About Strongmind

Strongmind Resiliency Training are award-winning specialists in trauma management, resilience, MHFA, suicide and mental health awareness training. We have decades of operational and training delivery experience.

At Strongmind we run face to face and virtual training as well as an excellent e-learning platform enabling learners to work at their own  time and pace. 

About Us

What we do - about Strongmind

Strongmind delivers expert training in mental health awareness, personal resilience, suicide awareness and trauma management.

Together we work to help managers understand the role they play in creating mentally healthy and positive workplaces. Our team will show your staff how to best support their peers and themselves in difficult times. At Strongmind we are proud that we work to help those in the toughest jobs, where there are high levels of stress and exposure to traumatic stress.

Helping you to make a difference

Staff and colleagues who are struggling with their mental health are often reluctant to seek professional help. Strongmind train your staff, colleagues, and managers to have those difficult conversations, which can encourage early help seeking, and support those in need.

Where people have been exposed to traumatic events, we train you to deliver structured risk assessments, so that those in need of help are spotted and properly supported at an early stage. Our courses have received excellent feedback and not only will our tried and tested methods improve your knowledge and understanding around mental health, they will provide structured procedures that can be used after critical events.


Over many years the Strongmind team have worked with a diverse range of clients from both public and private sectors. Our training has helped organisations to make a real difference to staff wellfare,  whilst our trainers continue to work with scores of NHS Trusts and hospitals, Police and law enforcement agencies. Strongmind also work closely with many corporate organisations including : construction, the media, banking, security, and transport sectors. Strongmind are also the approved supplier of mental health, resilience, and trauma management training to the UK Government Campus.

Why Mental Health Training Matters

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Our Team

Richard Dorney


Richard Dorney MBE, MStJ, MSc

Richard was the founder and a Director of Strongmind Resiliency training. He served 39 years in the British Army, during which time he introduced the Trauma Risk Management System into the Army and was the non-Clinical subject matter expert for many years. Richard was one of the most experienced TRiM trainers in the UK. His focus was working with wounded injured and sick personnel and was responsible for the development of policy in this area.  


Richard was highly accomplished; he held a MSc in War and Psychiatry from King’s College London where he was a visiting lecturer. Furthermore, he gained a certificate in psychotraumatology from the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies and furthered his knowledge by training in applied Suicide Intervention skills, Suicide First Aid and was a Mental Health First Aid instructor.  


In keeping with his selfless, unwavering devotion to Mental Health awareness and wellbeing, upon leaving the Armed forces, Richard alongside Sue founded Strongmind Resiliency Training Ltd. Strongminds mission is to educate people on mental health and offer non-clinical strategies for all to use in the battle to overcome the challenges and stigma associated with poor mental health and wellbeing. Richard and Sues vision and determination has helped to deliver training to 1000s of people since Strongminds launch and continues to offer the highest quality of training from the most experienced and skilled trainers in the UK.   

Sadly Richard passed away on November 18th 2022, but Strongmind, under the guidance of Sue has continued to expand and grow.  Thanks to the support and help of all our very knowledgable and experienced trainers, we are all determined to ensure that Richards legacy continues, and to help as many people as possible.
Mark Kingston, Strongmind Resiliency Training, Trauma Risk Management, TRIM, Mental Health, Trainer, ,

Mark Kingston

MBE, MA, BSc (Hons)

Mark Kingston MBE, MA, BSc (Hons)

Mark is a highly experienced Trauma Risk Management trainer with 39 years of service in the British Army. He is an expert in course design and holds a BSc (hons) in Forensic Psychology. A specialist in international humanitarian intervention and soft system analysis, with experience of post conflict stabilisation operations. Formerly responsible for the delivery of Trauma Risk Management training across the British Army and has since delivered training to the emergency services and NHS personnel.

Mark is an experienced Welfare Officer and commanded a Personnel Recovery Unit. Where he was responsible for all aspects of case management, safeguarding and personal development for a significant number of wounded, injured and sick personnel. He is a specialist in personnel recovery and resilience and in addition a dedicated and passionate lecturer of undergraduate and graduate level students, covering a range of subjects related to Personal Crisis Management.

