Mental Health Charity Mind Takes Action to Become Anti-Racist Organisation

The global pandemic and resurgence of the Black Lives Matter movement following the tragic deaths of George Floyd and many others, have shone a spotlight on the disparities in equality and justice. Against this backdrop, mental health charity Mind has taken action to look at how racism manifests in its own organisation and what it can do to create genuine and lasting change.

Following an extensive recruitment process, the charity is welcoming five new trustees to the Board. Former trustee Richard Addy will be Chairing Mind’s Race Equality Advisory Board.

Race equality in mind

Research demonstrates that the coronavirus has negatively impacted the mental health of people from racial minority backgrounds.

A recent survey by Mind showed that the pandemic has also disproportionately widened the inequalities people experience across social issues that affect mental health such as benefits, housing, employment and finances.

To make sure the charity is there for everyone with a mental health problem, the Race Equality in Mind Initiative has been created to develop and implement a clear plan to challenge and eliminate the explicit and implicit ways in which a default racial bias operates within Mind and the way it works.

As Chair of Mind’s Race Equality Advisory Board. Addy brings a wealth of personal and professional expertise to this role.

Addy said: “Mind’s vision is a society where everyone experiencing a mental health problem gets support and respect. To deliver this vision we must become an anti-racist organisation that meets the needs of people from different ethnic minority groups who are currently being under-served. It is a critical task and one Mind is committed to fully through the deep hard work of listening, learning and acting.”

Tackling inequalities

Paul Farmer, Chief Executive of Mind said: “This is a hugely important time for many charities, and the leadership and support given by Trustees shapes Mind’s work now and in the future. Our five new trustees strengthen Mind’s commitment to diversity and tackling inequalities at all levels as we enter a new strategic phase”.

The five newly appointed trustees are:

  • Steve Gilbert OBE is an experienced Serious Mental Illness Living Experience Consultant, and former vice-chair of the Independent Review of the Mental Health act. He was awarded an OBE for services to Mental Health. He has been elected by Mind members to serve a second term as trustee.
  • Dr Shubulade Smith CBE is an experienced consultant psychiatrist at the South London and Maudsley NHS foundation trust and Clinical Senior Lecturer at the Institute of Psychiatry. She was awarded Psychiatrist of the Year at the Royal College of Psychiatrists Awards in 2019 and a CBE for services to forensic psychiatric intensive care. She has been co-opted* by the Board to serve her first term as trustee.
  • Mandeep Rupra is a race equity specialist and current Head of Equity, Diversity and Inclusion at Citizens Advice Bureau. She has been co-opted by the Board to serve her first term as trustee.
  • Pippa Glucklich has extensive experience in advertising, digital and communications. She was formerly CEO of Starcom and Amplifi UK. She has been elected by Mind’s members to serve her first term as trustee.
  • Valerie Harrison has enjoyed a long career in the NHS, including as CEO of an NHS community and mental health trust and an acute trust. She was formerly chair of Mind in Barnet and former vice-chair of Mind. She has been elected by Mind’s members to serve a second term as trustee.

Wrapping up, Stevie Spring, Chairman of Mind said:  “I’m also delighted to welcome our new trustees, who join us during this unprecedented period – in the grip of a mental health emergency. Their passion, expertise and challenge will be important – strengthening our ability to become a proudly anti-racist organisation as we navigate these challenges.”

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