For 70 years, we have been committed to making sure that everyone experiencing a mental health problem can access the support they need and is treated with the respect they deserve.
Through public campaigns, influencing decision makers and the services our local Minds deliver in communities across England and Wales, we have touched millions of lives.
You can read about our most recent achievements in our annual review.
Here are some achievements from the past seven decades of which we are particularly proud:
Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act: We worked alongside other mental health sector organisations to ensure the passage of a new law which seeks to reduce the use of force against mental health patients. The law was proposed following the devastating death of Seni Lewis in 2010, after he was physically restrained on a mental health ward. The Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act, also known as ‘Seni’s Law’, requires mental health hospitals to actively take steps to reduce the use of force against patients, including by providing better training on managing difficult situations and collecting comprehensive data to allow for monitoring progress.
Changes to the welfare system: We lobbied the Government for changes so that fewer people with long-term mental health problems will have to go through unnecessary benefits reassessments. We have also achieved getting new mental health training and guidance for 11,000 Jobcentre staff, successfully lobbying the Government to release better data on mental health and benefit sanctions and securing changes that will help more people with mental health problems get access to blue badge parking spaces.
Election 2017: Mental health has seen the most prominent rise in manifesto promises in recent years. There were more mentions of mental health in this election’s manifestos than for any other health condition in any other election since 1945.
Places of safety: The Mental Health Act was amended so as to ban use of police cells as places of safety for under 18s in mental health crisis and to limit their use for adults.
Public health isn’t miscellaneous anymore: Our public health campaign ensured that from 2016-17 local councils have to report how much of their public health budgets are spent on mental health. Before our campaign, local councils were only required to report mental health as ‘miscellaneous’ spending which sent the message that mental health isn’t a priority. Now we can hold local council’s to account on how much they spend on promoting good mental health and preventing poor mental health.
FYFV publication: In 2016, the Mental Health Taskforce, chaired by our Chief Executive Paul Farmer, published the Five Year Forward View for Mental Health. This plan committed £1 billion so that one million more people will be able to access mental health services by 2021.
Wales Crisis Care Concordat: 336 instances of people being held in police cells in Wales in 2015/16, a decrease from the previous year (2014/15) when there were 541.
Mental health in all Welsh manifestos: For the first time, all the Welsh political parties mentioned mental health in their manifestos, placing it firmly on the agenda as a key election issue. And two parties even matched the We Need to Talk Wales coalition’s call for a 28 day waiting time target for talking therapies.
Time to Change Phase 3: Along with our partners, Rethink Mental Illness, we secured funding from Comic Relief and the Department of Health to continue our Time to change anti-stigma campaign.
Mental Health mentioned in all the general election manifestos: All of the party manifestos had a substantial section on mental health - check out our at-a-glance guide. This was a really significant achievement and it certainly wasn’t the case in the 2010 elections.
Introduction of first ever waiting time standards for mental health: Following our calls as part of the We Need to Talk coalition, NHS England and the Department of Health introduced the first ever waiting standards for mental health services. This set a precedent for the first time that 75 per cent of people waiting for talking therapies should be seen within 6 weeks, and 95 per cent should be seen within 18 weeks.
Positive and Proactive Care: Following our 2013 campaign report on physical restraint, the Government published new guidance ‘Positive and Proactive Care: reducing the need for restrictive interventions’. It aims to reduce the need for restrictive interventions of all kinds so they are only used as a last resort and says that prone restraint (face down on your front) should not be used deliberately.
Making the Care Act fairer: We wanted to find out what changes were needed from people who had real life experience of using social care because of their mental health. Through our campaigning and influencing, we won some key changes to Act such as, a new right to independent advocacy, better assessments of fluctuating needs and a new duty on councils to promote wellbeing.
Crisis Care Concordat: Following our campaigning on crisis care, 22 national bodies involved in national and local government, health, policing, social care and housing signed the Mental Health Crisis Care Concordat, agreeing to work together better to make sure people experiencing a mental health crisis get the help they need when they need it. We signed up too and were commissioned to manage the roll out to local areas. By the end of the year there was a concordat agreement in every locality in England, and the following year saw each local area produce their own action plan. The use of police cells as ‘places of safety’ for people in mental health crisis more than halved in 2014-15 compared with 2011-12.
Mental Health (Discrimination) Act 2013: After many years of campaigning, this Act removed the last significant forms of discrimination from law. It repeals legislation that prevented people with mental health problems from serving on a jury, being a Director of a company or serving as an MP.
Parity of esteem: An amendment was put forward to the Health and Social Care Bill by Mind, Rethink Mental Illness and the Royal College of Psychiatrists, the Centre for Mental Health and the Mental Health Foundation. This was passed in February 2012 and clarified that mental health should be treated on an equal footing with physical Health.
Time to Change Phase 2: Along with our partners, Rethink Mental Illness, we secured funding from Comic Relief and the Department of Health to continue our Time to change anti-stigma campaign into 2015.
Equality Act: We secured our key aim for the Equality Bill when an amendment introducing a ban on the use of pre-employment health questionnaires was passed successfully, after months of campaigning in parliament. Employers will no longer be able to ‘weed out’ job applicants by requiring them to disclose their mental health history on an application form or at interview.
Time to Change: We partnered with Rethink Mental Illness to launch the groundbreaking Time to Change campaign to challenge stigma and discrimination. The first stage of the awareness-raising campaign – an England-wide media blitz – was a staggering success. Millions of people in England saw our broadcast, print and tube ads.
Mental Health Media: We joined forces with the respected charity Mental Health Media at the start of 2009. When they joined us, MHM brought their prestigious Mental Health Media Awards.
Seroxat ban for under-18s: As a result of our campaigning and evidence pulled together with the BBC current affairs programme Panorama, changes were made to prohibit the prescription of this medication to people aged under 18. It was proved there was an increased risk of suicidal thoughts and acts of self-harm in those who took it.
We need to talk: This campaign was hugely successful in terms of raising the need to invest in psychological therapies in the NHS. As part of a coalition with four other leading mental health charities, we argued for a range of psychological therapies to be made available to everyone. In October 2007 the Government announced £170 million of investment in psychological therapies. This will greatly improve access and means that people experiencing distress have greater choice and control over the services they need.
Ward watch: Our Ward watch campaign raised issues about hospital inpatient conditions. As a result, Mind influenced positive developments such as improving hospital inspection arrangements, and better training for nurses. Our persistent campaigning on the impact of environment on mental health led the Department of Health to commit £30 million on measures to improve safety on inpatient wards.
Rural Minds: Our project to address the challenges and stigma faced by those living in rural communities who also experience mental health problems. A national resource centre was established and information and training provided to a network of professionals, volunteers, organisations and individuals. In 2004 the project was integrated into Mind’s core activities.
Diverse Minds: The Diverse Minds project was established to ensure that our policies and work is inclusive and addressed the particular issues faced by those in BMER communities.
MIND campaign: On its 25th anniversary, the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH) launched its first major public information and fundraising campaign. The MIND campaign aimed to address the ignorance that surrounded mental health problems, and to improve services.
The campaign was so successful that, the following year, NAMH rebranded itself as MIND.
In the 1990s the name was then changed to its current format Mind (lower case).
The National Association for Mental Health was established when three major mental health organisations merged. These were:
- the Central Association for Mental Welfare (established in 1913) led by the pioneering Dame Evelyn Fox, this organisation worked through local groups of volunteers to help mentally handicapped people
- the National Council for Mental Hygiene (established in 1922), which had a strong educational bias and stressed the social causes of mental illness
- the Child Guidance Council (established in 1927), which set up the first child guidance clinics and launched training courses for their staff.