Chris Collett


Chris Collett MSc, PGCE

Chris served for 33 years in the Corps of Royal Engineers and the Educational and Training Services Branch of the British Army. Amassing experience in the world of training, education and coaching. Since leaving the Army he continues to design and deliver leadership and management programmes to diverse audiences with attention to organisational and behavioural change. He is also a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and a Trauma Risk Management Trainer, with experience teaching diverse audiences. Ranging from the construction industry to the Home Office. 

Chris holds an MSc in Education, Practice and Innovation and PGCE from the University of Southampton. Which he specifically uses to underpin his research and delivery when constructing courses and developmental programmes. He is also a Chartered Management Institute coach, The Five Behaviours of a Cohesive Team™ trainer and Everything DiSC ® facilitator.  Chris’s focus is on raising awareness and responsibility in those he coaches and facilitates through confronting and challenging behaviours.  Helping people develop their own solutions.

Sue Dorney


Sue Dorney MCTHA

Sue is a British Army veteran, where she served as an Experimental Assistant in Gunnery. She is the Co-founder and Director of Strongmind Resiliency training with over 30 years of experience in business administration and project management. During the first Gulf War in 1991 she was an Assistant Casualty Visiting Officer, making her very familiar with the stresses experienced by people particularly those in public services.

Sue is at the heart of our business where she overseas our quality control strategy, client relationships, sales and accounts. We recognise that efficiency and good administration are vital to our clients. Sue devotes much of her time to ensuring that our continuous improvement cycle is seamlessly run, in support of Strongmind’s clients and learners.

David Blocksidge


David Blocksidge, MSC, PGCE

David is a highly accomplished teacher, researcher and subject matter expert on memory formation during high stress events. He served for 30 years in the Metropolitan Police. Providing insight training and expert evaluation of witness error for criminal trials and misconduct hearings. David has presented his research to the Home Affairs Select Committee on Human Rights on two separate occasions. Where he explained the impact of trauma upon the potential accuracy and consistency of witness evidence.

His critical incident training presentations surrounding memory distortion and perceptual error are keenly sought across the UK and internationally. Currently he trains the Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine in addition to UK police forces. As an invited lecturer at Cranfield University and Kings College London, his insight surrounding trauma and critical memory formation helps safeguard both individuals and organisations from the aftermath of legal and media challenges.

Jase Smith

BSc (Hons), BA (Hons)

Jase Smith BSc (Hons)

Jase is an experienced trainer with 35 years of service in the British Army. A significant amount of which was spent training for and supporting military and humanitarian operations globally. A qualified security risk manager and Chartered Management Institute Fellow Chartered Manager he holds a BA(Hons) in Leadership and Management and is currently studying a PGCE with University of Portsmouth.

Jase has been delivering Mental Health First Aid courses (Armed Forces, Adult and Youth) to a diverse range of clients for the past 8 years. Along with the safeguarding of children and vulnerable adults training. He has also spent several years as a welfare officer. Supporting wounded, injured and sick military personnel and their families in addition to working with a number of charities.

His experience as a TRiM practitioner and co-ordinator were born out of operations in Northern Ireland, Iraq, Afghanistan and whilst deployed with the United Nations. Jase is passionate about improving mental health literacy in all parts of our communities. Especially amongst leaders faced with the complex challenges of supporting their workforce.

Shelley Bamford, Strongmind Resiliency Training, Trauma Risk Management, TRiM, Domestic Abuse Specialist,

Shelley Bamford

BSc (Hons)

Shelley Bamford BSc (Hons)

Shelley has joined Strongmind as the ‘Head of Training’, a post which she is emminently suited for.  Her background and knowledge around mental health issues is second to none, and should you wish to have a bespoke course written for you or your organisation, it will be Shelley you talk to.

