Simpila Mental Health


Matthew Holman

Mental Health Trainer and Consultant, Owner Simpila

Matt is a Mental Health First Aid instructor, Samaritans Volunteer and Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant. He is also the founder and owner of Simpila Mental Health.

Matt has over 25 years’ experience working for global corporate businesses in a wide range of senior and executive Leadership roles, working across markets in Europe, Middle East, Africa and the USA. He has a great appreciate and respect for all cultures and all humans.

In 2016 he created Simpila following his own personal mental health challenges, with the core aim to help provide greater awareness and support to the conversation of mental health.

In October 2019 Matt delivered a TEDx talk around being a #24HourHuman. He has been featured in many news articles and publications, and in late 2019 was the co-founder of the Business Travel Wellbeing Community.

In November 2020 Matt launched his Podcast Channel – Matt Holman Talks Mental Health dedicated to bringing the stories of guests mental health journey’s into the public light.

Matt has a great personality, high energy levels, a father to two daughters, a keen runner, and chief dog walker.

Kerry Tonks

Kerry Tonks

Mental Health Trainer and Consultant

Kerry is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor for Simpila Mental Health.

Kerry’s career has involved working with corporate sector and not for profit organisations since leaving school. Kerry then re-routed in education in 2007 where she gained a wealth of knowledge in planning and facilitating training in further education. She has been working with organisations for 5 years to normalize mental health that in turn unpack a practical approach to the what and why of understanding mental health and wellbeing. A dedicated mental health facilitator of 5 years, she is a passionate trainer with the overall aim to empower people in mental health literacy and better understanding of emotional intelligence. She believes that educating humans to understanding behaviour and how to have real conversations about mental health can be the seed to growth in and out of the workplace, that can bring about positive change, and empower us all the address mental health needs. Kerry is very excited to be joining Simpila Mental Health. There is a lot of synergy toward sharing the same message, the team are passionate in facilitating expert guidance and training, with a background of lived experience in mental health. It is a great time to be joining the team to making a difference in the world of mental health. The pandemic has posed a further wake-up call towards organisations to ‘get talking’ and respond to the wellbeing of their teammates.  Her concern of the potential increases in mental health conditions have brought Matt and Kerry together to encourage people to step up their investment that will in turn provide an action plan in the workplace to recognize, support and empower people to support themselves and the overall workforce.

Mum of two wonderful daughters brings a plethora of understanding to the table of being a Mum. Lover of the outdoors, come rain or shine there is always a walk and a picture to snap for Kerry, you will mostly find Kerry at BraceBridge, Sutton Coldfield,  taking a picture or with her head in a book –  her Happy Place! She also practices meditation to help navigate through life. She also loves having a mooch at her local antiques shop, where the owner knows how she likes her coffee, she’s been going that long. Kerry’s goal is to have the most positive impact on lives towards wellbeing in and out of the workplace. It is also refreshing and fantastic that we love the great outdoors and enjoy exercise too, although I’m not YET up to speed in running at the Team’s level, I’m sure I can get motived or as Matt suggested join the Simpila running club with the occasional e-bike ;_) Our family values are aligned, with us sharing the occasional rant of the school run traffic and also we share for the love of the outdoors, and how we understand the benefits of a great walk or run and add value to our physical and mental wellbeing.

Louisa Downs
Mental Health Trainer and Business Consultant

Louisa has just joined the team as Mental Health Trainer and Business Consultant and is very excited about engaging with the new team and getting stuck in.

Louisa is a Mental Health First Aid Instructor, Mental Health and Wellbeing Business Consultant for Simpila Mental Health.

In 2011, Louisa graduated from Leeds University with a BSc (Hons) in Sports and Exercise Science which has led her to a career of over 10 years’ experience in the health and wellbeing world. She is passionate and fascinated about keeping up to date about latest science on how our lifestyle choices and behaviours impact our mindset and body.

