Chief Executive of Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England
Simon Blake OBE joined Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England CIC as Chief Executive Officer, leading the organisation to achieve its vision of normalising society’s attitudes and behaviours around mental health, through training one in ten of the population in Mental Health First Aid skills. Simon has dedicated his career to working with young people and has a long track record of championing difference and creating platforms for people’s voices to be heard. In doing this, Simon has worked on some of the most talked about and complex social issues of today; sex and relationships education, sexual and reproductive rights, volatile substance abuse, Personal, Social, Health Education (PSHE) and Citizenship and LGBTQ rights. He is driven by a passion for a better, more inclusive society where everyone can be themselves. With over 20 years working with young people Simon has been involved in several projects and initiatives to promote positive wellbeing and mental health. He has written over 40 publications on all aspects of PSHE and Citizenship. In his roles at the Sex Education Forum, National Children’s Bureau, sexual health and wellbeing charity Brook and, most recently, as Chief Executive of the National Union of Students (NUS), Simon has considerable experience in balancing the competing agendas of various high-profile organisations and stakeholders, finding ways to build consensus and collaboration to achieve positive social outcomes. Simon received an OBE in 2011 for his services to the voluntary sector and young people. He is Deputy Chair at Stonewall, Governor at Bath Spa University, a Companion of the Chartered Management Institute and a Fellow at Windsor Castle Society of Leadership Fellows. He enjoys running, equestrian eventing and walks with his dog.