An umbrella body to increase charities' involvement with statutory mental health and social care services across England was launched last week.
The Mental Health Providers Forum, a not-for-profit company, had been under discussion for two years before its official launch. So far, it has 13 members, including Mind, Rethink and Turning Point.
It has appointed Judy Weleminsky, former chief executive of the NCVO and Rethink, as its chief executive from 5 December.
It is hoped the forum will amplify the voice of its members, influence decision-makers and pool resources, as well as benefit from additional funds from the Department of Health and the National Institute for Mental Health in England.
The forum is already working with the DoH to develop commissioning guidance in areas such as risk management and outcome measures. Forum members are also engaged with the new Third Sector Commissioning Task Force.
Separately, Rethink has demanded that the Government conduct a national investigation into large-scale spending cuts in statutory mental health services.