Devon and Cornwall ACAMH Branch

Children in wet suits playing on the beach

The Devon and Cornwall ACAMH Branch aim to support local practitioners and highlight topics relevant to children, young people and families living in Devon and Cornwall.

  • Meet the branch
    Abby (Abigail) Russell

    Dr Abby (Abigail) Russell

    Dr Abby (Abigail) Russell is a researcher whose work focusses on children and young people's mental health. Her interests are particularly in neurodevelopmental conditions, health inequalities and how we can better use settings such as schools to promote good mental health. Abby is a Senior Lecturer in Child Health, based within the Children and Young People's Mental Health Collaboration at the University of Exeter College of Medicine and Health. Her background has been supporting adults and children with learning disabilities, academically she has primarily studied Psychology and Epidemiology, although she is now moving into developing and evaluating mental health interventions. The majority of Abby's current work focusses on how Primary schools can better support children with ADHD. Abby has been a member of ACAMH since 2013, and has always enjoyed attending their national conferences, having opportunities to share research interests, network, and learn how practitioners translate research into practice. She re-formed the Devon and Cornwall branch of ACAMH in January 2021, bringing together a new committee of experienced and interested colleagues, with the aim of creating a local network delivering knowledge on evidence-based practice that supports young people across the South West.

    Charlotte Kelman

    Charlotte Kelman

    Charlotte Kelman is a PhD Student at the University of Exeter focusing on ADHD. She has previously worked as a teaching assistant and trainee teacher in primary schools, where she have consistently shown my passion and dedication for supporting young people's social, emotional, and mental health and wellbeing. She is excited to be working within the ACAMH Devon and Cornwall Committee and look forward to being part of this welcoming community.

    Sam Garner

    Sam Garner

    Sam Garner is a renowned speaker and trainer on Mental Health and SEN. Originally Sam worked in the commercial sector as a recruitment consultant and project manager. She then became a music teacher and a SENCo in a large Secondary School where she gained a wealth of SEN training and experience, particularly in behaviour and mental health. She then worked with children who had been excluded from school, and children in care before becoming self employed as well as publishing a book on mental health with a renowned publisher. She trains nationally and internationally, and writes regularly for workplace publications. Sam is a qualified Educational Assessor, CBT therapist, Child and Adolescent Counsellor, and PPP (Triple-P) Facilitator. Sam is also working as a coach for Leeds Beckett University on their Nationally recognised School Mental Health Award.

    Dr Terri Passenger

    Dr. Terri Passenger is a Consultant Chartered Educational Psychologist based at the Nuffield Hospitals in Oxford, Exeter and Cheltenham. She has worked as a Consultant in a private Practice since November 1998 and, a former Senior Lecturer, holds an Honorary Research Fellowship at the University of Gloucestershire. She is an Associate Fellow of the British Psychological Society, a Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine, a Member of the Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health and a registered Member of the Health and Care Professions Council. Dr Passenger gained her Doctorate from the University of Bristol in 1997 for her research into the cognitive development of young children. In 1999, she was commissioned by the Department of Education to co-author the Additional Literacy Strategy as part of the Government Literacy Hour Initiative. In 2010, she co-authored The Psychology of Education a text for psychologists and teachers focusing on key concepts from psychology which relate to education; she co-authored a book for the British Medical Association ‘Family Doctor’ series entitled Understanding ADHD Autism, Dyslexia and Dyspraxia and contributed a chapter to the Routledge International Companion to Educational Psychology.

    Franki Mathews

    Franki Mathews

    Franki Mathews is an Associate Research Fellow at the University of Exeter. Her interest in children and young people’s mental health stems from the desire to learn and understand more about the ways in which research and services meet, and how this can be improved to benefit those who need support. It is incredible to be part of a committee which works locally to share experiences, and hear from the voices of those who look after children and young people who require mental health support, and the voices of the children and young people themselves. Her hope is through the continuation of connecting and information sharing with experts across a variety of fields, equalities in both physical and mental health will improve.

  • We want you

    If you are interested in knowing more about the Devon and Cornwall branch do please let us know in the comment box below.


    I am currently looking to retrain and Children and Young Persons mental health is a big interest of mine.
    I am based in Cornwall and currently work as a School Administrator at a Primary School.
    Would you be able to point me in the right direction for courses and training please.
    I have completed a Foundation Dipolma for NLP and currently finishing a Level 2 for Understanding children and young persons mental health.
    I would love to work with CYP and help shape their future in a positive way.
    Many thanks

    Matt Kempen

    If you wanted to be part of the Devon & Cornwall branch do please email Abby Russell

    I would like to know more about the Devon and Cornwall Branch please.

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