Charities join forces to amplify voices of people with mental health problems
Posted Tuesday 21 October 2008
Two respected mental health charities are set to merge to make their work more effective. Mental Health Media has taken the decision to join forces with Mind to put a powerful infrastructure behind its work in giving a strong voice to people with direct experience of mental distress.
Mental Health Media rewards positive portrayals of mental health through the prestigious Mental Health Media Awards. It empowers service users through projects such as Open Up, which aims to increase the knowledge, confidence and assertiveness of people with mental health problems to challenge discrimination in their communities, and the Speakers' Bureau, which supports people prepared to talk to the media about their experiences.
Combining expertise and sharing their vast networks will provide both charities with a solid footing to develop their work in influencing the media, both mainstream and new. Together, the organisations will have a greater reach and will be better equipped to tap in to new audiences ensuring the best possible representation of mental health service users in the media.
Mental Health Media's Chief Executive Maggie Gibbons said:
"We're delighted to be working with Mind. We want to reach more people with mental health problems and work alongside them to understand what they are experiencing and to enable them to develop a powerful voice. This move will better equip us to achieve our ambitions of creating stronger networks and linkages between those with direct experience of mental distress and the media."
Mind's Chief Executive Paul Farmer said:
"We are excited to be joining forces with Mental Health Media and will be sure to benefit from their expertise in developing the voice of those with experience of mental distress. Mental Health Media is highly respected and through its annual awards ceremony has helped to showcase some very important, innovative work on mental health in the media. We are committed to working together to build on previous successes and empower many more people with mental health problems to come forward and get their voice heard."
Mental Health Media, formerly the Mental Health Film Council, was founded following a Mind initiative in 1963. The two charities are already partners in Time to Change, the groundbreaking new four-year awareness programme that aims to improve public attitudes towards mental health and to challenge stigma. As a core part of this programme, Mind will continue Open up.
Mind will also support the Speakers' Bureau and continue to run the highly regarded Mental Health Media Awards. The next award ceremony takes place on Tuesday 25 November.
There will be no redundancies made as part of the merger. Mental Health Media staff will be transferred to Mind contracts and Open up project staff will continue to be supported by Mind and the other Time to Change partners.
Notes to editors
- Mind is the leading mental health charity in England and Wales. We work to create a better life for everyone with experience of mental distress.
- For more information or interviews please contact the Mind media team on T: 020 8522 1743 M: 07850 788514 E: firstname.lastname@example.org ISDN line available: 020 8221 0817
- Please note that Mind is not an acronym and should be set in title case.
- Mental Health Media develops and delivers a range of projects which aim to educate and give people the tools and skills to take action on mental health discrimination in the media. We work with journalists and broadcasters to inform their coverage of mental health issues. We also run the annual Mental Health Media Awards www.mhmawards.net which recognise and celebrate television and radio programmes about mental health which have the power to change minds and lives.