Southern Health now has a strong Board and Council of Governors, with varied skills and backgrounds. The Trust can move forward to improve the services that it offers in Southampton as well as more widely. The Governors have a role in that improvement and I’m keen to help. It’s important to talk with people who use our services and the people close to them. We need to talk widely in our communities, including with faith groups, voluntary groups and businesses. Also important is good partnership working between the NHS, the Council, Police and other organisations, which will help ensure joined-up support.
I’m currently also a part-time research student at Southampton University. My research is in the field of older people’s mental health, which fits well with Southern’s work.
If you have a mental health issue or a learning disability, stigma and discrimination can affect you seriously. I was pleased that Southampton City Council and Southern Health each signed the Time to Change ‘Employer’s Pledge’ to be responsive to staff members' mental health issues. We need to spread the message further that it is OK to talk about mental health.