Mental Health

Mental Health2023-07-28T12:43:36+01:00

About the Mental Health Network

Forum Central promotes good mental health for all people in Leeds. We work to ensure that the health and care third sector is involved in strategic planning and development of mental health services.

What we do

  • Encourage partnership working between agencies and across sectors, providing information to third sector organisations to support them in delivering high quality services.
  • Ensure that the third sector is an integral part of the strategic planning and development of mental health services in Leeds.
  • Maintain working relationships with mental health commissioners and statutory partners across the city, working together to continuously improve the services Leeds provides to support people’s mental health.

To find out which of our member organisations deliver mental health services, visit our member directory.

Get in touch

Gabriella Obeng Nyarko
Gabriella Obeng Nyarko

We hold regular mental health information and strategy sessions open to everyone with an interest in the mental health third sector. These meetings are an opportunity to network, get the latest strategic updates and hear from guest speakers.

Latest updates
The last Mental Health Information & Strategy meeting was held on 18 July 2023.

Next meeting date: Tuesday 19 September 2023 (2:30pm-4:00pm)

The network meets every 2 months via Zoom, we recommend if you cannot join us a colleague takes your place or, if you wish to convey a message to the network, please send us the information up to 7 days before the meeting and we will bring it to the meeting on your behalf.


Our member organisations support people through a variety of different ways, including:

Peer support, one-to-one support, psychological therapies, counselling
Healthy living, group wellbeing activities, self-management courses, arts and wellbeing
Mental health specialist services
Carer support, Dementia services
Employment support, homelessness support, specialist supported housing
Anti-stigma work, Advocacy, information and advice
Working with many of the communities with the greatest inequalities and those who are most at risk of poor mental health.

Our members are at the heart of what we do, and we aim to ensure that organisations both large and small can influence decisions about mental health across Leeds and the region, as well as nationally.

To find out more about our members please search the Forum Central members directory

For more information on joining please contact us.


Our members and the Forum Central team play an active part in the key strategic mental health and wellbeing groups and boards in Leeds.

The board is now chaired by Cath Roth and Hannah Davies and the 3rd sector representatives are:
  • Iain Anderson, CEO of Age UK
  • Jay Silver, Clinical and Community Services Manager at Touchstone
  • Jenny Groves, Founder & CEO of Battle Scars
  • Joy McMillan, Peer Support Worker (Mental Health Collaborative)
  • Pip Goff, Director of Volition
  • Sinead Cregan, Director of Development and Innovation at Inspire North
  • Tessa Denham Director of Women’s Counselling and Therapy Service

The Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy provides a framework for improving health and for making Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing. In response, the Leeds Mental Health Strategy sets out how we will achieve this vison for mental health, so that ‘Leeds will be a Mentally Healthy City for everyone’.

View the Leeds Mental Health Strategy 2020-2025

Senior Responsible Officers (SRO’s) have been identified for each of the priority groups which are now forming and detailing project initiation documentation, workstreams and identifying key representatives and outcome/person centred measures for each. This diagram shows the delivery plan in summary and SRO’s aligned to each Priority as of Nov 2020 (subject to change).

An SRO’s group meets regularly to oversee progress and reports directly into the Mental Health Partnership Board for Strategic governance and steer.

As each workstream develops third sector representation will be key. If you are interested in finding out more about how to get involved and becoming a rep for the sector with support from Forum Central, please contact [email protected]

Background: Prior to Oct 2019 the draft document for the strategy was presented at a variety of stakeholder engagement events, including the MH info & Strategy session in Sept 2019.

The Third Sector and Leeds and York Partnership Foundation Trust (LYPFT) Partnership Forum usually meets quarterly. Meetings are open to staff and volunteers from LYPFT services, and Leeds mental health third sector organisations.

Guest speakers or participants from other partner organisations (e.g. Leeds Community Healthcare Trust, Leeds City Council, Leeds CCG) may be invited to attend where appropriate.

