Following last weeks sad news of the passing of MQ’s CEO Lea Milligan, MQ’s executive team have vowed to maintain the momentum he built. 

The executive team, made up of Director of Finance and Operations Jey Balakrishnar, Director of Research Partnerships and Development Emily Wheeler and Head of Marketing Bryony Doughty are jointly leading the organisation for the interim. 



“Whilst many will have known Lea for his passion, amazing energy, strategic thinking, public speaking and general impressiveness, they may only have guessed that he teamed that with being not only one of the best managers I have ever had, but also a friend and a huge support. He coached me through professional and personal challenges and went beyond what you would expect of any colleague or manager. It also means he has built an incredibly strong team around him to ensure MQ’s sustainability.


It’s impossible to do him justice in a quote, or indeed in anything this short. Instead, I know I speak for all of our team, current MQ and past, when I say we will do him justice through continuing the incredible work he did at and through MQ, and build on the amazing momentum he created.”

Emily Wheeler, Director of Research Partnerships & Development 

Lea has been MQ’s CEO for four years and during that time he put the charity on an upwards trajectory. He introduced a new strategy, transformed the way research is delivered by setting up new partnerships, and grew MQ’s income by 165% with multiple year income pledges. This leaves MQ in a strong position, fully able to deliver on the exciting projects already in progress and to take advantage of future opportunities. 

 “Lea has left us an incredible legacy at MQ. We are in a more sustainable position than we have ever been in before and well placed to navigate whatever we encounter.


We will honour Lea by continuing the work he started.”

Jey Balakrishnar, Finance Director 

The executive team have recognised that the loss of a CEO, especially in such sad circumstances, will be challenging. But they are committed to honouring Lea’s legacy by not just continuing to deliver high-quality research, but also to maintain and develop the vast number of projects that Lea was involved in. They will be doing this with the support of both the charities board of trustees and a tight knit staff team who have rallied around the executive team whilst they take on these interim responsibilities. 

“Lea taught us all so much. How to lead with good humour and inspire others to follow a vision. How  to think in duality, both about the future and the here and now and how to translate that into a strategy. His enthusiasm for research, and it’s potential to change lives, was infectious.


You couldn’t have asked for a better mentor.


We are committed to continue to lead MQ on the path to success laid out by Lea and to fulfil his dream of improving access to the right healthcare for everyone.”

Bryony Doughty, Head of Marketing 

“His vision and message of hope lives on.”

Shahzad Malik, MQ’s Chairman.


You can read more about Lea Milligan’s career and legacy, including tributes from some of those who knew him here.

The post Continuing the momentum: Honouring the legacy of Lea Milligan first appeared on MQ Mental Health Research.


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