Sarah Yiannoullou, a specialist in mental health has been awarded an honorary degree at our graduation ceremony on 12 July.
Between 1986 and 1989 Sarah studied Graphic Design and Art Therapy at Middlesex University and credits this experience as a solid foundation in working in mental health.
“Although it seems a complete career departure, I believe my creative training and background has enabled me to work in different ways and explore more inclusive approaches.
“It really is such a privilege to be awarded an honorary degree and return to Middlesex University from where I set off on my ‘not so straight’ career path 30 years ago.”
Sarah, from Leytonstone east London, is currently the Managing Director of the National Survivor User Network (NSUN). The organisation is a user-led mental health network that connects individuals and groups and promotes self-management to improve experiences of mental health support.
With over 25 years’ of experience of rights-based work behind her, Sarah has continually lobbied for the direct voice of experience to be heard at every level of policy planning and implementation.
“I have been fortunate to have worked with some incredibly inspiring people. Without their influence and the support of family and friends I would not be in the leadership position I am now or honoured to be returning to Middlesex to accept this award.”
Commenting on Sarah’s Honorary Doctorate, Professor Tim Blackman, Vice-Chancellor of Middlesex University, was very happy to welcome Sarah back to the University.
“By awarding an honorary degree to outstanding people the University is recognising achievement at the highest level as well as dedication to public duty and making a difference to others’ lives.
“I am delighted to be part of today’s ceremony and to congratulate each of our honorary graduates on their incredible achievements.
“Graduation is not only an opportunity to celebrate the wonderful achievements of our graduands but also to look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead because a Middlesex University degree opens up a world of possibilities.”