Mental Health North West

Our Approach

We deliver a lot of training courses – but there is no issue that affects as many people, families or organisations as Mental Health. Everybody will at some point be affected either directly or indirectly and yet it’s so seldom discussed, very few people know how to start a conversation, what the signs & symptoms are or how to help.

We want to change that.

Our Story

Mental Health North West started as part of Mountain Services who have been delivering specialist first aid, safeguarding & mountaineering courses for years – and yet nobody ever talks about the large black dog in the corner of the room, our Mental Health.

We quickly realised that there is a huge need for the courses and services we offer & in 2021 we formally became a not for profit Community Interest Company. Whilst we pay all of our freelancers a respectful wage the surplus we generate goes into delivering free and subsidised places on our Wellness Walks range of programs aimed at improving participants wellbeing.

we want you to know you can trust us to look after you or your organisation

Kelvyn James is our Snr Instructor – he’s a former trustee of the Samaritans, sits on national & international committees, is a specialist foster carer and advises organisations on Safeguarding issues. Before he was an instructor Kelvyn had a career in senior management for international companies before starting his own manufacturing SME which he ran for over a decade.

Kelvyn says “I’ve seen first hand the devastating affect mental health issues can have – both for the individual, their loved ones and for the organisations they’re part of. If more people knew how to recognise the signs and symptoms of poor Mental Health – if they knew how to start that vital conversation – how to find that much needed help – then we could begin to bring this out of the dark and really make a difference”.

When we became a CIC – we knew we needed to build an exceptional management team – we want to be an organisation that leads by example – so our Directors are some of the very best at what they do in the UK – you can find out a little more about who we are further down.

What is a cic?

and why did we become one in 2021?

CIC stands for Community Interest Company – a type of social enterprise company. Typically they’re not for profits – the purpose of a CIC is to benefit a community. As a CIC we don’t have shareholders and we don’t pay dividends – any profit we make is put towards our social purpose – and as that’s in our Articles of Association it means we do exactly what we say by law – no weasel words. We also have an asset lock in place – which means any funding we’re given is protected – we want to ensure we operate to a high ethical standard.

So what is our social purpose?

We use any surplus we generate from the provision of commercial courses and product sales to run our Wellness Walks range of programs aimed at helping people to get out into nature to improve their physical and mental wellbeing.

This means when you book a course with us you know that as well as learning vital skills yourself you or your organisation are also helping us to help someone else – a win for everyone!

The purpose of MHNW has always been to do as much good as possible – so for us a CIC combined with charitable activities is the perfect fit.

Meet our team

Kelvyn James


Kelvyn is the founder & lead Instructor for Mental Health North West CIC Ltd & is responsible for Wellness Walks

Kelvyn is a qualified Psychologist (Msc), International Mountain Leader (IML), Counsellor (Snr Member ACCPH), a current Trustee of two mountain focused charities and a former Trustee of the Samaritans (still an active volunteer).

MHNW CIC Ltd was formed during the covid pandemic as Kelvyn offered 1:1 supported Walk & Talks to people who were suffering. Right from the start it was obvious there was a social need for this sort of service & Kelvyn realised that combining course delivery with funding applications would allow MHNW to try and help as many people in as many places as possible experience the therapeutic benefits of spending time both in the outdoors and with others.

Kelvyn has personal experience of this - he's suffered his own depression and ptsd following the murder of his mother - and over the following decade he credits time spent engaging with nature and, vitally, engaging with others in nature as being a key factor in his personal recovery.

Kelvyn delivers our Mental Health training courses and oversees the Walk & Talk days.

Despite having worked and travelled all over the world he's super lucky to call the Westmorland Dales home. His favourite walk in Cumbria is a loop of the high tops around Grisedale Valley.

Catriona James


Catriona is a qualified Accountant specialising in the charity and social enterprise sector

Cat is responsible for the financial oversight of MHNW and brings a wealth of relevant experience and expertise to the organisation. She's also got a super-useful degree in Business Management which helps a lot!

Cat has previously been responsible for the HR and day-to-day management of both charities and private-sector businesses from new-start to £m's.

When she needs a break from number analysis Cat is also a well renowned artist ~ and many of her works take their inspiration from the mountains & valleys she loves to spend time in - her very own sort of art therapy.

Cat has lived in Cumbria for over 20 years - she says her favourite place is the wonderful Langdale Valley in all of its different seasons.

David Reid


Dave is the current Chief Executive of a £multi-million social enterprise company providing care,education & support for disabled children

David is a qualified social worker and psychologist as well as holding several other qualifications up to level 8. He's also the (much deserved) winner of multiple awards for his leadership work in the social sector.

David is a survivor of childhood abuse and is fully aware from both a personal and professional perspective of the impact that trauma can have on an individual’s sense of wellbeing and mental health having struggled for years to come to terms with his early experiences and having helped many others to do the same.

He is also fully aware that mental wellbeing is not a fixed status and can change or be affected by external factors over time. He cites the time in October 2017 when he attempted to take his own life following the breakup of a long term relationship as a particular low point even though to the outside world he was a successful senior executive winning national and international awards. He found comfort and healing in the natural environment, particularly the mountains of the lake district.

David says his favourite place in the UK has to be the Langdale Valley where most of his personal recovery took place.

Beth Wallis


Beth embodies the spirit of adventure - she also happens to be exceptionally well qualified & a lot of fun to spend time walking, talking or paddling with.

Beth has been an instructor since she was 15 and she's lost none of her enthusiasm for introducing people to the Great Outdoors in the lowland, highlands or out on the water. Beth leads our Wellness on Water program.

Beth has coached adults into remembering how to play & teenagers into realising just how capable they really are. In her own words Beth has " soaked up wisdom from eighty year olds whilst hiking in the mountains, and learnt life lessons from pre-shoolers walking along an inner city canal tow path"

What we value most about Beth though is the connections she makes with clients "I've cried with people who've found the empty solitude of the loch a safe place to share their pain and struggle, I've celebrated all that is good about life and love on mountain summits"

Like all of the team at MHNW Beth has had her own mental health journey - something that helps her make those empathetic connections so well.

It goes without saying - Beth is also exceptionally well qualified in adventures - especially if they happen to involve water!

Beth says her favourite place in the Lake District is Derwentwater - the middle of the lake is the best possible vantage point to see 360 degrees of marvel. So it's no surprise that's where Wellness on Water began as a concept!