Rethink Mental Illness exists to lead the way to a better quality of life for everyone severely affected by mental illness. This includes people with lived experience, their carers, families and friends.
As a campaigning organisation, we bring to bear our experience of working directly with carers and people severely affected by mental illness to shape and direct the health system, public attitudes and the wider social and economic environment. We also provide services directly to people who are severely affected by mental illness, (including carers). We call this unique combination of service provision and campaigning ‘One Rethink’.
All of our work is guided, shaped and co-produced with people with lived experience of mental illness, who are at the heart of everything we do. Our vision is equality, rights, fair treatment, and the maximum quality of life for all those severely affected by mental illness. Becoming an anti-racist organisation is critical to our mission, given both the great inequity in the incidence of severe mental illness in racialised communities, and the frequently shameful treatment of people of colour affected by severe mental illness.
Our values of hope, understanding, expertise, equity, commitment, passion and openness underpin everything we seek to achieve. We have added ‘equity’ to our values in 2021 in recognition that some groups, in particular people from black, Asian and minority ethnic backgrounds, are disproportionately likely to experience severe mental illness due to social and economic factors including discrimination. In addition, older people are living with consequences, both mental and physical, of many years with a severe mental illness and there is growing evidence that younger people are struggling with their mental health.
Holding equity as a value will guide our external work campaigning for change, underpinning the way we deliver our mission of reaching underserved groups of the population, and helping us to become a truly anti-racist and inclusive organisation in the coming years.