Since then she has worked as a Physiologist working with individuals to improve their overall sense of wellbeing through health checks and coaching. And more recently, as a Health and Wellbeing Manager, supporting HR teams to develop their wellbeing strategies; to reduce both absenteeism, presenteeism and increase levels of happiness to all employees.

Alongside this, Louisa has been a Mental Health First Aid Instructor since 2017 and enjoys bringing a group of humans together to discuss, share and learn from each other. Louisa is in the process of setting up a ‘coffee and chat’ morning at a local cafe whereby parents and children can come and meet likeminded people and connect. Parenting can be lonely and isolating, especially during the darker, colder, and winter months and she is hoping that this will really help those who might be struggling.

Outside of work, Louisa has two young children who keep her on her toes as well as a very excitable dog, Theo. When she does get a moment to take stock, she enjoys nothing more than launching herself into water, luckily, she lives in Devon so has lots of opportunities. The water is such an amazing place to recalibrate and have a bit of peace and quiet!

Mandy Toon

Business Development Executive

Mandy is the Business Development lead for Simpila.

Originally from a Human Resources and Office management background, Mandy has a wealth of experience managing employee relations. Covering all aspects of effective communication, organizational, administrative, marketing and finance responsibilities, Mandy contributes as a valuable member of the team who can always be relied upon.

For many years, Mandy has channelled her skills and energy into raising, educating and guiding her four amazing children as a full time mum. Whilst also juggling the addition of an 18month office management role.

More recently, Mandy has attended mental health awareness and managing anxiety training courses to help support one of her own children, this exposure and education created a passion to help individuals and led to her decision of wanting to follow a career path in the mental health sector and she is extremely excited to be joining our team.

As well as completing training courses, prior to lockdown Mandy joined ChildLine school services as a volunteer and is looking forward to supporting them as soon as normality in schools return.

A very keen runner – having completed multiple half and full marathons, Mandy is always active and promotes a healthy lifestyle. She enjoys spending as much fun time with her children as possible.

Laura Williams

Head of Marketing and Administration

Laura is the Head of Marketing and Administration providing support to all of the Mental Health Training Instructors and Consultants that work with Simpila Mental Health.

Originally from a financial background Laura joined the company from her previous employment as a Voluntary Services Co-ordinator for a local Hospice charity.

She joined Simpila in early 2020 prior to the global pandemic and has been an incredible support and asset to the business through challenging times.

Laura’s greatest assets are her commitment, dedication and support to helping others. She writes lots of lists, is always able to find a solution to any problem!

She is a wife, mother of two children and volunteers her time to various organisations. Laura also has a passion for singing and is a soprano in a local choir. She is a keen runner and she is never sitting still for too long.

Simpila Partner Instructors


Selina Clarke

Mental Health Trainer and Consultant

Selina is a Mental Health First Aid instructor, Sports Rehabilitation Therapist, Pilates Instructor, Yoga Teacher and Wellbeing Mentor.

Her passion is creating safe spaces in which to open up diverse and positive conversations around mental health while helping people to improve their understanding, literacy and acceptance. These key drivers have spurred her career which has spanned the NHS, voluntary, corporate, and higher education sectors since 2007.

Working within front line positions in the field of mental health has enabled Selina to help others to manage their wellbeing and has been fully rewarding, but it has also shown the need to ensure that she prioritises self-care and makes time for the important things in her own life, essentially practicing what she preaches!

Through her diverse work Selina helps people make a more meaningful connection between their mind and how they feel in their body.

Matthew Mason-Hames

Mental Health Trainer and Consultant
Owner Mindset Mental Health Matters

Mat is a Mental Health First Aid instructor and Mental Health and Wellbeing Consultant. He is also the founder and owner of Mindset Mental Health Matters and Mindset Sport.

He has a diversified career from working in finance, the world of compliance an eventually moving into the hospitality industry. In 2013 he moved into project management teams working for one of the country’s largest ‘Big Box’ retailers.

