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‘Transforming lives and developing new visions for mental health by challenging stigma and discrimination and providing quality services and support’
John Pringle was a journalist who wrote for several newspapers including the Times, Telegraph, Listener and the Guardian. His leading article, ‘A Case of Schizophrenia, by a Correspondent’, which appeared in the Times of May 9th 1970, was read with relief and a sense of liberation by many relatives and professionals.
Simply by using the term ‘schizophrenia’ openly, he began to decrease its stigma. He dared to describe the effect on the daily and nightly environment of a family, and he totally rejected the theory that parental failure was the cause. He also underlined the difficulties caused by the closure of the large hospitals before high-class replacement facilities had been put into place. He knew that, to be successful, a new organisation would have to be solidly based, from the beginning, on the active participation of relatives. He received some 400 replies.
From the large response to the Times article, John Pringle invited members of six families from different parts of the country to meet his wife Jacqueline and himself at an extraordinary meeting.
A 7-page document, ‘The problem before us, some tentative thoughts’ had been prepared in advance. It was a brilliant but highly condensed examination of the things that were currently wrong, and of the work tat would be needed in order to put them right. The group was called ‘The National Schizophrenia Society’.
At the end of the meeting each family put £10 on the table to be used for advertising in the broadsheet newspapers.
Part of John Pringle’s initiative was to invite correspondents to write their stories, which resulted in the creation of a homemade compendium, edited by him, of 42 accounts of what it was like to live with schizophrenia. It was sold at a price of 50p.
Two years after the original Times article the Society became a charitable trust in July 1972.
By 1973, membership had grown to 3000.
The National Schizophrenia Fellowship was established in Northern Ireland and across the UK in 1972, the operating name was subsequently changed to Rethink in 2002. In April 2009, the Northern Ireland region of Rethink achieved independence from the national organisation and established itself as an independent charity named MindWise New Vision, operating under MindWise.
Our vision is a world where people affected by mental health issues receive the support they need to lead a fulfilling life through recovery and discovery.
We provide quality services, including housing, community support and day services, criminal justice services, working with young people leaving custody, early intervention support for families and children, as well as support for carers and families. MindWise also provide mental health training to employers to create mentally healthy workplaces across Northern Ireland.
Our mission and values underpin everything that we do in supporting people affected by severe mental illness and other mental health difficulties. We support all our staff and volunteers to live our values everyday.
We are passionate about mental health and wellbeing and we are committed to challenging mental health stigma and discrimination. We pride ourselves on developing new and innovative ways to promote positive mental health and wellbeing
We are respectful and value everyone in our society. We all have the right to be treated equally and to live our lives with dignity, free from stigma, discrimination and harassment.
We are empathetic, we listen and support you when you need it .We understand how challenging living with a mental health issue can be. We believe people have the right to determine their own goals and aspirations and we will support their in their journey to fulfil them.
We believe that working together is the best way to achieve our goals. Working together with all our stakeholders we transform the lives of those living with mental health issues.
Our 2017-2022 Strategic Vision describes how we are working towards a world where everyone, irrespective of mental health or disability, can discover a meaningful quality of life and participate fully as citizens in society.
We have established our strategic pillars which underpin everything we do.
In addition, we recognise the contributions we have made within the youth and criminal justice arena over the past five years. We aim to consolidate, sustain, and progress this work and become ‘a go to service provider for youth and criminal justice’.
MindWise is a founding member of Mental Health UK, which brings together four national mental health charities working across the UK.
We have 40 years' experience of working to improve life for people affected by mental illness in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We were originally set up as a single UK-wide organisation in the 1970s, and we are now working together once again as Mental Health UK. Mental Health UK are MindWise, Hafal (Wales), Support in Mind (Scotland) and Rethink Mental Illness (England).
We are working together to raise funds so that more people across the UK can access support for their own mental health and for friends and family members who are affected by mental illness. Mental Health UK operate our pioneering Mental Health and Money Advice Service, which provides advice and support to people struggling with mental health, debt and benefits across the UK.