What is the Mental Health Foundation (UK)?

Introduction

The Mental Health Foundation is a UK charity, whose mission is “to help people to thrive through understanding, protecting, and sustaining their mental health.”

Refer to Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

Brief History

The Mental Health Foundation was founded in 1940 as the Mental Health Research Fund. It was founded by Derek Richter, a neurochemist and director of research at Whitchurch Hospital. Richter enlisted the help of stockbroker Ian Henderson, who became the chair, while Victoria Cross recipient Geoffrey Vickers became chair of the research committee.

In 1972, the Mental Health Foundation took its current name, shifting its “focus away from laboratory research and towards working directly with—and learning from—people [who] experience mental health problems.”

The Foundation has also focussed on “overlooked and under-researched areas,” including personality disorders and issues affecting various ethnic groups. In 1999, the Foundation took their work with learning disabilities forwards, creating the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

Mental Health Awareness Week

Each year, starting on the second Monday of May, the Mental Health Foundation hosts Mental Health Awareness Week, the UK’s national week to raise awareness of mental health and mental health problems and inspire action to promote the message of good mental health for all.

Mental Health Awareness Week was first held in 2001, and became one of the biggest mental health awareness events in the world.

Themes

  • 2019 Body Image: How We Think and Feel About Our Bodies.
  • 2018 Stress: Are We Coping?.
  • 2017 Surviving or Thriving?.
  • 2016 Relationships.
  • 2015 Mindfulness.
  • 2014 Anxiety.
  • 2013 Physical Activity and Wellbeing.

Green Ribbon

The green ribbon is the “international symbol for mental health awareness.”

The Foundation’s green ribbon ambassadors, include: Olly Alexander, Aisling Bea, Olivia Colman, Matt Haig, David Harewood, Nadiya Hussain, Grant Hutchison, Alex Lawther, and Graham Norton.

The movement uses the hashtag #PinItForMentalHealth.

Funding

The Foundation’s total income for the financial year ending 31 March 2018 was £5.8m, with sources including donations (individual and corporate), legacies and grants.

Organisation

The Foundation is an incorporated UK charity headed by a board of 12 trustees. Keith Leslie was appointed Chairman of the board of trustees in 2014.

The president of the Foundation is Dinesh Bhugra and the patron is Princess Alexandra.

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