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Mind the Gap: Mental health charity Mind excludes election candidate, mental health service user and disability campaigner, Mick Hardy, from its mental health election panel

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We’ve just receives this shocking press release from Mick Hardy, prospective parliamentary candidate in Norwich North for the Dandy Party and a founder member of the Campaign to Save Mental Health Services in Norfolk and Suffolk:

Mental health charity Mind excludes election candidate, mental health service user and disability campaigner, Mick Hardy, from its mental health election panel.

Mind, the largest mental health charity in England, has excluded Mick Hardy, a mental health service user and disability campaigner, from its General Election Panel Event at The Curve, The Forum, Norwich NR2 1TF on Friday 13th March, 2015 between 1300 and 1600.

Mind claims that the event, chaired by national Mind’s Chief Executive, Paul Farmer, is “to give people with lived experience of mental health problems, their carers and support workers, volunteers and Mind staff an opportunity to ask the questions which matter to them and to hear what our parliamentary candidates from the north and south of Norwich have to say about the future of the services they use.” Yet Mind seeks to exclude Mick Hardy, disability rights campaigner and Dandy Party candidate in Norwich North from its event.

Mick Hardy said:

“I couldn’t believe it when Mind refused to have me, a prospective parliamentary candidate in Norwich North and mental health service user, on their panel. I believe this is due to my criticism of the failure of the local Norfolk Mind organisation to speak out against the massive cuts to mental health services at Norfolk & Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT) which included the closure of the assertive outreach and homeless teams. Indeed, the local Mind has sought as a ‘service provider’ to profit from the cuts and privatisation of services at NSFT. The Mind volunteers and donors will find this shocking.”

“Mind receives more funding from Norman Lamb’s Department of Health than it receives in public donations. This reliance on government funding means that Mind is compromised when it comes to speaking out in defence of mental health service users. Nothing demonstrates this more than Mind’s attempt to exclude a mental health service user candidate from their panel in Norwich. This breaches Mind’s obligation as a charity to be apolitical.”

“I encourage all those concerned about the crisis in mental health services in Norfolk and Suffolk, which has seen our local trust NSFT rated inadequate by the CQC and put into special measures by health regulator Monitor, to lobby outside the Forum on Friday both before (1230-1300) and afterwards (1600-1630). It is a shame that those holding such views have been excluded from Mind’s event.”

“Mind claims to campaign for social inclusion but seeks to exclude me.”

Notes to editors:

Mind received £3.697m in public donations in 2014. Mind received £5.26m in government grants over the same period, with £4.651m from the Department of Health including £100,000 for the crisis care concordat and £4.262m for Time to Change.

Amanda Hedley, Chief Executive of Norwich Mind has written “As part of the Redesign Process we have tried to play a constructive role in helping to suggest good alternatives provided in the third sector which would provide support for people at a lower cost but achieve similar outcomes…..’ She also told the Health Overview and Scrutiny Committee of Norfolk County Council “…MIND could even deliver some of the services currently delivered through the Trust…”

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7 thoughts on “Mind the Gap: Mental health charity Mind excludes election candidate, mental health service user and disability campaigner, Mick Hardy, from its mental health election panel

  1. Ex employee says:

    That wouldn’t be the same Amanda Headley who is an ex member of the trust senior management and married to Hadrian ball who was the medical director who oversaw the design & implementation of the savage cuts called the “radical redesign” would it? Move on. Nothing to see here kids.

    Reply
    • m says:

      Anyone smell FISH here.????

      Reply
  2. Service User says:

    Where is my comment. This campaign wouldn’t be censoring comments from service users would it? I mean that would make you look like a bunch of cowards.

    Reply
  3. Service User says:

    Are those running this campaign the same fools running the DANDY Party. yes…both are  full of lies. What cowboys. We are all laughing at you.

    Reply
  4. T says:

    This campaign is run by staff, ex staff, carers and service users and is in no way affiliated with any political party. I trust in future, YOU get your facts straight before making such damning accusations and causing pain to those that have worked really hard to fight for the type of mental health service we all need.

    Reply
  5. m says:

    If the campaign was ”censoring comments”, (which if you read the  comments here, it certainly is NOT), it would make no sense to publish a comment saying ‘where’s my comment,’ and thereby draw attention to the very censorship you  have wrongly accused them of.?

    Reply
  6. Terry skyrme says:

    The facts speak for themselves; Mick Hardy was excluded from the event when he turned up on the day whereas others – non service- users – without an invite were allowed in. There were plenty of spaces available.Terry Skyrme

    Reply

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