Centre for Mental Health

Centre for Mental Health is an independent national charity. We aim to inspire hope, opportunity and a fair chance in life for people of all ages with or at risk of mental ill health. We act as a bridge between the worlds of research, policy and service provision and believe strongly in the importance of high-quality evidence and analysis. We encourage innovation and advocate for change in policy and practice through focused research, development and training. We work collaboratively with others to promote more positive attitudes in society towards mental health conditions and those who live with them.

How does your organisation contribute to preventing suicide and supporting those affected by it?

Our work contributes to better mental health in society and improved life chances for people with mental health problems. Through research, we connect academic research with policy and practice, we identify innovative and cost-effective approaches and spread them nationwide, and we focus on the needs of people who most often get ignored or marginalised. Our work includes:

– Improving mental health support in the criminal justice system.

– Supporting people with mental health problems in employment.

– Helping mental health services to refocus on recovery.

– Enhancing mental health and resilience among children and young people.

– Integrating mental and physical health support.

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What are your current priorities?

We are working alongside the Howard League for Penal Reform to investigate ways in which the recent rise in prison suicide numbers could be reduced.

We are also conducting a small-scale evaluation of the early stages of a project in Essex to implement the Zero Suicide approach in primary care services in a CCG area.

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What challenges are you currently facing?

Our biggest challenge as a charity is to gain funding for independent research that tackles the barriers to a fairer chance in life for people with mental health problems. Our work aims to influence a wide range of decision-makers, many of whom face difficult choices about resource allocation. We aim to support them through high quality evidence to invest in the most promising approaches. We know, however, that this can be challenging given the number of pressures on health, local government and other key commissioners and providers of services for people with mental health problems.

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