John Butler

Senior Lecturer in Mental Health

School of Nursing

Brook Building, BB333

+44 (0) 1772 89 5410

Subject Areas: Health, Nursing & Midwifery

An experienced mental health practitioner, former Consultant Nurse (Acute Mental Health & Psychosocial Intervention) and Head of Practice Development for a large NHS Trust, John joined UCLan as a Senior Lecturer in Mental Health in January 2013. He is the Course & Mental Health Field Lead for the MSc Pre-Registration Nursing, and Course Lead for the Grad Cert Psychosocial Mental Health Care.

Full Profile

With over 22 years experience as a mental health nurse within the NHS (including 5 years as a Lead Community Mental Health Nurse, 4 years as a Lecturer Practitioner and 7 years as a Consultant Mental Health Nurse), John has been involved in facilitating educational workshops, short courses and university programmes for mental health practitioners and student mental health nurses since 1997.

Having completed his first degree in psychology and zoology at the University of Durham in 1984, he went on to train as a mental health nurse in Sheffield (1986-89). He completed a Master’s degree in Mental Health Studies in 1995 at the University of London, specialising in cognitive behaviour therapy and research, and later completed a PGDip. Higher Education (Lecturers Pathway) at the University of Greenwich (2004). He has undertaken specialist training in cognitive behavioural, behavioural family and medication management interventions, and is a trained primary care mental health facilitator.

John was a Trustee, Honorary Chair-person and Mental Health Advisor for the Luton-based charity, Caraline, which supports people with eating disorders, from April 1995 until May 2012. He was a Board member of Neurolink from Oct 2000 until Jan 2007, which involved contributing to the production of a range of self-help and educational resources on depression and anxiety for service-users and primary and secondary care mental health practitioners. He has been an Honorary Tutor with the Institute of Psychiatry, London (2002 – 2004), and provided teaching, tutoring and supervision on a post-registration degree level pathway and, from 2008, a post-graduate programme in psychosocial intervention for mental health practitioners at the University of Bedfordshire (2001 - 2013).

John has contributed a number of publications and conference presentations on a range of topics, which have included: the assessment and management of risk in mental health practice; the interface between primary care and specialist mental health teams; understanding generalised anxiety disorder and the anxiety disorders; collaborative approaches to managing depression; service improvement initiatives (including the Productive Mental Health Ward programme, caseload management, and protected therapeutic and engagement time); and, the implementation of psychosocial intervention.

  • PGDip. Higher Education (Lecturer Pathway), University of Greenwich, 2004
  • Cert. Cognitive Behavioural Counselling & Therapy, AEB / Ariel College, 1999
  • MSc. Mental Health, UMDS, University of London, 1995
  • Cert. Counselling Skills in the Development of Learning, RSA / Luton CHE, 1992
  • RMN (Registered Mental Nurse), Sheffield School of Nursing, 1989
  • BSc. (Jt. Hons) Psychology & Zoology, University of Durham, 1984


Gale TM, Hawley CJ, Butler J, Morton A & Singhal A (2016) Perception of Suicide Risk in Mental Health Professionals. PLoS ONE 11(2): e0149791. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0149791

Butler J (2014) Assessing Risk in Community Mental Health Services. In M. Agius, P. Pregelj & B. Zalar (Eds.) Community Psychiatry, Chap. 14, 154 – 162. Ljubljana, Slovenia: Department of Psychiatry, University of Ljubljana / Bedfordshire Centre for Mental Health Research in Association with the University of Cambridge (ISBN: 978-961-93235-6-4)

Butler J (2011) Providing Psychosocial Intervention: the role of non-medical practitioners. Cutting Edge Psychiatry in Practice 1, 78-84 (ISSN: 2047:1882). Retrieved from:

Butler J (2002) Treating generalized anxiety in primary care. Practice Nursing 13(6), 264-267

Research Projects

2009-10: Research Collaborator for Judgements in Suicide Risk Assessment (PI Team: University of Hertfordshire)

Knowledge Exchange:
2016: Family Intervention Programme (for Health Education England)
2013-14: Psychosocial Intervention Foundation Programme (for Lancashire Care NHS Foundation Trust)

Project / Knowledge Exchange Interests: Psychosocial Intervention; Mental Health Medication Management; Relapse Prevention Planning; Clinical Supervision; Clinical Risk; Service Improvement

Teaching Activities

MSc Pre-Registration Nursing (Course Lead, Mental Health Field Lead & Module Lead)

BSc. (Hons) Pre-Registration Nursing (Mental Health)

BSc. (Hons) Psychosocial Mental Health Care (Module Lead)

Grad. Cert. Psychosocial Mental Health Care (Course Lead & Module Lead)


  • 2006 – Present: Fellow of Higher Education Academy
  • 2004 – Present: NMC (Registration as Lecturer / Practice Educator)
  • 1997 – Present: British Association of Behavioural & Cognitive Psychotherapy (Member)
  • 1989 – Present: NMC (Registration as RMN)

External Activities

2013 – Present: Reviewer for Health Sciences Education, Wiley-Blackwell Publishers (Oxford); Open University Press & McGraw-Hill Education (Nursing), McGraw-Hill Education (Maidenhead); Routledge Books (Health & Social Care); British Journal of Nursing

2010 – 2013: Editorial Panel-member, Cutting Edge Psychiatry in Practice (Journal – South Essex University Partnership NHS Foundation Trust)
2004 – 2010: Chair / Editor, Advancing Practice in Bedfordshire / Mental Health (Journal – Bedfordshire & Luton Partnership NHS Trust) 
2000 – 2007: Board-member, Neurolink (Wyeth Pharmaceuticals)
1995 – 2012: Hon. Chairperson & Hon. Mental Health Advisor, CARALINE (Charity – Eating Disorders, Luton, Bedfordshire)


2011: 17th International Network for Psychiatric Nursing Research (NPNR) Conference (Keble College, Oxford): Providing Psychosocial Intervention to Service-Users and their Families – the outcomes of a practice development programme (Exhibition Poster Presentation)

2011: NHS East of England Conference – Celebrating Our Success – We are Making a Difference (Chilford Hall, Cambridgeshire): Productive Mental Health Ward Highlights – realising the impact (Exhibition Poster Presentation)

2010: NHS East of England Conference – Productive Series & High Impact Actions: 12 months on – are we making a difference? (Chilford Hall, Cambridgeshire): Productive Mental Health Ward Programme - Spreading the Word about Releasing Time to Care (Oral & Exhibition Poster Presentation)

2006: NIMHE Eastern / Care Services Improvement Partnership Conference (Ipswich): Acute Mental Health – promoting involvement and meaningful intervention (Oral Presentation)

2005: NHS Alliance / Wyeth Laboratories Conference Series – Stepping Forward in Primary Care (Brussels, Belgium): Medication Management in Mental Health (Facilitated 3 Workshops at each of a series of 3 Conferences)

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