She is a highly experienced and knowledgeable practitioner and trainer, with 15 years experience within the Social and Occupational Health domain. Shelley served for 23 years in the Royal Military Police and Army Welfare Service branches of the British Army. Responsible for the delivery of specialist emotional and practical support to service personnel and their families. She advised line management and relevant stakeholders worldwide, in support of the moral component of fighting power for the armed forces.

During her time working with service personnel recovering from injury she was responsible for the delivery of policy in this area. She co-founded and successfully led support programmes for staff experiencing occupational stress for the Ministry of Defence. 

Shelley holds a BSc (Hons) Psychology, Diploma in Social and Occupational Welfare, Diploma in Domestic Abuse studies. She is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor and TRiM Trainer.  Shelley also delivers Lone Working and Personal Safety courses. She is a qualified counsellor and is a recognised subject matter expert in the area of domestic abuse. Additionally, she regularly provides training and consultancy in domestic abuse awareness. 

Steve Thornton

Steve Thornton

Steve is a retired Metropolitan Police Officer, having completed over 30 years of service. Starting as a Cadet in 1982, Steve then joined the Police in 1983. He began working in busy Inner London before transferring to SO19, the Metropolitan Police’s Firearms Unit, in 1995. Later becoming a National Police Firearms Instructor.

On retirement from the Metropolitan police, Steve continued his service as a civilian Senior Firearms Instructor and spent more than five years in this role.

He is an experienced Post Incident Support Program Selected Instructor. A Welfare Coach for the Police Firearms Officers Association, an Ambassador for Police Care UK. He is an experienced TRiM Manager, and a Founder member of the National Prevention of Police Suicides Group.

Being a very proactive and forthright Wellbeing Champion, Steve works tirelessly on behalf of colleagues within the Police and emergency services. He is also an experienced Mental Health First Aid trainer. Steve is no stranger to the management of trauma and is a passionate advocate for TRiM, which he teaches as part of the Strongmind team.

Hughie Benson, Strongmind Resiliency Training, Trauma Risk Management Mentor

Hughie Benson

Hughie Benson

Hughie served in the British Army for 24 years, retiring as a Regimental Sergeant Major. He served on operations all over the world and was responsible for the daily management of circa 600 soldiers. Hughie was also the TRiM coordinator on a number of challenging operational tours.  He managed a team of TRiM Practitioners responding to multiple traumatic events. His experience in the operational management of trauma is invaluable.

It was during these operational deployments that Hughie realised the importance of managing trauma in its early stages. Having seen the results of successful interventions, he is passionate about improving the management of people after critical events. Hughie now works to support teachers and youth leaders to help build bridges between young people, their social environments and education. He does this by adopting a trauma informed approach.

Gina Simpson, RAF, Royal Air Force, Strongmind, TRiM Mentor, TRiM Practitioner, First Aid for Mental Health

Gina Simpson

Gina Simpson

Gina served 20 years in the Royal Air Force as a Flight Operations Manager. Responsible for implementing Post Crash Management and Contingency plans for station based and operationally deployed air assets. She operated in many roles during her military career which included TRiM practitioner and incident leader. She has worked with Tri-Service personnel and Mountain Rescue Teams delivering RAF TRiM policy post incident.

Gina is an experienced instructor and since leaving the military has specialised in First Aid for Mental Health, Safeguarding and First Aid at Work Training. Passionate about the education, care, and well-being of others, she is currently studying BSc Nursing with the University of Highlands and Islands.

Lorraine Thomas, MHFA, British Army, TRiM Practitioner

Lorraine Thomas

Lorraine Thomas

Lorraine is a highly capable and motivated professional currently serving as an Officer with the British Army. She has a proven record of success in multinational and culturally diverse environments. Lorraine is experienced in performance management, training development, and course delivery. She was the Chief Instructor at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst for Late Entry Officer Training.

With extensive leadership skills and operational experience and as a former member of the Royal Military Police. She is a fully trained investigator and has served all around the globe.

