Our people, our history - Rethink Mental Illness Timeline
Journalist John Pringle writes a leader column in the Times about his son’s experience of schizophrenia; 400 people contact John in response to the article, creating the impetus for the organisation which is now Rethink Mental Illness.
Our organisation launches with the founding of the Schizophrenia Fellowship, which becomes known as the National Schizophrenia Fellowship in 1974.
Ernestine Adams, whose brother Philip had schizophrenia, becomes our first member. In the following year, 240 more join her as members.
Our first support groups get under way for carers in the West of England and the Midlands.
We are awarded our first government funding, which helps us to extend our work more broadly.
We are featured as the Week’s Good Cause on Radio 4. Richard Baker’s appeal raises £2,350.
We undertake our first campaigning during the review of the 1959 Mental Health Act, calling for improvements in five key areas to improve support for carers and strengthen care in the community.
Our sister organisation Support In Mind Scotland is established.
We begin training on issues around mental health for the first time.
With Lord Mottistone, we draft a Schizophrenia Aftercare Bill, which is passed in the House of Lords but defeated in the House of Commons. Despite this, the bill moves schizophrenia up the public agenda.
Our Advice and information service opens. A quarter of a century later, it answers 7,295 queries every year.
We are one of 11 founding organisations of the European Federation of Association of Mental Ill People. We retain close links with them, and its current President is our former Chair, Bert Johnson.
One of our founders, Dorothy Silberston, whose daughter Catherine was diagnosed with schizophrenia during her teens, receives the MBE for her work with us.
We publish Silent Partners, a report commissioned by the Department of Health. At the time, this was the largest ever survey of the needs of people who care for someone with a severe mental illness.
Our media profile increases as we are one of five beneficiaries chosen from 300 applicants for GMTV’s annual “Get Up and Give” fundraising event. In the same year, we work closely with the BBC on their portrayal of Joe Wicks’ experience of schizophrenia in EastEnders. Paul Nicholls’ character creates high profile exposure for the issue: 22 million people watch his final episode which ending with Joe being sectioned.
We launch our new name, Rethink, reflecting of our work across mental health issues beyond schizophrenia.
We provide evidence to the National Institute for Clinical Excellence which leads to a new ruling on best practice in providing access to medicines.
We open our first crisis house, in Lincolnshire. Since then we have grown to have nine crisis and recovery houses, which provide support to 1200 people each year.
Our sister organisation Hafal is set up to support people with severe mental illness in Wales.
Our unveiling of a statue of Winston Churchill wearing a ‘straitjacket of stigma’ to represent his experience of depression receives widespread media coverage.
Our anti-stigma campaign Time to Change launches in partnership with Mind. It has recorded an improvement in attitudes to mental illness in 3.5 million people since 2007.
We are the first mental health charity to receive accreditation from NHS England’s Information Standard, a quality mark awarded to our Advice and Information service, reflecting the rigorous production and assessment process behind our materials.
Our sister organisation MindWise is set up in Northern Ireland.
Our campaigning leads to a new ruling preventing employers from asking interview candidates about their mental health until after a job offer has been made.
We extend our name to Rethink Mental Illness, a call to action for the public to reconsider the views they might hold about mental illness.
We advise the coalition government on their ‘No health without mental health’ report, which emphasises the fundamental role played by good mental health in our overall wellbeing.
Rethink Mental Illness establishes the Schizophrenia Commission, whose report The Abandoned Illness is highly influential in future policy development. The same year, we celebrate an ‘Unhappy Birthday’ for the 100th anniversary of the first use of the word ‘schizophrenia’.
We are part of a coalition which puts forward an amendment to the Health and Social Care Bill which for the first time confirms that that mental health should be treated on an equal footing with physical health.
We support the passing of the Mental Health Discrimination Act which removes discriminatory provisions in legislation relating to jury service, Members of Parliament, and company directors.
Our annual Schizophrenia Awareness Week is launched; in 2015 over 50,000 people engage with this campaign.
Our Lethal Discrimination report highlights the dangerous disparity between how physical and mental illness are dealt with. It leads to our +20 campaign in 2014, which raises awareness of the 20 year reduction in life expectancy of people with severe mental illness because of the physical health risks they face.
Time to Change run the first Time to Talk Day, aiming to help people talk about mental health. As part of the most recent event in February 2016, 86,747 people logged conversations about mental health.
Our #FindMike campaign reunites Jonny Benjamin with Neil Laybourn, who had stopped him from ending his life on Waterloo Bridge six years earlier. Millions of people around the world join the search, and the #FindMike hashtag trends in 25 countries. This is a huge step in building engagement in what it is like to live with schizophrenia.
Our public engagement work around the findings of the Schizophrenia Commission continues when we run the first National Psychosis Summit, attended by Minister of State for Care and Support, Norman Lamb MP. A year later, the rising profile of mental health issues is reflected by all major party election manifestos containing mental health commitments for the first time.
Our Lost Generation report calls for the extension of Early Intervention in Psychosis services for young people. Our wider campaigning around this leads to the service being included in the first ever maximum waiting times for mental health, a significant step in broadening access to vital support for people when they first experience psychosis.
We are chosen as one of the charities for the Guardian’s Christmas appeal, and this is followed by the Telegraph choosing us for their appeal in 2015. These appeals mean that coverage of our work and the experiences of people affected by a wide range of mental health issues reach a combined audience of 250 million people.
The Mental Health Taskforce publishes its Five Year Forward Strategy. We sit on the Taskforce, and all 17 of our recommendations are accepted by it. Its publication is accompanied by a new NHS commitment of £1bn funding per year for mental healthcare by 2020/21.
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