Mental Health Foundation Chief Executive steps down

2 January 2018

After a very successful four years as Chief Executive of the Mental Health Foundation, Jenny Edwards CBE has decided to step aside to take on fresh opportunities in 2018.

Her years of leadership of the Foundation have seen a massive growth in public and political awareness of mental health as a vital issue for attention. Jenny has been a fundamental part of helping to make that happen, working with the Foundation and its many partner organisations, allies and supporters. She has taken the message right to the heart of government.

Many of our supporters will have seen Jenny often passionately making the case for change in the media and on social media. Others will be aware of her work in the less public forums and panels, tirelessly working for fresh solutions to what have been seen as intractable problems. She has brought the Foundation's perspectives and ambitions to work at national, local and international levels.

Jenny has developed the Foundation's focus on evidence-based advocacy and the publication of authoritative reports that through a spotlight on issues such as prevention, poverty and mental health inequalities. 

During her time as Chief Executive, the Foundation's programmes and advice have reached many thousands of people experiencing mental health problems. The last Mental Health Awareness Week reached tens of millions of people with the clear message about the journey needed to help people thrive, not just survive.

Jenny's leadership has also helped the Foundation pass through a time of turbulence, as so many charities experienced, to achieve financial stability. She has worked closely with the new Friends of the Foundation to widen our circle of supporters and allies. The changes have given us the ability to invest in preparing for significant future developments as we move towards the 70th anniversary of our foundation. 

Jenny Edwards commented: "I have had a wonderful four years working with the great team at the Mental Health Foundation and with supporters, allies, partners and many friends in the wider world who are so dedicated to bringing about the changes we need in mental health.

"I have been recognising that there are major changes ahead for the Foundation with major legacy income entrusted to us and expected. The Foundation will need a new long-term strategy. 

"It seems to me, considering my own plans, that this is the right time for new leadership to take that forward. I wish the Foundation every success in achieving its goals and will be backing it all the way."