Philosophy of The Big Society

David Cameron gets to be God!

Tuesday, 2 December 2008

Petitioning MH Charities.....The need for more democracy

Have been sent the following link:

The Stratford Declaration, which is the name of the petition, is, I think, seeking to get more accountablity, from MIND, to those with mental health problems. I think it is an uphill struggle but if you don't ever try then what chance of change?

Is important to know that the charity gets £17 million pounds and is not unfair for people with mental illness to ask what is being done with that money to improve their lives. In fact, I think it is important that people with mental illness have a big say in what is done with that money. It shouldn't be left to people who think they know what mental illness means, or people who have careered their way to senior managment positions (without much accountability along the way).

My rather caustic view, based on my experience of the charity, is that if it disappeared tomorrow, today even, it wouldn't make the slightest bit of difference to my life. Proof of the pudding and all that.


  1. I am with you on this one Mandy,
    I have not had much dealings with mind despite vice-pressy status eh ;), but do think more accountability for all charities really is a biggy, if they collect money on behalf of the 'ill' then surely we need to see that's where the money is going, and not as supected on endless pampheting, long expensive meetigs, and big expense claims.

  2. You know Lareve,

    There must be people out there getting something from MIND. Something that helps...I just have no evidence that as a charity they are actually helping the majority of people with mental illness, in ways that are evident.

    All I see is a Chief Exec, who is very much a power seeker and an organisation that has grown, certainly in middle management areas, whilst many of the services have been modernised. A term that for me seems to be about things disappearing and locally people with mental illness have to pay for their involvement in the day centre and its activities. Okay, so maybe MIND, at local levels, is strapped for cash but £17 million quid for more middle management doesn't equate to better service provision and I think MIND itself, One of it's hierarchy, wishes it to be the biggest service provider in the UK.

    Am wondering quite what those services are going to look like.

    Am fully aware I have the reputation of questioning too much but I think people should be more questioning rather than compliant.

    People's apathy means that more power is controlled by a centralised system. I do fear that complicity(because is easier to not think and let it all be) will be the downfall of democarcy.

    Maybe I think too much. Where's the off switch?

  3. Our local Mind group seems to have an all too cosy relation with the local Trust.

    Not so much radical campaigning dudes, more suckling at the udder of the NHS and providing cushy jobs for people too lazy to do proper work.

    Since we're all about to be forced to work regardless of illness, we should have their jobs. They can go and do the Sainsbury's thing.

    Knoww how you feel, getting seriously radical myself with new blog Foundation Trust Watch.

    Organisations like Mind & Lifecraft are irrelevant - they've just become an extension of the mhts.

    We've got to do their job.

  4. Well done with the Radio show Mandy, you came across really well. bit surreal though.

  5. you were great on air Mandy, very relaxwd and confident sounding.
    I entirely agree with you about MIND. They are far too keen to do what the government wants and not what people with mental health problems want. i don't think they should be allowed to claim they are working as a charity for us if they won't listen to us.

    sleep well and sweet dereams.
    lots of love

  6. Mandy you sounded brilliant, well done!

    An I've not had a great experience with MIND either.

  7. Ah! Just finished listening to Mandy on the wireless.

    Well done Mandy, you were excellent!

  8. Just listened online to the programme, you came across really well.
    I've not had any dealings with MIND, & hubby has only had limited contact through a day centre years ago.I am beginning to appreciate what you are saying in your view though about the organisation.

  9. Wallace,

    I have nothing but praise and the greatest admiration for Mind and for all those professionals who selflessly give of their time for charitable work with people with mental health issues.

    Our local Mind shop used to be a great place for bargains and to hang out for a chat but they tend to aim at the youth market now and the local shop has gone a bit upmarket of late , somewhat out of reach for old fuddy duddies like me on pensions so I just give a few pounds a week in donations.

    Still, Mind are in the business of optimising income to help people with mental health issues , they arent there to provide old codgers like me with cheap togs but as long as the money goes to a good cause.

    The manager of our local shop says 90% of the takings goes straight to Mind's central HQ up in London and it really makes me feel proud and like I am contributing something to know that my pension is helping Mind raise more money to provide services at low cost to service users in other parts of the country.

    I am not going out for a brisk walk today as I dont have a winter coat.


  10. Not long back from town here

    Thanks so much to Lareve, Sis, Margaret and Socrates for listening and providing feedback. xx

    Hug to Senean for coming over and supporting me. I haven't even listened yet. I didn't dare. Thought, and kept re-thinking, that I wasn't zappy, witty or intelligent enough.

    Will check out the podcast, because would like to see how Senean's and my words were linked together. How that panned out.

    Again am really fluffed up that people took time to listen. :>)

  11. P.S. for Socrates

    Our local representative group is run by MIND and it is an extension of the MH Trust. I used to be on it and, realising that I was the only one challenging anything (and doing most of the manager's job for them), got the hell out of it.

  12. manders,

    listened to the R4 All in the Mind podcast and it was great, very down to earth with you and Seaneen telling it like it is. I also liked that the interviewer had checked out both your blogs again for feedback before airing the interviews .

    I also think its interesting that Mental Health Media didnt get a look in and think its time Mind let that useless organisation die and started steering resources towards people with MH issues who want to talk for themselves .

    I'm still waiting for Mind director Paul Farmer to start blogging his organisations intentions so that we can comment too as i'm sick of Mind's 'We only talk to the real Media 'bulshit thats hardwired into the structure of the organisation and its website.

  13. This is our local Mind Group:

    We have also worked closely with Cambridgeshire and Peterborough Mental Health Partnership Trust and alongside their Huntingdon services have run joint groups and other activities.

    They shouldn't be sitting down with the Trust for a nice-cup-of-tea-and-a-chat, they should be screaming at the top of their voices saying "You Cost £120 million a year, have thousands of staff and you're service is crap and sub-standard.

    Mind is irrelevant.

    It's down to us to do the job.

  14. Hi Norm

    Thanks for listening...I have not long heard it myself.

    Totally cringe-worthy. I sound like some kind of General Studies lecturer!!! The affectation in my voice was nauseating to listen to.

    Am tempted to start taping my own voice to get rid of that although was likely heightened by my sense of needing to confine things within the limitations of a half hour (focussed) interview. I was acutely aware I might be listened to.

    For fekk sake! One thing I did like was that my local accent came through. I didn't realise it was so strong but am not ashamed of having a London overspill accent. Better than that lilting thing that was going on.

    I think the programme itself was well edited, nicely paced and gave fairseez shareseez to both Senean and me.

    Perhaps a local recovery programme will enrol me on a public speaking course. I hope not. I don't intend to do anymore public speaking.

    Off to the wardrobe with Teddy, now!

  15. Hi FTW

    So there is a trend within MIND groups to be butt suckers!!!

    Am not surprised. That's the way the money goes round.