Impact Report 2019 - 2020
A seminal year for the Mental Health Foundation
In November 2019, the Foundation celebrated its 70th year. It was a milestone that bore witness to the dedication and passion that has driven the Foundation in raising awareness and finding better answers to support our mental health. We were delighted to be joined by our fantastic supporters, our staff and board as well as our patron, HRH Princess Alexandra, president, Jacqui Dyer OBE and our chair of the Friends of the Foundation, Fiorella Massey. It was a special privilege to meet family members of our founder Derek Richter to mark this occasion with us.
But as well as celebrating our significant achievements of the past, we also took the opportunity to look forward. After nine months of work and thought, the Foundation launched its new strategy, Making Prevention Happen.
The strategy outlined our commitments to achieve greater impact, influence and integrity in our work. It laid out a vision of a society which puts our mental health at its heart which, if heeded, would see a sustained reduction in levels and severity of mental ill-health and better mental health for all.
During the year, the executive have gone to work to bring that vision to life through our ground-breaking research across the UK, policy work and applied work in prevention in communities across the UK. Our subsidiary community interest company, Mental Health at Work, continues to help businesses tackle stigma and enable workplaces to address mental health. It was also a year where we strengthened our work and commitment in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Our work in public engagement continues to grow. Our website is now one of the UK’s leading sites on mental health guidance and advice. When the Foundation first launched Mental Health Awareness Week (MHAW), few would have envisaged how it has grown to a powerful UK-wide week of events that millions of people get involved with.
The 2019 theme and report on body image addressed an issue that is too often ignored but central to good mental health.
As the financial year drew to a close, the Foundation came to terms with the COVID-19 pandemic. We moved quickly to close our three offices and protect staff health.
Due to the generosity of our supporters, we were able to play a full part in the national effort to support the mental health of the nation, developing one of the UK’s leading COVID-19 information hubs and launching a major new longitudinal study on the impact of COVID-19 on the UK population.
The Foundation has deepened its commitment to standing against racism and discrimination which is so damaging to people’s mental health.We are striving to increase our own diversity as well as creating a sense of real belonging through support for our staff’s wellbeing.
Our financial position remains strong and we are investing our surplus in responding to the mental health needs of the UK population and in line with delivering our ambitious new strategy for 2020-2025. We are committed to building a sustainable organisation and a transformation in the Foundation’s impact and reach.
This report sets out our work in more detail and we welcome the opportunity to work with new partners and supporters who share our vision and ambition for good mental health for all.