Mental health activist Peter Campbell named as Mind Diamond Champion
Posted Wednesday 17 May 2006
Mind recognises excellence in campaigning for people with mental health problems
Mental health charity Mind today announced campaigner Peter Campbell as its Diamond Champion (1), at its annual Mind Awards ceremony. In its 60th anniversary year, Mind is focusing on empowering people with mental health problems to have their voices heard in every aspect of their lives.
The awards are hosted in London by Lord Bragg, President of Mind, and are an integral part of Mind week, which this year focuses on postnatal depression (2). The Champion of the Year awards recognise those who have made an outstanding contribution in improving public understanding or campaigning on mental health issues.
Peter Campbell describes himself as a mental health system survivor, and is a passionate campaigner for the rights of people with mental health problems. He was a founder member of Survivors Speak Out (1986) and Survivors' Poetry (1991). He has been working as a freelance trainer and writer in mental health for the last fifteen years. His collection of poems, Brown Linoleum, Green Lawns, has just been published (3). Through these poems Peter throws light on many aspects of his life including his experiences of mental distress, the mental health system, activism, hearing loss, and teaching.
Peter is a member of Mind's consultative Mind Link network and contributes a book review column for its magazine, Openmind. His comprehensive and accessible resource pack on service user action has been updated for Mind's 60th anniversary.
Mind asked all those involved in its networks, readers of its magazine, and its 210 local Mind associations, who they thought had made the most significant contribution over the last year in challenging the widespread stigma around mental health issues. Their comments reflect the respect Peter has in the mental health movement:
'I think Peter has been the greatest inspiration for people who experience distress to self-advocate and get involved in progressive change.'
'He has inspired so many people with his radical reason, analysis, poetry and eloquence, influencing people across the system.'
'Peter has been very inspirational in my journey from passive recipient of services to being out and proud to be a survivor.'
'He has for a long time advocated for a better understanding of survivors and improved the mental health system by inspirational speaking, informed and intelligent writing, and clever and thoughtful poetry.'
'He speaks up for all of us!'
Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind, said:
"Peter's contribution to the service user movement is vast. It's hard to imagine the movement today without Peter's constant activism and his advocacy for a better deal for people with mental health problems. His radical work has both influenced services and inspired others to speak out."
1) This year, in celebration of Mind's 60th anniversary, the Diamond Mind Champion award was given to the person who those from across Mind's networks think has made the greatest contribution to improving the lives of those affected by mental distress over the past sixty years. Mind's 60th anniversary theme is 'the voice of the service user', celebrating 60 years of Mind's work helping people with mental health problems have their voices heard.
2) Mind week report, Out of the blue? Motherhood and depression, examines the experiences of women who have experienced mental distress around the birth of a child.
3) Brown Linoleum, Green Lawns is published by Hearing Eye.
4) The Champion of the Year award is in its third year, last year's Champions of the Year were The Archers, and Rocky Bennett's sister, Joanna Bennett. Mind's first Champion of the Year in 2004 was Frank Bruno.