As a fully qualified Mental Health First Aid Instructor (Adult, Youth, Armed Forces) she has delivered these courses to a wide range of organisations.  She is also trained and experienced in the delivery of Trauma Risk Management and Applied Suicide Intervention skills.

Whilst Officer Commanding the Army Personnel Recovery unit in London, she was responsible for providing support to wounded, injured and sick personnel. She is highly experienced in resilience and wellbeing training, for which she received a Commendation for her Valuable Service and Contribution in 2015.

She has several Strategic and Leadership Management qualifications. Is a trained Chartered Management Institute Coach and Mentor and holds a teaching and education qualification. Currently she is an MBA student and hopes to qualify soon.

Claire Punt

Claire Punt

Claire is the Courses manager at Strongmind. Responsible for all aspects of course coordination, booking, learner support, and quality assurance at Strongmind. She brings welcome organisational ability and administrative experience from a range of managerial roles.

Claire is a qualified Trauma Risk Management Manager and Mental Health First Aider. She has significant experience in working with vulnerable groups and supporting people experiencing challenges to their mental health. Fully trained in safeguarding and Domestic Abuse, and Autistic Spectrum Disorder Awareness.

Claire has worked extensively in the third sector and with children and young people in the Armed Forces Community in Germany, Cyprus and the UK. She has an excellent understanding of social welfare. Knowing the needs of professional people and their families in very high stress environments and in the provision of early help initiatives. Claire is currently studying for a BSc in health sciences.

Gavin Percy

Gavin Percy 

Originally a Hospitality professional and then a Business Development Strategist. Specialising in assessing and improving sales performance and sales processes – often through training, coaching and mentoring of the sales team.

Following some personal Mental Health issues, and others close to him, Gavin decided to specialise in Mental Health First Aid Training. To improve attitudes towards Mental Health and wellbeing in the workplace. This will improve morale; loyalty; productivity and employee wellbeing. Gavin’s passion is to encourage companies to develop mental health and wellbeing strategies that work, changing the culture within those businesses.

Kiechelle Degale

Kiechelle Degale

Kiechelle Degale has over two decades of experience in developing training for positive mental health and life management strategies with a specialism in Emotional Fitness. She is a feature writer and Lecturer for Mental and Emotional Health and a Keynote Speaker. She leads seminars and workshops in transforming individuals and groups by developing self-confidence and self-esteem, elevating skillset and mindset for the public, private and voluntary sectors. 

Kiechelle is especially keen to ensure men, black people and people of colour and those from LGBTQ+ communities can access the Mental Health First Aid training as this cohort tends to be underrepresented in these courses. Known for her passionate and enthusiastic approach Kiechelle regularly receives an overwhelming amount of outstanding feedback.

Backgrounds and Qualifications

Psychotherapy, NLP, Postgraduate qualification from Oxford Brooks University in Education, Diploma in Community Education, Crisis Counselling, Trauma awareness and management, Domestic abuse and Mental Health.


Adult MHFA One Day Classroom and Online
Adult MHFA Two Day Classroom and Online
Adult MHFA Refreshers Classroom and Online

Understanding Trauma

Mental Health for Managers

Claire Nicholls

Bac(Hons)) Occupations’Therapy 

Claire Nicholls

Claire has a wealth of experience in delivering MHFA. Having been a MHFA instructor for 7 years, Claires passion and experience is evident throughout the many courses she delivers. Among the courses she is readily able to deliver are:

  • MHFA adult
  • MHFA Refresher,
  • MHFA Half day,
  • MHFA one day,
  • MHFA two day,
  • Higher education 
  • Race equity and mental health courses.
  • Trauma Risk Management,
  • Understanding Trauma.

Kay Morgan

PGCE, BA (Hons)

Kay Morgan

As a Mental Health Campaigner and MHFA England Instructor Member, Kay provides mental health awareness and skills training to a variety of organisations, charities, and communities nationally. Working with the aim to help people develop the skills needed to look after their own and others’ wellbeing and reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health.

