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Mind is a charity which provides information and support for people experiencing mental health problems in England and Wales. It also campaigns to improve services, raises awareness and carries out training. Founded in 1946, Mind has an annual income of £37m and employs more than 190 people. It has offices in London and Cardiff.
Mind was formed just after the Second World War as the National Association for Mental Health (NAMH) and, on its 25th anniversary in 1971, launched its first major public information and fundraising campaign – the MIND campaign, aimed at combatting ignorance around mental health issues. The campaign was so successful that NAMH changed its name to MIND in 1972, becoming Mind in the 1990s.
There are also 140 local Minds around England and Wales. They are independent charities whose services include supported housing, crisis helplines, drop-in centres, employment and training schemes, counselling and befriending. 375,000 people benefit from these services and the local Mind network employs 2,500 people. Mind gave grants worth £1.8m to local Minds in 2014/15.
A core function of the national Mind is the provision of supportive and reliable information. Its website contains information on the types of mental health problems, drugs and treatments, support for people with mental health problems, advice on legal rights and a guide to services. 10.7 million people visited Mind’s online mental health information pages in 2014/15.
Mind also manages three Helplines, providing general information, legal advice and emergency guidance. The Helplines answered 65,000 queries last year.
Mind is also a campaigning charity, aiming to alter public perceptions of mental health issues and change policy. The charity is campaigning for talking therapies to be available to everyone on the NHS within 28 days of referral. Mind is also advocating for the abolition of benefit sanctions for people with mental health problems and for an end to negative stereotypes of people on benefits.
Mind offers mental health training and consultancy to businesses and other types of organisation. Topics include mental health awareness, students and mental health, customer care and mental health and managing mental health at work. 500 employers took Mind’s specialist mental health training in 2014/15.
There is a separate Mind charity for Wales. Founded in 1973, Mind Cymru delivers Mind’s national training programme in Wales and works closely with the Welsh government, the National Assembly and other agencies in order to guide mental health and community care policy in the country. Mind Cymru is based in Cardiff.
All Mind staff are offered flexible working hours and some work from home. Employees receive 25 days’ annual leave and five ‘Mind Days’ – days of paid leave after five of each year’s bank holidays.