws, of the health systems and psychiatric treatments offered. Integrative medicine is a relatively new and necessary approach to improving mental health treatments worldwide.
Consulting with Kirkland on MindHealth360 has been my way of trying to initiate a change in mental health treatment options by spreading awareness about integrative medicine and possible alternatives to treating mental health symptoms.
My educational background includes a MSc in Psychology and Education from the University of Cambridge and a First Class BA in Combined Honours (Psychology & Philosophy) from the University of Newcastle Upon Tyne.
Dr. Kat Toups, MD
Dr. Kat Toups, M.D., DFAPA, IFMCP, is a Functional Medicine Psychiatrist in California.
She is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association and Board Certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Kat practices Functional Medicine Psychiatry, seeking to discover the underlying causes of inflammation (like diet/nutrition, lifestyle, genetics, toxin exposure, chronic infections, and biochemical abnormalities) that can all be contributors to problems with psychiatric symptoms and/or cognition difficulties.
Dr. Hyla Cass, MD
Dr. James M. Greenblatt, MD
Dr. Mark Filidei, D.O.
Dr. Anu Arasu, MD
Dr. Felice L. Gersh, MD
Dr. Nicole Beurkens, PhD
Past Research Assistants
I am a UK based, BANT certified nutritionist, passionate about helping people to heal through affordable, easy to implement, customised nutritional strategies.
I was driven to become a Nutritional Therapist after unravelling and solving my own personal issues with food. While I had always loved food and eating, I realised that the relationship I developed with it was not always healthy.
As I worked on my own health issues and became healthier and happier, having transformed my relationship with food, I became determined to empower others to find the same freedom and confidence I have found.
In my experience, trying to address my weight loss, hormonal issues and an autoimmune condition through following various restrictive diets didn’t work. This led me to cultivate an understanding of the medicinal power of foods, and their ability to heal – knowledge which has vastly improved my health.
I work at The Life Centre in Notting Hill (www.TheLifeCentre.com).
My particular area of interest and personal experience is in supporting young adults and children with mental health issues, eating disorders, and autoimmune conditions (particularly thyroid related).
Kay van Beersum
Having helped many a client with mental health issues including insomnia, depression and anxiety I know that natural solutions to these problems are available and effective.
It was therefore an honour being asked to review the MindHealth360 website for Kirkland. I am a qualified nutritional therapist (BSc (Hons) and I have dedicated my life to helping people to feel happy and healthy, on a physical, mental as well as spiritual level.
I believe MindHealth360 will become a great resource for professionals, my clients as well as anyone looking for complementary solutions to natural health problems.
I am a Belfast-born undergraduate at the University of Oxford, studying English and French.
I have a passionate and long-standing interest in mental health: as Welfare Officer in my college, I was responsible for promoting good practice for mental wellbeing in the famously pressurised environment of Oxford, and received 30 hours of counselling training to become one of the University’s Peer Supporters.
Alongside my studies, I am training for a half marathon to raise money for the Northern Irish Association for Mental Health, and am Deputy Editor of The ISIS magazine.
I received my master’s degree in Neuroscience at University College London, and my bachelor degree in Economics and Life Sciences at National Central University (Taiwan). I am currently studying a doctoral degree at the University of Oxford specialising in Systems Neuroscience.
Besides academic research in laboratories, I am also passionate about communicating science to the general public. I also work as a news writer for a bioscience/biotechnology society.
I come from a scientific background having specialised in Cell and Molecular Biology at the University of Cambridge during my undergraduate degree.
However, having observed the requirement for greater attention to mental health, I chose to pursue neuroscience and am currently about to complete my MSc in Neuroscience at UCL.
I have had a passion for dance from a young age, which has perhaps a factor in leading my interest in how lifestyle and neuroscience come together and impact on each other.
I moved to London after spending three years studying for an MFA (Writing) and teaching undergraduates at Columbia University in New York. My experience of the US medical system strengthened my conviction in the importance of an integrative and holistic approach to mental health. I’m passionate about destigmatising mental health issues through challenging the common narrative, and empowering people to make positive and brave choices.
Before Columbia, I was at Cambridge University for a BA (First Class Hons) in English Literature and an MPhil in American Literature. Currently, I’m learning how to live in a fellowship-free post-academia world and alternating between several freelance hats; copywriter, editor and researcher.
When I began working as a researcher for MindHealth360, I had just moved back from Lebanon where I worked as an editor and freelance travel writer. Prior to that, I had undertaken an editorial assistant internship following graduation from the University of Cambridge (Classics BA).
I had found the years emerging from a home with a history of mental health issues tough, and this, combined with the pressures of university life, eventually caught up with me in my late teens and early twenties. During these years, I experienced periods of depression and anxiety that were incredibly destabilising and disruptive to what I had previously perceived as a healthy, energetic life.
Those years had been spent on-and-off antidepressants and in therapy, and I felt truly weak. Looking back, I can see my resilience shining through, but sadly this is only with the benefit of hindsight. What I can see now is the arsenal of tools that I picked up during what felt like a marathon in the desert. I acquired these through what was truly a slog and via amazing people who had also experienced mental health issues.
I was inspired to work for MindHealth360 due to the innovative approach to mental health issues and the founder’s insight and dedication. The importance of an integrative approach and the sharing of knowledge and experience to mental issues cannot be overstated.
Having finished my MPhil in Theology and Religious Studies at the University of Cambridge, I was looking for something that I could contribute towards that empowered people who had been affected by mental health issues. From personal experience and through witnessing the struggle of many friends at University, I understand the courage and strength it takes to take small steps forward for your own mental health. Working with MH360 has given me the opportunity to further understand the importance of a holistic approach to mental health and to raise awareness of the many sided nature of recovery.
I am in my final year of studying Philosophy at King’s College London.
I am interested in migration and feminism, having worked with Women for Refugee Women and currently interning with the European Network of Migrant Women. I am Editor-in-Chief of Breaking the Glass Ceiling, KCL Women and Politics’ society’s blog. I am especially interested in the intersections between mental health and gender.