A leading mental health charity, Mental Health Concern, is expanding its board with the appointment of five new trustees, focusing on diversity, equality, and inclusion.

 The charity, based in Newcastle upon Tyne, has placed a focus on championing diversity, equality, and inclusion (DEI) across its services and staff, reflecting that pledge with the appointment of these new trustees from a greater diversity of background and expertise.

Helen Baker, a proud LGBTQIA+ woman, joins as the Chair of People Committee, having worked in the corporate world for 25 years. Most recently she has worked with Sage as Global Director for DEI, building an intentionally inclusive and equitable colleague experience for candidates, partners, and customers.

Joining Helen is Himal Kakad as Chair of the Finance Committee. Currently a Vice President at State Street Global Advisors, he has extensive experience and expertise in developing financial strategies, and working with diverse, multicultural teams.

Paul Wait has been appointed as Chair of the charity’s Quality and Service Delivery Committee and has been a registered mental health nurse for 14 years, serving as a Nurse Consultant since 2019. With his extensive expertise, Paul’s time with Mental Health Concern will focus on ensuring the services being delivered are meeting the needs of the local communities.

Helen Thompson has also joined the organisation as a trustee, with 25 years of experience in marketing, communications, customer service, DEI, social value, and project and campaign management. Helen is focused on enabling access to relevant services for everyone, in line with her passion for encouraging people to improve their mental health and wellbeing.”

The latest appointment is Steven Bainbridge, who joins the organisation as Governance Committee Chair. Having held senior roles across the healthcare sector for several years, Steven will provide high quality assurance and insight to key stakeholders, using his experience of developing and implementing risk assurance strategies and governance frameworks to engage and enthuse colleagues and teams.

These appointments follow the launch of Mental Health Concern’s ‘Shaping Our Future Strategy’, which highlights the need for increased representation of the diverse communities it supports across its workforce. The charity has taken several steps to ensure that all groups and communities are recognised, including the introduction of individual colleague networks dedicated to neurodiversity; LGBTQIA+; and Black, Asian, and Minority Ethnic colleagues.

Rosemary Granger, Chair of Trustees at Mental Health Concern, said: “I am delighted to welcome our new trustees to our board. They each bring a wealth and variety of lived and professional experience that will be invaluable to use as we continue the journey of our organisational strategy. We are particularly proud that our board now represents greater diversity of background and expertise than ever before.”

Mental Health Concern offers a range of services that help and support mental wellbeing for individuals and communities, including dementia care, 24-hour supported living, community wellbeing services, and mental health crisis services.