Download the Partnership Forum Principles of Working Together

To make best use of our strengths, maximise the opportunities and meet our challenges, the Mental Health Collaborative has been created, bringing partners together to ‘improve lives, support recovery and inclusion’, one of the three components in the Mental Health Strategy’s model for change.

With a focus on people and services, the Mental Health Collaborative provides the space and conditions for partners to plan, design and take action to ensure pathways and services are:

  • continually improving
  • accessible and responsive to people’s needs
  • integrated in delivery wherever possible
  • diverse in delivery but consistent in culture
  • Meeting the needs of people in Leeds

Commissioners and providers of mental health services are joined by people who have used services, or are carers of those who have, or those who potentially could do (so anyone with an interest in improving mental health services in the city). The aim is for public involvement in the collaborative leading to co-production of solutions, with people shaping decisions and holding commissioners and providers to account. This is about building a new relationship with the public around the future of mental health in Leeds.

There is a mental health collaborative working group which meets frequently to discuss the formation of this important new group and identify work plan priorities and next steps. Sarah Wilson, Mental Health Development Worker for Volition currently represents the third sector on this, alongside Battle Scars’ Jenny Groves and Leeds Involving Peoples Joy McMillan who will focus on bringing in the voices of people.

The Collaborative is initially focusing on Priority 6 of the mental health strategy – relating to crisis and follow on from learning and actions identified at the crisis summit in Jan 2020 and insight gathered to create the Healthwatch and Battle Scars Crisis reports in 2019. There is third sector representation in these meetings from Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service, Community Links/Inspire North, Touchstone & The Market Place.

There is also a Mental Health Collaborative third sector wider reference group Forum Central set up to involve third sector services who refer into crisis, to ensure their voices are heard. Currently, 30 third sector organisations feed into this group.

Sarah feeds the insights of this group into the core working group, you can see the presentations and compiled notes below:

The collaborative work around crisis was split into five themes:

Define – Discovery – Dreaming – Design – Do

If you wish to find out more please contact

Developed by employers, for employers, Mindful Employer® is a national initiative which promotes positive practice around mental health in the workplace. Mindful Employer in Leeds is funded by Leeds City Council Public Health and delivered by Leeds Mind.

The Mindful Employer Leeds service offers support and guidance to employers around mental health in the workplace, encouraging best practice and the reduction of mental ill-health at work. Employers can also join the Mindful Employer network, which meets regularly to share good ideas, tips and support.

The Steering Group consists of cross-sector representatives, and meets quarterly to drive the initiative forward in Leeds.

Third Sector representatives:

  • Sophie Hailwood, Operations Director, Touchstone
  • Jenn Bravo, Turning Lives Around
  • Gabriella Obeng Nyarko, Mental Health Development Worker

MindWell is the mental health website for people in Leeds.

MindWell Logo With Strapline that reads Mental health information for everyone in Leeds.

It provides quick and easy to access information about mental health for adults in Leeds. This include individuals looking for support as well GPs, employers and other professionals. It brings together information from the NHS, Leeds City Council and the third sector into a single ‘go to’ place.

MindWell went live on 10 October 2016 on World Mental Health Day. The project developed through co-design with people who use services, carers and people working in mental health services, adult social care, the third sector, libraries and businesses.

Volition and Thrive by Design manage the website, which is funded by the NHS West Yorkshire Integrated Care Board (ICB). To share feedback or ask anything about MindWell, please contact the team at [email protected].

Forum Central and third sector mental health organisations are working closely with our partners across the health and care mental health system towards System Reset and Recovery (STaR)

Sarah Wilson (Mental Health Development Worker) currently co-chairs system call meetings with Caroline Townsend & Liz Ryan from NHS Leeds CCG every six weeks, where colleagues across the system, predominantly third sector services, discuss reset & recovery, current demand, feedback from people who use their services, and any further support they would value.

Please contact [email protected] for further details on this work.

This group brings together third sector, statutory sector and other key partners in the city to oversee the delivery of a coordinated multi-agency response to reduce the number of people who die by suicide. The group also champions support for those bereaved by suicide and the prevention of poor mental health.

