Press Releases

MHNE has now closed.

MHNE take their concerns to the top

North East mental health champions Mental Health North East (MHNE) have written to Richard Branson to express anger and concern at the planned closure of the Northern Rock Foundation.

The bank-funded Foundation, which has given more than £200m to hundreds of charities over the past 16 years, announced on Tuesday it was being wound up.

The Foundation had been funded through Northern Rock's profits but failed to agree future funding with Virgin Money, which bought Northern Rock in 2011.

MHNE say the loss of the Foundation will almost inevitably lead in turn to the closure of local small scale charities and organisations that rely on the Foundation’s funding to do their vital good work.

In her letter to Richard Branson on behalf of Mental Health North East, CEO Lyn Boyd praises the Northern Rock Foundation as a “well run, efficient organisation sharing a small proportion of Northern Rock profits with those in need.”

She adds: “In my role I get to know many organisations that have benefitted from their grants, in particular charities working with and on behalf of people with mental health difficulties and learning disabilities, including my own organisation. The Northern Rock Foundation goes to great lengths to ensure this investment is spent prudently and wisely and the lives of many people have been transformed for the better as a result.”

Lyn adds: “What now will be the legacy of Northern Rock in our region? Some jobs will be lost as soon as the Foundation closes, many more jobs will be lost in the charitable sector as a result of the loss of grants from the foundation. The legacy of Northern Rock bank in the North will indeed be a bitter and painful one if this decision stands.”

Read the full letter HERE.

MHNE condemns rise in young people treated on adult mental health wards

New official figures published by the Health and Social Care Information Centre show that more children and young people were treated on adult mental health wardsin the first eight months of 2013/14 than the whole of the previous year

Under the Mental Health Act (2007) adult mental health wards are deemed to be inappropriate settings for treating under-18s, and young people aged 16 and 17 are only meant to be treated in adult wards in exceptional circumstances. These increases have happened despite promises in recent years from a succession of Government spokesmen promising to end their use for children and young people.

Lyn Boyd, Mental Health North East CEO said: "These figures tally with what we have been hearing from the young people that we work with. Young people are still being placed in adult mental health wards despite the legislation clearly stating that this is not an appropriate setting for vulnerable children with mental health problems. MHNE calls upon the government to take urgent action to reverse this trend and improve early intervention services."

[UPDATE 03/04/14]

Since publishing we have discussed this with Tees, Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) and we'd like to post their explanatory comments here:

Unfortunately there was a problem with the data TEWV submitted to the HSCIC and the figures quoted in the provisional report do not accurately reflect the number of admissions.

During the first eight months of 2013/14 TEWV admitted six children to an adult ward and none of these young people were under 16 years old. These numbers have decreased over recent years.

The Trust does its best to admit young people to specialist children’s wards and in the small number of cases where this isn’t possible there are clear policies and designated adult wards so that the young people get the care and support they need.


Congratulations to Komatsu

Release date: 2 October 2013

Building a healthier workforce has been top of the agenda for Komatsu UK this autumn.

The Birtley based firm, a global construction equipment manufacturer, organised a series of mental health awareness training days for its Health Advocates.

Read more: Congratulations to Komatsu

Hundreds helped thanks to ScottishPower Energy People Trust funding

Release date: 25 September 2013

Over the past year, Mental Health North East (MHNE) has put over £49,000 of funding from the ScottishPower Energy People Trust to great use in their work helping local people living with mental ill health. The funding helped set up the Warm Minds project which assists vulnerable households achieve affordable warmth.






Read more: Hundreds helped thanks to ScottishPower Energy People Trust funding

New report highlights the number of young people with mental health problems who are being held in police cells.

Release date: 11 September 2013

A new report launched 11th September 2013 by Mental Health North East (MHNE) finds that young people with mental health problems are still being held in police cells across the region, despite the stipulations of the Mental Health Act (2007), which states that this should only be done in 'exceptional circumstances', such as when there is a risk of violence.

Read more: New report highlights the number of young people with mental health problems who are being held...

Leading North East mental health charity welcomes MP's intervention on work capability assessments

Release date: 16 May 2013

Mental Health North East (MHNE) has welcomed the intervention of Kevan Jones, MP for North Durham, in the debate on mental health held today (May 16) in the House of Commons.

Mr Jones raised the charity's concerns that the work capability assessments (WCAs) carried out for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) by Atos are still not suitable for people with mental health problems.

Read more: Leading North East mental health charity welcomes MP's intervention on work capability assessments