Prof. Hugh McKennaChair of the Inspire Board
Professor Hugh McKenna is Dean of Medical School Development at Ulster University. Prior to this, he served as Professor and Pro Vice Chancellor for Research and Innovation. Professor McKenna qualified as a mental health nurse in 1975 and worked as a volunteer counsellor in Inspire (at that time known as Niamh) in the early 1980s. He has held positions at clinical and managerial level and has authored over 200 publications, including 10 books. Professor McKenna has secured over £4 million in grants, mainly in the field of mental health care. He has supervised 16 PhD students to successful completion, with many of those projects relating to mental health. He is an editor of the International Journal of Nursing Studies and has many prestigious awards for his work. Professor McKenna is a Fellow of the Royal College of Nursing, Fellow of the European Academy of Nursing and Fellow of the Faculty of Nursing, Royal College of Surgeons of Ireland. In 2008, he was awarded a CBE for his work on health and community. He also holds a number of non-executive positions in the public, voluntary and private sectors. In 2009, Professor McKenna was awarded Ulster University’s Senior Distinguished Research Fellowship and was made a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, being only the third nurse in Europe to be given this honour. Professor McKenna is a non-executive member of the Patient and Client Council, which acts as a voice for patients in health care. He chaired the Bamford Monitoring Group for mental health and learning disability. His interests lie in mental health recovery, self-harm and suicide prevention.