Lavinia Dowling MSc, RMN, Dip Counselling, NNEB

Psychiatric Nurse Consultant & Founder of The M Word

Lavinia has practised as a licensed mental health clinician for 25 years in hospitals (General and Psychiatric), nursing homes for those with Dementia and learning/physical disabilities, Huntington’s Chorea (inpatient and community), drug and alcohol rehab, forensics, community teams (CAMHS, Adult and Older Adult), Mother and Baby units, CAMHS (Community, Autism screening and assessment, and A&E), and the military (MoD and the NHS). She works with children, adolescents, young adults, and older adults with a broad range of Mental Health issues, and has a wealth of experience helping clients who have Autism and military trauma.

Lavinia’s approach starts with risk assessing her clients’ needs with regard to their mental health and wellbeing, and then actively promoting a natural way of repairing self-esteem and confidence to build up resilience. Instead of prescribing medication, Lavinia believes in empowering her clients to move forward in a healthy way by understanding and listening to themselves, identifying negative coping mechanisms, and discovering the positive coping mechanisms that can enhance their wellbeing.

Lavinia graduated from the University of Plymouth as a Registered Mental Health Nurse (1996) and Counsellor (1998). She gained a Masters in Professional Practice (Emotional Problem Solving) in 2012 from the University of Surrey, and is currently studying a Doctorate in Mental Health at Bangor University. In 2006, Lavinia designed a model of care called “Emotional Problem Solving” designed to reduce negative mental health symptoms, boost self-esteem, and build resilience.

John Abbott

Business Manager at The M Word

John has worked as a Manager in sales within the building merchant world over three decades. He has always been a great listener, very experienced working with customers and staff, and has now successfully made a shift in his career to support The M Word. Most individuals find him relaxed, calm and unflappable. He has an unquenchable thirst for all types of music, as well as a passion for films.

Yasmin Alexandria

Media Manager

Yasmin Alexandria works in the background of The M Word, playing a vital role. From IT, Video editing, supporting the social media side of The M Word & formatting our growing range of products, Yasmin has become a lead in establishing TMW 's profile in the Mental Health & Autism communities. 

Over the years she has Guest spoken at Webinars & published blogs that shine a light on how Autism & Mental Health impacts our Young People. The importance of giving our more vulnerable members of the community a voice is something that really resonates with Yasmin. 

Ellie Matthews BE'd (Hons)

Education Consultant

Ellie has volunteered in primary schools since she was 14 and graduated university with a BEd (Hons) Primary Education degree in 2013. She has spent time in many settings including mixed age classes, small village schools, large mainstreams, nurture groups, schools with large intakes of pupils with English as an additional language or pupils with SEN needs. She has recently supported pupils over the last 3 years on a 1:1 and group basis in the classroom with a variety of different learning, communication and SEMH needs.

Ellie has daily lived experience from her own family of a wide range of additional needs, school avoidance, well being and anxiety, restrictive eating and more. She understands the juggles and demands faced of being a SEN parent and accessing support for your family and children.


The English Setter

Monty is an English Setter who came in as an emergency foster to live with Lavinia in September 2019. He was very stressed and anxious, very nervous about being stroked, had absolutely no recall, and was very underweight. He used to tear about the place and disappear for ages on end trying to catch wild birds. After a lot of patience, a lot of TLC, and daily walks on and off the lead, this is the same dog now relaxing in his home.

Monty is a big fan of mental health recovery as he now loves cuddles, likes to sit with humans on the sofa, has 90% recall (although can still be side-tracked by the birds!) and loves a banana muffin as a special treat. He now maintains a steady weight and fitness, and is happiest sitting in the office or bounding on the beach, watching the birds on the waves.

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