Kay believes that if Mental Health training can help to increase mental health awareness literacy and reduce the stigma associated with mental ill health, then hopefully this will translate into a decrease in sickness absence, increase in wellbeing and improved productivity in the workplace. 

She has been training adults for 23 years and delivers the MHFA England half day Mental Health Awareness course, the one-day Mental Health Champion course, the Mental Health First Aid course and Mental Health First Aid Refresher training. As a Strongmind trainer, Kay delivers the Mental Health for Managers, Personal Resilience, Vulnerable Caller Training and the Stress, Trauma and Resilience training.

Jim Evans

Jim Evans

Jim served almost 40 years in the British Army where he became the lead trainer within the Army Trauma Risk Management Training team. Delivering TRiM training to hundreds of service personnel around the world. His service saw him act as a TRiM coordinator on operations and he also acted as a family liaison officer for bereaved families. 

Jim has been a Mental Health First Aid Instructor since 2015, delivering the full suite of MHFA training from Adult to Youth courses in both the public and private sectors. He is highly regarded as a tutor in this area and is also a Suicide First Aid tutor, accredited by the National Centre for Suicide Prevention and City and Guilds of London. 

As a Strongmind trainer Jim has worked extensively with the UK Civil Service and has delivered a variety of courses to staff around mental health and wellbeing to a wide range of government departments from the Home Office to the DWP. He has used his TRiM expertise to train hundreds of NHS staff over the Covid 19 Pandemic period and has worked with Police constabularies. In addition Jim has delivered training overseas on behalf of the US Department of Defence, in leadership and communication. Jim is a highly versatile and flexible trainer who uses his operational experience to bring learning to life.

Ken Bamford

MBA, BSc (Hons), FdA

Ken Bamford

Ken is an MBA graduate and expert in leadership, risk, neurodiversity and
employee relations, with 22 years of service with the British Army’s Royal Military
Police. He has also worked for ACAS as a senior business consultant across
organisations of all sizes in all sectors. Ken has dealt with interpersonal and group
conflict in some of the most hostile environments across the planet and is a
highly experienced investigator, mediator and negotiator. He was formally
recognised as an ED&I Champion by the British Army with the Meritorious Service
Award, which also recognised his passion and selfless commitment for creating
workplace cultures based on respect, dignity and fairness.
Ken was late diagnosed Autistic (Aspergers Syndrome) at aged 50, following circa
40 years of not fitting in and knowing something was not quite right, but not
exactly what. Following his diagnosis, Ken (ironically) used one of the strengths
of his Autism to laser focus on the academic research around Neurodiversity,
mapping this across to his own lived experience, and that of others. Ken now
drives thought leadership using his extensive expertise in this field. He is
currently working on joint projects with the charity sector and UK Government to
raise awareness of how Neurodivergent characteristics and talents can benefit the
business environment, specifically in UK Defence and National Security.

Mark Davies


Mark Davies MSc

Mark served a full and varied career in the British Army.  Throughout this time, he was employed in a variety of appointments, including many instructional roles, making him a very experienced and accomplished trainer.  Of note, he spent several years as part of a small team dedicated to the delivery of Trauma Risk Management (TRiM) Training.  This period involved the training of hundreds of military personnel, with the focus being on their preparation for deployment to operational theatres.  Additionally, during this period, Mark spent time in Iraq and Afghanistan assisting the Academic Centre for Defence Mental Health with mental health research.  

For academic progression, Mark attended King’s College London, where he gained an MSc in War & psychiatry.  In addition, he has earned a Certificate in Psychotraumatology with the European Society for Traumatic Stress Studies.  He is also trained in applied suicide intervention skills, and holds a Certificate in Teaching in the Life Long Sector.

Since leaving the Army, Mark has delivered a range of mental health, peer support, and resiliency training in the UK and overseas.  Audiences have included the Emergency Services, National Health Service, Criminal Prosecution Service, Network Rail, and Border Force. 

Mark is extremely passionate about mental health training, and peer support strategies.  Moving forward, he hopes to expand his knowledge and skills, by training to become a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.