John has worked in education for over 30 years after graduating with a degree in modern languages. He worked in schools for 5 years and then moved into post-16 education. After spending 15 years as Head of Department in a large Sixth Form College he specialised in pastoral care management there and then joined the college’s Senior Management Team as Assistant Principal for Student Services. Always having had an interest in mental health issues, especially in education, John decided to change direction in 2012 and started his training to become a psychotherapist which he completed after taking an MA in Integrative Counselling & Psychotherapy at Roehampton University. After several years as Lead Safeguarding Officer in the college, John persuaded senior management to create the innovative post of Mental Health Officer so that he could focus his work and skills on those students struggling to stay in education because of their health. He managed to create one of the largest counselling services in any college in the country and has been strongly involved in national groups working towards sharing ideas and good practice among colleges, for example the AoC and NAMSS. He set up a contact group of over 230 staff in colleges across the country so that colleagues in the sector felt less isolated and could share experiences & concerns. He has worked therapeutically with both adolescents and adults.