Mental Health Foundation

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Mental Health Foundation Organisation logo.gif
The logo of the Mental Health Foundation
Formation Incorporated February 1989[1]
Type Private Limited Company by guarantee
Legal status Charity
Purpose Promoting mental health
Headquarters London, SE1
Region served
United Kingdom
Chief Executive
Jenny Edwards CBE[2]

The Mental Health Foundation was founded in 1949. It is a British charitable organisation that provides information, carries out research, and campaigns to improve services for people affected by mental health problems. It now incorporates the Foundation for People with Learning Disabilities.

History and origins[edit]

In 1949 Derek Richter, a neurochemist with an interest in mental health, and Ian Henderson, a stockbroker, formed the Mental Health Research Fund (MHRF), with the aim of up lifting funds to award grants for research in mental health. In 1972 the Fund merged with another fundraising body, The Mental Health Trust, and in 1973 was renamed the Mental Health Foundation.[3]


The strategic objectives of the Mental Health Foundation are to help people understand, protect and maintain their mental health. The Foundation takes a public health approach, focusing on the prevention of mental health problems in the first instance.[4] The Foundation runs programmes with a variety of groups who are most at risk of mental ill health, including single mothers, older people, and children in care. In 2007 the then Chief Executive described the main purpose of the Foundation as "to try to mainstream mental health as an issue so it is a core part of everything else".[5]


The Mental Health Foundation is an incorporated UK charity headed by a board of 10 Trustees. The president of the Foundation is Dinesh Bhugra, and the patron is Princess Alexandra, The Honourable Lady Ogilvy. Keith Leslie, the Chairman of the board of trustees was appointed in 2014.


The Mental Health Foundation campaigns to raise awareness of mental health issues in the media and raise the profile of mental health in political and social agendas. Recent campaigns have included:[6]

  • Mental Health Awareness Week - 14-20th May 2018 - hosted by the Mental Health Foundation UK.[7]
  • Be Mindful - A campaign to promote the use of Mindfulness-based Cognitive Therapy (MBCT) for treatment of long term depression, as an alternative to prescribed medication.[8]
  • Research Mental Health - A joint venture with the Institute of Psychiatry at King's College London to promote the importance of mental health research in the UK.
  • Right Here - A five-year project in conjunction with the Paul Hamlyn Foundation which is aimed at 16- to 25-year-olds in the UK, and is focused on helping young people improve their mental health and reduce the chances of developing mental health problems in later life, as well as tackling the stigma attached to such problems.[9]
  • Mental Health Action Week - This is a nationwide annual event held each spring to raise awareness of various mental health issues. Topics have included:[6] Fear (2009), Anger (2008), Friendship (2007), Alcohol (2006) and Exercise (2005).


The Foundation's total income for the financial year ending 31 March 2017 was £4.7m, with sources including donations (individual and corporate), legacies and grants.[10]

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "Overview". Companies House (UK). Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  2. ^ "Jenny Edwards CBE, Chief Executive". Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  3. ^ "Our History". Retrieved 2014-06-18. 
  4. ^ "Who we are and what we do". Retrieved 2016-07-01. 
  5. ^ Andalo, Debbie (October 3, 2007). "Leading Questions; Interview with Andrew McCullock". Guardian UK. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  6. ^ a b MHF website - campaigns
  7. ^ "Mental Health Awareness Week". Mental Health Foundation. May 14–18, 2018. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  8. ^ "GPs access to depression treatment 'is too narrow'". BBC News. January 5, 2010. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 
  9. ^ Right Here website
  10. ^ "The Mental Health Foundation: Financial, (2017)". The Charity Commission. Retrieved May 16, 2018. 

External links[edit]