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Our chair wins a prestigious Royal College of Psychiatrists President’s Medal

With fellow winners and the executive of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

On 20 June 2022, our Chair and Founder, Rachel Bannister, won a Royal College of Psychiatrists President’s Medal. As described in the award ceremony, medal winners are chosen by the College President to ‘honour and offer the College’s gratitude to a small number of deserving people annually, who have contributed to policy, public knowledge, education, and meeting population and patient care needs in diverse and challenging circumstances. These awards are instituted to extend the ways in which we celebrate and honour people in all walks of life who have made, and continue to make, significant contributions to improving the lives of people with mental illness. This year, we have chosen seven people whose contributions in diverse fields, relevant to mental health, are truly stunning and inspiring to the profession.’

Rachel, who has been the carer representative on the Royal College of Psychiatrists Council since 2017, won the medal because she ‘continues to ensure the College persists in seeing lived experience as fundamental to progressive change and improvement in the understanding and treatment of those suffering from mental illness.’

With Prof Subodh Dave, Dean of the Royal College of Psychiatrists

Our Chair Writes in the British Medical Journal about Underfunded Mental Healthcare Services

Our Chair, Rachel Bannister, recently wrote an opinion piece in the British Medical Journal where she claimed that without early intervention in the community and continuity of care, people with mental health conditions will continue to be failed by services.

The Next President of The Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) Writes Pledge

Dr Lade Smith CBE

Human Rights Activist Peter Tatchell Writes Pledge

Prominent MPs support our cause

Several prominent MPs support our cause, including Jeremy Corbyn and Caroline Lucas. On 5 September, Jeremy Corbyn MP endorsed our charity and wrote a pledge about his commitment to improving mental health.

His pledge reads: ‘I will work with and support people going through mental health illness to ensure they receive the support and care they need. I will also work for a less stressful society by elimination of poverty and housing stress!’

Caroline’s pledge reads: ‘Action on mental health isn’t a luxury – it’s essential NOW. I pledge to do all I can to ensure good mental health services for everyone.’

We have asked individuals from all major UK parties to pledge their support, and we are happy to have backing across the political spectrum.

Our first fundraising initiative

We are excited to announce our first funding raising initiative in conjunction with the Nottingham-based charity IMARA.

One of our aims as a charity is to promote universal access to, and research in, trauma resolution therapies. In addition, we are working with IMARA to commission therapy for those unable to access therapy through statutory services.

When we refer to ‘trauma’ we mean a traumatic or painful experience in the widest sense of the word.

It could be child developmental trauma: physical, sexual or emotional abuse. It could be a recent traumatic or difficult experience such as bereavement or bullying.

Our initial fundraising target is £42,000 to fund therapeutic intervention provided through IMARA. It will include access to a range of therapies listed here (and below):

Parks Inner Child Therapy (PICT)

Eye Movement Desensitisation and Reprocessing (EMDR)

Rapid Transformational Therapy (RTT)

Please consider making a donation and help us to offer hope to those who have suffered traumatic experiences but are unable to access support and treatment.

Thank you!

Statement following the death of Nikki Grahame

The trustees of the Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation (registered charity no. 1191319) are deeply saddened to hear of the death of Nikki Grahame. We would like to offer our condolences to all of those who knew and loved her.

Her untimely and tragic death speaks to the many issues facing those needing eating disorder services. Access to early intervention and appropriate treatment continues to be a postcode lottery with many people waiting years to access care. Some continue to be sent to out-of-area inpatient hospitals far from their families and community. This not only prolongs illness but often worsens prognosis.

Our chair, Rachel Bannister, whose daughter has battled an eating disorder for over eight years, said: 

‘My daughter has spent two of her teenage years hospitalised in units across the length and breadth of the country. Instead of being supported to recover at home, surrounded by those who love her, she was immersed in the “anorexic world” of several hospitals which no doubt delayed her recovery.’

The Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation believes we desperately need treatment pathways for eating disorders like those available at the Royal Free Hospital in London. The Eating Disorder Intensive Service (EDIS) there is equipped to treat children and young people within their home and community. The EDIS has been running since 2011, and there have been no deaths or serious incidents in its history. The majority of patients are treated successfully in the community without the need for expensive and often traumatising hospital admissions.

The Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation will petition Matt Hancock, the Health Secretary, to visit the EDIS and commit to properly investing in good quality, publicly-funded eating disorder services.

Register for the ‘He Died Waiting’ Book Launch Today

Announcing our Attainment of Charitable Status

Today, on World Mental Health Day 2020, we would like to announce that the Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation has achieved chariable status (registered charity no. 1191319). Our aim is to promote and protect mental health, and provide relief to those suffering from mental illness, in particular, but not exclusively by:

  • Providing grants and funding for mental health treatment
  • Advancing public education into the causes and treatment of mental illness, including undertaking research for the public benefit and the publication of the results
  • Informing the public about the available mental health services

With the nation’s mental health a rising concern during the COVID-19 crisis, the work of the Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation has never been more necessary.

The Mental Health – Time for Action Foundation operates nationally. Its trustees are Rachel Bannister (chair), Alex Serafimov, Naomi Rasmussen, and Caroline Bald.

