Mind highlights trustees' mental health problems

Graham Willgoss

Mind, the mental health charity, has issued a statement declaring that one in five of its trustees have been compulsorily detained under the Mental Health Act.

The charity's first audit of council management revealed that 15 of its 24 trustees have had mental health problems in the past year, whereas 18 have directly experienced mental distress and can call on recent experience.

A spokesman said the charity decided to make the figures public "for reasons of transparency and accountability".

"We have taken a decision to make ourselves more transparent in an effort to engage service users," said the spokesman. "The level of experience of the board should reflect that of our service users, and this information will enable Mind's trustees to assess the level of service user involvement on the council."

Trustees recently agreed that service-user involvement should ideally be no less than 50 per cent of the board.

Mind said part of the reason for releasing the results was to reduce the stigma surrounding mental illness by showing that people who have had "various personal experience" hold responsible positions within the charity.

Mind chief executive Richard Brook said that the experience of trustees was "highly valued" and that it was "important that Mind takes the lead from those who themselves have direct experience of mental health problems".

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