Mind (charity)

Mind is a mental health charity in England and Wales. Founded in 1946 as the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH), it celebrated its 70th anniversary in 2016.

The current logo, in use since 2014
MottoFor better mental health
HeadquartersStratford, London
Region served
England and Wales
Stephen Fry[1]

Mind offers information and advice to people with mental health problems and lobbies government and local authorities on their behalf. It also works to raise public awareness and understanding of issues relating to mental health.[2] Since 1982, it has awarded an annual prize for "Book of the Year" having to do with mental health, in addition to three other prizes. Since 2008 Mind has hosted the annual Mind Media Awards, celebrating the best portrayals and reporting of mental health across the media.

132 local Mind associations (independent, affiliated charities) provide services such as supported housing, floating support schemes, care homes, drop-in centres and self-help support groups.[3] Local Mind associations are often very different in size, make up and character—it is a common misconception that they all work to the same policy and procedural framework. Mind is a national brand but all local associations are unique, although they do all sign up to certain shared aims and ethical guidelines.


Mind was originally known as the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH), founded in 1946[4] from three voluntary organisations that provided services for the "maladjusted, emotionally disturbed or mentally handicapped to any degree."[5] The name MIND was introduced in 1972, and the lowercase version "Mind" was introduced in the 1990s.

The National Association for Mental Health was formed (initially as national Council) by the merging of the following three organisations toward the end of the second world war:

  • Central Association for Mental Welfare (CAMW)
  • National Council for Mental Hygiene (NCMH)
  • Child Guidance Council (CGC)

The NCMH had been an organisation of psychiatrists and psychologists, while the CAMH comprised representatives of various voluntary bodies. Among other things, they helped run and monitor institutions for the mentally handicapped, and developing training for mental health professionals. They were both part of the social hygiene movement, and had advocated eugenics and sterilisation as a means of dealing with those considered too mentally deficient to be assisted into healthy productive work and contented family life.[6]

The beginnings of the National Association for Mental Health also coincided with the development of the National Health Service and the welfare state.

In 1969, numerous Scientologists joined the NAMH and attempted to ratify as official policy a number of points concerning the treatment of psychiatric patients. When their identity was realised they were expelled from the organisation en masse. The Church of Scientology in 1971 unsuccessfully sued the NAMH over the matter in the High Court, and the case became notable in British charity law.[7]

Mind has celebrated World Mental Health Day annually since it was first observed in 1992. This occurs on 10 October.

Paul Farmer became chief executive of Mind in 2006, moving from his position as director of public affairs at the charity Rethink.[8]

In 2008 the charity Mental Health Media (formerly the Mental Health Film Council founded in 1963 following a Mind initiative) was merged into Mind, shutting down its Open Up service which had sought to empower mental health service users to speak up in their communities, and bringing with it control over its Mental Health Media Awards.[9]

Stephen Fry succeeded Melvyn Bragg in 2011 as President of Mind.[1]


In addition to its other activities, Mind campaigns for the rights of people who have experience of mental distress. Mind's current campaigns include:[10]

  • Taking care of business — tackling workplace stress, this campaign, launched May 2010, aims to make workplaces more mentally healthy.[11]
  • Another assault — exposing the high levels of victimisation and harassment experienced by people with mental health problems, and their reluctance to report abuse to the police.
  • In the red: debt, poverty and mental health — exploring the impact debt has on mental health.
  • Our lives, our choices — Mind is part of the national campaign for independent living. The campaign calls for an overhaul of the health and social care system.

In addition, Mind is part of the Time to Change coalition, along with Rethink. Time to Change is an England-wide campaign to end mental health discrimination.[12]

Mind campaigns for the inclusion and involvement of (ex)users of mental health services. In its own organisation, at least two service users must be on the executive committee of each local Mind group. The charity operates Mind Link, a national network of service users, which is represented on Mind's Council of Management, its ultimate decision making body.[13]

For 30 years Mind has celebrated published fiction or non-fiction writing by or about people with emotional or mental distress with the annual Mind Book of the Year Award.

Since 2008 Mind took over control of the annual Mental Health Media Awards, which it renamed the Mind Media Awards. This is intended to "recognise and celebrate the best portrayals of mental distress, and reporting of mental health, in the media".[14] However, the operational running of the Awards ceremony and the selection of judges is carried out by private company Keystone Conference & Events Management Ltd.[15]

Within the complex debate on mental illness causality, Mind has developed a list of factors which in its view may trigger mental illness episodes.[16]

Mind is involved in a campaign Rethink Mental Illness to reduce the stigma associated with psychiatric illness.[17]


National Mind takes donations, sponsorship, grants and operates charity shops across England and Wales.[18] Each local Mind association is an independent charity responsible for its own funding, although they are provided some project funds from national Mind.[3] The total gross income of the local associations in 2009 was £87 million which, combined with the national Mind income of £25 million, gave a total of £112 million.[19] At least some local associations report that the majority of their income is from the British government through local governmental and NHS grants (e.g. 74%[20]).

Mind states that, while it accepts corporate support in general, it does not accept any money from pharmaceutical companies. This policy is binding on all local Minds who are not permitted to accept sponsorship or donations from pharmaceutical companies for their own events, or for fees or expenses for attending conferences.[21]


In July 2015, Mind worked closely with Ofcom on the regulator’s UK Calling campaign to make sure communications were clear and easy to understand.[22]

See also




  1. "Stephen Fry is Mind's Presiden". Mind. Retrieved 13 November 2019.
  2. "About Mind", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  3. "The Local Mind Network", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  4. Jones (2003), p. 201
  5. Malin, Race & Jones (1980), pp. 151–152
  6. Greta Jones (1986) Social Hygiene in 20th Century Britain Taylor & Francis, Page 80 to 83
  7. Rolph (1973)
  8. "Mind Announces New Chief Executive", Mind.org.uk, 21 February 2006, retrieved 6 July 2010
  9. Charities Join Forces, Mind website 2008, Retrieved Nov 2011
  10. "Current Campaigns", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  11. "Taking Care Of Business: Mental Health At Work", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  12. Scates, Paul (14 February 2013). "It's Time to Talk, It's Time to Change". Huffington Post (blog). Retrieved 7 April 2013.
  13. "Mind's Policy on User Involvement", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  14. Mind Media Award website
  15. Keystone Group webpage on MHM Awards
  16. http://www.mind.org.uk/information-support/types-of-mental-health-problems/mental-health-problems-(general)/what-causes-mental-health-problems/#.U1ItYeZdUz4
  17. Mental health campaign Time To Change gets £20m boost
  18. "Donate", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  19. "View Accounts - Mind (The National Association For Mental Health)", Charity Commission for England and Wales, The Crown, retrieved 6 July 2010
  20. "Annual Report 2008–2009" (PDF), Mind in Croydon, archived from the original (PDF) on 16 February 2010, retrieved 6 July 2010
  21. "Mind's guidelines for working with corporate partners", Mind.org.uk, retrieved 6 July 2010
  22. "About UK Calling". Ofcom. Retrieved 14 August 2015.


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