Former NHS Foundation Trust CEO celebrates Foundation graduation

December 1, 2014 4:03 pm Published by

Press Release – 1st December 2014

Lisa Rodrigues CBE former CEO of the NHS Partnership Foundation Trust in Sussex and fervent mental health campaigner, was the key note speaker at a graduation event held for trainees of Hertfordshire and Bedfordshire based charity, The Counselling Foundation.

Lisa, who as well as working with people who have benefitted from counselling and mental healthcare in a high pressured job role, has personal experience in living with depression. She spoke of her own struggles, the help she said she “derived from skilled therapy” and the positive impact counsellors have had on her, mentioning that the people in her life that helped her the most “were her family, friends, counsellor and psychiatrist.”

Lisa commended the career that the trainee counsellors had chosen and highlighted “how everyone in the room can help reduce the stigma of mental illness and raise the importance of mental wellbeing.” Following her speech, Lisa presented the students with their awards.

The Foundation’s staff and trustees joined the 75 graduates from the Counselling Foundation Certificate, Diploma and Advanced Diploma courses, along with their friends and families to celebrate their outstanding efforts and achievements.

Geri Russo, Head of Training at The Counselling Foundation acknowledged what the graduates had accomplished saying “I always feel so proud of our students on graduation night; for all their hard work and for all they have achieved and so it’s great to come together and celebrate with their families and friends.” She spoke of the privilege and the satisfaction a career in counselling can offer.

The Counselling Foundation Training Centre is now taking enquiries for courses to start in 2015 including the new Coaching Certificate and Diploma in Understanding Adolescence, the core training programmes (Certificate, Diploma and Advance Diploma) plus a range of CPD workshops. Further information can be found on the website




The Counselling Foundation:

Tel: 01727 868 585 Option 8


The Counselling Foundation is a leading charity providing low cost, quality counselling and counsellor training for the better mental health and educational advancement of our communities. We operate from

Founded in 1974, the Foundation has now become one of the largest counselling and training centres outside of London, with five centres in Beford, Broxbourne, Luton, St Albans and Stevenage and 150 staff and counsellors delivering over 30,000 counselling sessions a year.

Lisa Rodrigues CBE:


Lisa Rodrigues CBE has a wealth of experience in NHS healthcare system operations. She trained as a nurse, has a BA in Psychology and an MA in Public Sector Management.

Lisa was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of the Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust and its predecessor health and social care trusts in 2001. The Trust offers services in mental health, substance misuse, learning disability and prison healthcare services. Lisa was awarded a CBE in the Queen’s 2012 Birthday Honours for her dedication and service to the NHS.

Lisa is passionate about removing the stigma attached to mental health. She uses her personal experience in living with depression to actively campaign against negative attitudes towards mental health and the people who use the services offered by the trust she steers.



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