Meet the team

The team at YoungMinds is uniquely informed about the mental health and well-being service and support needs of young people.

To translate this insight into evidence-led practice, we draw on a wide range of expertise from the field of children and young people's mental health.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive

Sarah Brennan, YoungMinds Chief ExecutiveSarah Brennan became chief executive of YoungMinds on 12 May 2008. She had acted as its interim chief executive since October 2007.

Sarah has over 25 years experience as a champion of young people’s causes, starting out in youth and community work, teaching and youth counselling. She gained an MSc in Voluntary Sector Organisation at LSE in 1990. From 1994 to 2001, she became director of services at the youth homelessness charity Centrepoint, moving to Motiv8, a charity creating life chances for young people, as Chief Executive.


Diane Gault, Director of Fundraising 

Diane GaultDiane has worked in the charity sector since 1997. Prior to working for YoungMinds, the senior management positions Diane has held have included Director of Fundraising and External Communications at BAAF, Director of Business Development at Enterprise Education Trust and Head of

Fundraising and Communications at St Giles Trust. Diane has previously held fundraising roles at the Royal Hospital for Neuro-Disability, Mansfield Settlement and was coordinator of Prisoners’ Advice Service, where she has also served as a Trustee since 2009.


Lysanne Wilson, Director of Operations

Lysanne WilsonLysanne qualified as a physiotherapist, specialising in community paediatrics, having started her career as a linguist and having worked as an English teacher with VSO in Kenya for 3 years. After several years working in in South London, she moved into health management to be able to better influence the way services were designed and delivered to meet the real needs of patients. She has spent several years improving and  developing services ,  in both the developing world, having worked on various health related projects in Uganda for three years,  and London. Before joining Young Minds, Lysanne managed children’s health services in South London for over ten years.

Lysanne is responsible for leading and managing the teams who deliver YoungMinds services to clients, including the Parent Helpline and services for parents, Training and Consultancy and Young People’s Engagement and Participation. She is also the safeguarding lead for the organisation and manages any projects for YoungMinds. In her spare time she is striving to improve her yoga practice and walks as much as she can.  

alex horsup, director of finance & resources

Alex Horsup YM profileAlex joined YoungMinds as Director of Finance & Resources in October 2014 from School-Home Support where she had a similar role. Alex is a CIMA qualified accountant and converted to an ICAEW charity accountant with the Cass Business School in 2007.

Alex has 14 years experience in the charity finance sector, and prior to that spent 11 years in the public sector in Health and Social Services. Her mental health experience includes working in a long stay psychiatric hospital as a Patient’s Finance Officer and as Finance Manager for Westminster Mind. She has also worked in Further Education as Head of Facilities and served as Chair of the Resources Committee as a school governor. Alex is currently a trustee as the Mary Ward Centre.


Laurie Oliva, Youth Engagement Manager

Laurie joined YoungMinds as Youth Engagement Manager in 2013 and oversees YoungMinds’ participation work, ensuring that children and young people’s voices and experiences are at the heart of national and local decision-making about children and young people’s mental health and emotional wellbeing and that they are able to influence the design and delivery of mental health services.

Laurie came to YoungMinds from the Children and Young People’s Mental Health Coalition. Prior to moving into mental health, Laurie led the development of the national youth engagement programme at Stonewall, the lesbian, gay and bisexual charity- working with thousands of young people across England through campaigning and leadership programmes.  In other roles in participation Laurie has worked in social housing and with refuges and asylum seekers; young offenders and other disadvantaged groups. Outside of her work at YoungMinds Laurie is involved in campaigning and volunteering activities related to social justice and equality issues.

Cryss Mennaceur, HR Manager

Cryss Mennaceur joined YoungMinds as HR and Office Manager in June 2013.

Cryss has been an HR professional for 18 years. Much of this was spent as a learning and organisational development specialist in both the public and voluntary sectors. More recently Cryss has worked in a broader range of HR roles in the voluntary sector in young people and family orientated charities. Cryss is a Chartered Fellow of the CIPD. In her last role at Solace Women’s Aid she also had responsibility for ICT and Facilities, volunteers and service user involvement.

Prior to her HR career, Cryss worked on a range of Social and Transport research projects.