2 A meeting of minds
2.1 Case study: Redcar & Cleveland Mind
This case study introduces you to Jane Reast, manager of Redcar & Cleveland Mind, the organisation' members, and the works of its various projects. You will shortly be watching three videos, which will give you an opportunity to see consultation in action.
The mental health case study is based at Redcar & Cleveland Mind, a voluntary sector, community-based mental health organisation in north-east England. It provides a range of services and activities, working with several organisations locally, regionally and nationally. We follow Jane Reast, the manager of the project, through two working days and see the complexity and diversity of her role. World Mental Health Day is soon and Jane meets with partners from health and social services, as well as other voluntary sector agencies, to discuss their plans for mental health promotion in the area.
Jane recognises the key importance of partnerships but believes strongly that there must be real commitment for partnerships to succeed. Partnerships have grown within the organisation as well as in the wider community. Jane and her administrative manager, Sam, have developed their working relationship over the past ten years. Other partnerships within the organisation are more recent and Jane works with, and for, annually elected executive committee members.
Mind is a national organisation and Jane is involved at the national level in developing and testing Mind's quality standards. As well as developing strategic partnerships and taking part in a National Service Framework implementation team, Jane makes a point of meeting regularly and informally with people who use the services of Redcar & Cleveland Mind. She stresses the importance of hearing the views of service users directly as well as the staff's views. We follow Jane to Saltburn and Loftus, two towns that – along with Redcar – have had rising unemployment as a result of the demise of the coal and steel industries.
Ten years ago Jane and Sam were the only workers at what was then Redcar Mind. Now the organisation employs over 20 people and has major contracts with social services for the provision of mental health services in the area.