What is Together for Mental Wellbeing?

Introduction

Together for Mental Wellbeing is a UK charity working in mental health. Until 2005 it was known as the Mental After Care Association (Maca).

Brief History

Together was founded in 1879 by Rev Henry Hawkins, then chaplain of Colney Hatch asylum, who wanted to find ways to support people leaving the institution once they returned to the community.

The charity changed its name in 2005 from the Mental After Care Association. Key to the change was the incorporation of wellbeing, now a foundational concept in the charity’s work.

Background

Together is the United Kingdom’s oldest mental health charity working to support people with mental health needs. It supports more than 3,500 people who experience mental distress, through 100 different projects across the country.

Together is led by a professional management and board of trustees. The CEO is Linda Bryant, a registered Forensic Psychologist who first joined the organisation as a frontline Forensic Mental Health Practitioner and became Director of Criminal Justice Services. The charity has a core principle of Service User Leadership.

Together works with people of all ages from 18 upwards, both sexes and many different ethnic origins. Many of them have been diagnosed with severe and enduring mental health needs such as schizophrenia or severe depression. The charity provides mental health services by working in partnership with many other organisations, including housing associations, health trusts, local authorities, criminal-justice agencies and private- and other voluntary-sector bodies.

Wellbeing Week

In 2008, Together held its first Wellbeing Week, a series of events taking place in Projects and offices across the United Kingdom. Wellbeing Week’s goal is to raise awareness of mental health and reduce stigma. In March 2009, Wellbeing Week took place for the second consecutive year.

Funding

Together reported a total income of over £23 million for 2008/2009, and £17.9m for 2015/2016. The vast majority of funding is from governmental health and social care agencies, mainly for its supported housing projects.

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