Our patron is the nationally renowned psychiatrist and researcher Ahmed Hankir.

We look forward to playing our part in promoting and protecting mental health.

Our Annual Conference was a Success!

The nationwide mental health crisis brought together mental health campaigners and practitioners, service user groups, unions, and the public at the Mental Health Crisis Summit 2019 in London at the end of September. It was organised by Health Campaigns Together, Keep Our NHS Public, and ourselves, Mental Health – Time for Action. Themes that ran through our event included how poverty contributes to mental ill health and how structural change is needed, demands for an end to austerity and the underfunding of the NHS, calls for the social model of health to become standard and UK law, demands for the end of the ‘hostile environment’ in the NHS, and discussions about how service users must be prioritised in any conversation about mental health.

At the summit, Rachel Bannister, founder of Mental Health – Time for Action, shared her daughter’s moving personal experience of stretched and inadequate child and adolescent mental health services. Denise McKenna, co-founder of the Mental Health Resistance Network, criticised both the medical model and abuses within mental health services. Film director Ken Loach sadly relayed cases of suicide in response to the hopelessness of insecure and low-paid work, and Jon Ashworth, Shadow Health Secretary, discussed how mental and physical wellbeing can be secured by dealing with social and economic problems such as poverty and inequality. He told the conference, “Delivering social wellbeing isn’t just about legislating, but about dealing with the wider social and economical determinants of ill health.”

It is only through campaigns like the Mental Health Crisis Summit, and a social and economic transformation, that we can end the mental health crisis in this country.

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Rachel Bannister, founder of Mental Health – Time for Action with director Ken Loach and his mental health pledge
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Shadow Health Secretary Jon Ashworth giving his talk
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Rachel Bannister giving her moving talk

Announcing our Second Annual Conference

On Mental Health Awareness Week 2019, Health Campaigns Together, Mental Health – Time for Action and Keep Our NHS Public have called an event:

Mental Health Crisis Summit 2019


Royal Free Hospital School Of Medicine

Rowland Hill Street 




Saturday 28 September 2019

10am – 5pm

Sign up here:

Eventbrite: https://mentalhealthcrisissummit2019.eventbrite.co.uk

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/events/1753529494793540/

Keep Our NHS Public Webpage: https://keepournhspublic.com/blog/its-time-to-act-mental-health-crisis-summit-launched/


Unwaged/Low Pension: £5.00 

Standard: £10.00 

Solidarity: £20.00

What the organisers have to say: 

“When a government lets down society’s vulnerable and fails to look after people with mental health issues and in fact is making the situation worse, it is time for us all to come together to demand a better mental health service, a well-funded, public NHS without private interests, and a more responsible society.” 

Dr Tony O’Sullivan

Co-Chair of Health Campaigns Together and Keep Our NHS Public

“Despite repeated promises of parity of esteem between mental and physical health, our mental health services are in crisis, with beds and clinicians in short supply while referrals are at an all-time high. Early intervention and access to evidence-based therapies remains a postcode lottery, and little is being done. Our Mental Health Crisis Summit will bring attention to these issues, highlight the failings of the current government, and include the participation of service users, carers, clinicians, academics, campaigners, and the public. Together, at our summit, we will chart a path towards adequately funded, well managed, and user-centred mental health care for all.”

Rachel Bannister and Alex Serafimov

Mental Health – Time for Action

Event is hosted by Mental Health – Time for Action and


Video links (please watch and share):

Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FkHlZJh8ZIY

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/healthcampaignstogether/videos/388425645217042/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/nhscampaigns/status/1128276723819261954

Twitter: https://twitter.com/The_TUC/status/1128178628666089474 (short clip with subs)

We hope to see you there! 

Who are Mental Health – Time for Action?

In 2016 Rachel’s teenage daughter was sent over 300 miles away from home for treatment for a mental health condition. Sadly, it isn’t just Rachel’s family that have had to endure such a painful separation and the resulting trauma. Out of area placements continue to be common practice. They not only cause great upset and trauma for patients and their families they often have a detrimental effect on recovery, through denying patients the all-important continuity of care.

Sky News interview Rachel Bannister 8th October 2018

Mental health, CAMHS in particular, is poorly resourced and under-prioritised in the NHS. It is also a postcode lottery. We need to change that. 

‘Mental health — time for action’ is an ongoing campaign for fully funded mental health services within a humane and compassionate society.

We held our inaugural conference 19th May 2018 where we heard from people from a range of backgrounds including Doctors, mental health nurses and teachers all with experience of or interest in mental ill health. In addition to campaigning for better services we are also committed to trying to ensure a happier and more equal society. We believe therefore that we must end austerity, poverty and the current system of over testing in schools. We support the More than A Score Campaign to end testing in primary schools. We also support the Keep Our NHS Public campaign and believe that it is imperative that we return our National Health Service into public ownership and ensure healthcare continues to be available for everyone and remains free at the point of need.

It’s hoped that you will be inspired to join the campaign to fight for properly funded mental health services which we believe must provide continuity and consistency of treatment and wherever possible within the community.

Please sign:

Mental Health – Time for Action started this petition to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and Leader of the Conservative Party Theresa May MP

If you’re struggling with suicidal thoughts please visit  Staying Safe – help if you’re feeling suicidal