Philosophy of The Big Society

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Saturday, 20 June 2009

Sainsbury Centre for MH to lose its funding

The respected Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health is to cease working as an independent charity, after the Gatsby Charitable Foundation, which funds it, gave notice of its intention to wind down support.

The foundation, one of the charitable trusts set up by the Sainsbury supermarket family, will support the centre for the rest of this financial year to the tune of £2m, and will continue some backing for two years thereafter.

Leaders of the centre have told staff they should not expect it to remain in its present form after 2010. It is hoped the charity will merge with another organisation, aided by the rest of the Gatsby money.

The centre was set up in 1985 and quickly became a leading player in the mental-health sector, focusing on research, analysis and policy development.

In 2006, Gatsby cut its funding, and forced the centre to shed two-thirds of its staff and concentrate work on two areas affecting people with mental-health problems: employment issues and criminal justice. Now the foundation is withdrawing altogether.

The centre employs 20 core staff and a further 10 associates on contract. They have been assured their jobs are not at risk "in the near future".

Gatsby disclosed its intention after Angela Greatley, the centre's chief executive since 2004, announced she wished to retire later this year. The foundation told the centre it should not move to replace her.

Until the hoped-for merger, the centre will be run jointly by Bob Grove and Sean Duggan, who at present head up the two work streams.

Chris Foy, chair of the centre's trustees, said they and the directors would be "exploring new institutional arrangements and transitional financial support in order to safeguard the quality and impact of the core programmes".

News of the centre's plight comes just two months after another prominent mental health organisation, Mental Health Media, merged with the sector's leading charity, Mind. © Guardian News and Media 2009


  1. Well lets put it this way - they succeeded in closing down asylums - producing with Rethink a workfare type solution for MH Users - meanwhile the ranks of prisoners increased with MH problems - something SCMH lamented (ofcourse)

    They succeedeed in first purchasing for the DOH, NIMHE's website and their plans helped to divert probably £140 million of lost opportunity treatments for people who needed therapy .

    They succeeded in hosting Dick Layard for his inauguaral speech on a crappy therapy named CBT which though partly useful is actually superficial and does not address the resolving of damaged lives through grief .

    They succeeded in networking with mental health media who fed Govt policies with material that was checked by SCMH itself .. Angela Greatley was a Trustee of MHM

    They succeeded in creating networks with Mental Health Foundation , MIND and Rethink who are in a top down gravy train mode curing social stigma while MH patients are absolutely the last in the line for "Patient Choice "

    Along with NIMHE they benefited a super-User class of eliter Users that have propagandised MH rather than viewed the reality of no patient choice (which should have been the cenral reform policy)

    And ofcourse some of the Super Users of Users hang around in the hope of perhaps another re-invention of some sort of containment for themselves whilst large numbers of patients are being assaulted by "Welfare Reform" - crap treatment and no patient choice ...

    I could go on ...


  2. PG

    I was thinking of organising an official day of mourning for all the good things that could have been achieved but never were!!!

    Instead perhaps give the centre a post-humous award for fekking the mentally ill over.

  3. Mandy :

    When we see the long tread of the Mental Health Charities like Rethink MIND MHF and what's left of mental health media plus their defunct-NIMHE-run originated by SCMH - we can all feel betrayed .. The top lot have walked off with community money and those at the bottom are left disempowered .

    In Bham all the years of fanfare about User Voice and the Positive Mental Health Group as well as false user involvement appears to to be over . Good . Perhaps people will realise there is only themselves in reality to organise with ..

    And those Users who were co-dependent on the Trust are going are are gone . It does not need or want them in its FT riches and recessionary pressure but it also did not empower people to do simple things like make bids for funds to grow some independence

    SCMH got its way and created a small army of User-devotees who corralled the rest and it was a major distraction from a simple mechanism of honest Patient Choice and individual recovery packages .


  4. At long last SCMH have had their funding pulled. Good riddance. Lets hope the Mental Health Foundation are the next to go.