Foundation For Positive Mental Health

Who We Are

The Foundation for Positive Mental Health has an independent board which brings expertise, guidance and transparency to the charity.  The board currently consists of 3 people,  Dr J Gardiner, a GP,  Mrs Karen Clark, ex-bank manager, Mr Mark McLaughan, an IT specialist.  We are always interested in hearing from people who would like to support our work and be on our board. We are especially interested to hear from teachers and those in an educational role.


The charity is managed on a day-to-day basis by Dr Alastair Dobbin, MB BS, & Dr Sheila Ross, PhD.

Dr Alastair Dobbin, MBBS qualified in 1976, working in London and Australia before becoming a full time GP in Edinburgh where he became particularly  interested in mental health. During his research into depression he met Lars- Eric Unestahl, a Swedish sports psychologist who introduced him to mental training.  From this he developed the idea of using Positive Mental Training to treat depression and teamed up with Sheila to create the audio programme Positive Mental Training. Research with Edinburgh University into Positive Mental Training in a General Practice setting showed good results and acceptability.  He has continued to be involved in research,  more recently studying the effects of positive reappraisal with McGill University, Montreal, contributing to developing understandings in mental distress and recovery.
Alastair writes for journals, lectures to students and conducts workshops with primary care workers and GPs in Scotland and England. He is an Honorary Fellow of the School of Clinical Sciences and Community Health, University of Edinburgh.



sheila head picDr Sheila Ross, PhD, is a UKCP registered psychotherapist and her therapeutic approach integrates her experience in her specialist field of health promotion (addictions work), with biofeedback, hypnotherapy and Neurolinguistic programming. She has a PhD in Health Psychology and a MSc in Health Promotion & Education, both from Edinburgh University and was the principal clinician in an NHS research project comparing the use of hypnotherapy and biofeedback for the treatment of Irritable Bowel Syndrome, developing and delivering the treatments.

Sheila collaborates with Alastair Dobbin, developing and promoting Positive Mental Training, incorporating health promotion principles of empowerment and enablement, supporting people’s abilities to help them-selves. She has researched into the effectiveness of using Positive Mental Training to promote wellbeing in the workplace in healthy volunteers, to boost resilience and protect against stress and also investigating the underlying mechanisms of change.