At this point Mat took on further education and studied H&S, and whilst working toward earning a NEBOSH Diploma his Mental health was challenged. He quickly realised that employers have plenty of resources and legislation to look after the physical wellbeing of an employee, but very little around Mental wellbeing. He then decided to become a Mental Health First Aider, and began his journey to creating Mindset and Mindset Sport, a free wellbeing resource for grass roots sports clubs.

Mat has lived experience of mental health illness having been diagnosed with Depression and GAD in his early twenties.

He lives with his wife, two step kids, two dogs, four cats, 2 rabbits and a Hamster. He is a keen rugby player and coach.

Hannah Buckland

Suicide First Aid and Mental Health Trainer and Consultant

Hannah is a Suicide First Aid Associate Tutor for the National Centre for Suicide Prevention and Training and a Mental Health First Aid Instructor.

Hannah’s passion is in creating a kinder and happier world where people are equipped with the skills to recognise the warning signs associated with suicidal crisis and to bring a person from a place of danger to a place of safety. Educating people about the importance of language that we use and the importance of making human connections are key to the work she does every day.

Hannah is employed by a large NHS Trust to deliver training to their workforce but has also trained hundreds of people from across business sectors and education.

Hannah’s background is in working with vulnerable young people, having been a Youth Justice Practitioner and an Advocate for children in child protection case conferences, child in care reviews, education reviews, deprivation of liberty reviews and writing the reports for the police on missing children. Hannah has also spent many years working in the corporate world where she has focused on driving employee wellbeing forward.

Outside of work you’ll find Hannah with her daughters and animals or out on her kayak – the best form of self-care!


I have worked with Matt on a couple of occasions now to support the training and roll out of the MHFA programme. Matt has received fantastic feedback from all participants with many commenting that ‘it is the best training I have ever been on.’ Without doubt this is largely due to Matt’s ability to engage, energise and empower a variety of audiences. Beyond training, Matt is knowledgeable, flexible and highly credible as a partner for supporting wellbeing programmes and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend him.

I recently undertook a Mental Health First Aider training course with Matt at Simpila. It was fantastic. Matt is so knowledgable and supportive, very down to earth and really know their stuff. For what is a difficult topic for many, Matt bought a human touch to the course contents, and I’m so thankful for his insight and passion. I highly recommend Matt, he’s doing a fantastic job of putting Mental Health on the agenda.

What a fantastic opportunity to work with Matt at Simpila to support our employees with promoting positive mental health. Matt lead a fantastic virtual event for Thomson Reuters employees in early October. Matt provided expert insights into coping with anxiety and encouraging a positive mindset. Taking this time out of our busy working day to reflect on the importance of our mental health was very much needed and it was delivered excellently.

This was a fantastic course, and I am delighted to have had the opportunity to participate in it. It was very well designed and although the course was delivered virtually via Enabley, the technology provided by the application still allowed us to participate in large group discussions as well as break out into small groups and bond as a group. We were in a group of 12 which was a perfect size – everyone was really lovely friendly and supportive! Our instructor, Matt, was ever so welcoming. I really appreciated his honesty and how open he was to share his experiences as well as how thoughtful he was when listening to others’ experiences. He delivered the course in a really engaging and accessible manner. I will be highly recommending this course to my friends, family and colleagues!

This has been one of the most insightful, interesting and useful training courses I’ve ever attended and has given me the tools and skills I need to help others, but also given me food for thought about my own mental health challenges. Matt was incredibly open and honest, sharing his own experiences freely which opened the space for others to feel safe to share. He wasn’t “preachy” in his approach and inspired me to want to do more to help others. Will be recommending this course, and Matt specifically for our business to use in the future for wider upskilling across our teams.

Fantastic course – I genuinely feel empowered. I acknowledge that I might not know everything, but I feel as though I can use the MHFA Action Plan and be able to make a genuine difference in my workplace. Matt was incredibly knowledgeable and was able to give me the time and space to explore my own mental wellbeing as well as how to help others. Many thanks 🙂


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