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Dr Jonathan Stephen Roger Leach

Profile summary

  • Central Academic Staff
  • Lecturer, Health & Social Care
  • Faculty of Wellbeing, Education & Language Studies
  • School of Health, Wellbeing and Social Care
  • Health and Social Care
  • jonathan.leach

Professional biography

Jonathan Leach is lecturer in health and social at the Open University specialising in social aspects of mental health. He chaired the production of a new module K240 Mental Health and Community and is currently Module Team Chair for this module in presentation. Jonathan also contributed to the third level module K314 Approaches to Mental Health. As part of the OU’s collaboration with the BBC, Jonathan has been a nominated academic on: Keeping Britain Alive (BBC TV), Health Check (World Service) and is currently involved in the series All in the Mind (Radio 4). 

Jonathan has written a range of articles on mental health topics which can be found here on Open Learn

In a voluntary capacity Jonathan is Chair of Tandem, a befriending service in Oxfordshire for people isolated as a result of mental health issues and used to be Chair of the UK’s Vocational Rehabilitation Association.

In the past Jonathan worked as a mental health researcher at Oxford Brookes University, a lecturer at London’s City University and, before becoming an academic, worked in the voluntary mental health sector for ten years and also with people with learning disabilities for three and a half years. 

His most recent book, Improving Mental Health through Social Support: Building Positive and Empowering Relationshipswas published by Jessica Kingsley in December 2014


  • Divergent and competing approaches to mental health
  • Social aspects of mental health and distress
  • Social prescribing for health
  • Student mental health
  • Mental health and employment
  • Community mental health
  • Befriending as a supportive intervention

Research interests

Research interests in disability, mental health, education, employment and social support.

Completed a PhD in October 2004 at Oxford Brookes University. Title: Organisational responses to students' mental health needs: social, psychological and medical perspectives.


Twitter @drjonathanleach

Jonathan's book Improving Mental Health through Social Support

Website with information of research carried out as Project Manager/Researcher for the Oxford Student Mental Health Network.

Tandem befriending organisation: Tandem website

Articles on OpenLearn 


Leach, J. (2015) Improving Mental Health through Social Support: Building Positive and Empowering Relationships, London: Jessica Kingsley Publishers.

Leach, J. and Hall, J. (2011) ‘A city-wide approach to cross-boundary working with students with mental health issues.’ Journal of Interprofessional Care 25, 2, 138-144.

Reynolds, J., Muston, R., Heller, T., Leach J., McCormick, M. Wallcraft, J. and Walsh, M (2009) Mental Health Still Matters. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

Leach, J. and Williamson, D. (2003) 'Student Mental Health Guide', Oxford Student Mental Health Network.

Leach, J. (2003) Student Mental Health - A Collaborative Approach, Association for University and College Counselling Journal, May 2003.

Leach, J. (2002) Emotional Health and University Learning, Teaching Forum, 50, pp. 31-32.

Healey, M., Jenkins, A., Leach, J. and Roberts, C. (2001) Disabled Students Undertaking Fieldwork, Planet, 3, pp. 9-10.

Healey, M., Roberts, C., Jenkins, A. and Leach, J. (2001) Issues in Providing Support for Disabled Students, University of Gloucestershire: Geography Discipline Network.

Leach, J. (2000) GET BACK! Training Pack for Service Providers: Adapting to Change When an Employee Becomes Disabled, London, Royal National Institute for the Blind.

Leach, J. (1999) Behaviourist, Cognitive and Humanistic Psychological Approaches to Work Rehabilitation, Journal of the Application of Occupational Psychology to Employment and Disability, November 1999, Vol. 1, No. 3.

Leach, J. (1999) Disability Management at Work, units for City University's distance learning course the Certificate in Disability Management at Work, London, City University.

Teaching interests

Social aspects of mental health.

Interagency/interprofessional working and the relationship between professionals and informal supporters.

Links between community, social networks and mental health.


Madness and chaos in the culture of a therapeutic community (2019-05-07)
Leach, Jonathan
Therapeutic Communities: The International Journal of Therapeutic Communities, 40(1) (pp. 16-24)
A city-wide approach to cross-boundary working with students with mental health needs (2011-03)
Leach, Jonathan and Hall, John
Journal of interprofessional care, 25(2) (pp. 138-144)
Mental health still matters (2009-05)
Reynolds, Jill; Muston, Rosemary; Heller, Tom; Leach, Jonathan; McCormick, Michael; Wallcraft, Jan and Walsh, Mark eds.
ISBN : 978-0-230-57729-9 | Publisher : Palgrave | Published : Basingstoke