  • Chair: Caron Walker, Public Health, Leeds City Council

Third sector representatives:

  • Gabriella Obeng Nyarko, Mental Health Development Worker
  • Sarah Wilson, Senior Mental Health Development Worker
  • Damian Dawtry, Men’s Health Unlocked Coordinator

We’re currently working with Public Health around supporting vulnerable people transitioning out of prison, strengthening connections between prison and third sector services and signposting to mental health resources and support including Mindwell.

Information & Resources

  • The Leeds Health and Wellbeing Strategy provides a framework for improving health and for making Leeds the best city for health and wellbeing. In response, the Leeds Mental Health Strategy sets out how we will achieve this vision for mental health, so that ‘Leeds will be a Mentally Healthy City for everyone’.
    The Mental Health Strategy has been updated to highlight the existing challenges facing the sector and how the city plans to address mental health needs and promote good mental health. In 2022, three workstreams were added to highlight the impact Covid-19 has on mental health and well-being for many people. 

    An SRO’s group meets regularly to oversee progress and reports directly to the Mental Health Partnership Board for Strategic governance and steer.

    As each workstream develops third sector representation will be key. If you are interested in finding out more about how to get involved and becoming a rep for the sector with support from Forum Central, please contact

    You can also complete a ‘How Are You Doing?’ survey, this is a check in to see how the five outcomes are being achieved. For further information visit the How Are You Doing Leeds survey.

  • Warm Spaces

    The Leeds Warm Spaces scheme which VAL and Forum Central are supporting aims to ensure places that are safe, warm and welcoming are available free of charge, for people and communities in Leeds. Warm Spaces in this scheme are free to use, and often include drinks and snacks, as well as a variety of activities, and services such as Wi-Fi.

  • Leeds Suicide Audit

    The Leeds Suicide Audit is nationally recognised as best practice and is recommended by Public Health England. Details are available from the Leeds City Council website.

  • Transforming Mental Health Grants
    The Transforming Mental Health grants are now open! Third-sector organisations can apply for up to 35k to support the transformation of services for people with complex mental health needs. Part of the application pack includes Involvement Findings from what people and communities have told us they need. There is a one-page summary, which links to a more detailed document of findings.

  • Mental Health Emerging Themes in Leeds health & care third sector organisations During COVID-19 April to July 2020

    This report is based on feedback from 65 organisations with only a few supported by quantitative data and from insight gained from the Communities of Interest network between April and July 2020.

  • Household Support Fund Leeds

    Grants of up to £1,000 and £5,000 are being administered by Forum Central and distributed to organisations that support Communities of Interest including cultural diversity, people with mental health difficulties (including Young People), learning disabilities, physical and sensory impairment and older people.

    There is no deadline – applications will be assessed weekly until all funds are allocated. All grants must be spent by March 2023.

Published Before 2019
  • Leeds in Mind 2017 (pdf)

    The Leeds in Mind 2017 –  Mental Health Needs Assessment report assesses the mental health needs of the adult Leeds population, identifies where gaps in provision exist and makes recommendations to address inequity in access to healthcare and unequal health outcomes.

  • Five Year Forward View for Mental Health (pdf)

    A report from the independent Mental Health Taskforce to the NHS in England | February 2016

Mental Health news and events

13 Dec. Forum Central Joint Network Meeting

22nd November 2023|Communities of Interest, Events, Events, Health & Care, Learning Disability, MailChimp, Men's Health, Mental Health, PSI|

Joint Network Meeting | Wednesday 13 December 2023, 1 - 3pm at Swarthmore We're ending the year with an extra special network meeting! This in-person event is a chance to meet other network members, celebrate, share a conversation over a [...]

5 Dec. An Introduction to Non Violent Resistance (NVR) Training

22nd November 2023|Communities of Interest, Events, Health & Care, MailChimp, Mental Health, Training|

6.00pm - 7.30pm, Tuesday 5 December 2023 Join the Garden Court Chambers Family Team in person or online for this free training on Non Violent Resistance (NVR) with Amanda Meusz, of the Garden Court Chambers Family Team, and Rachel Braverman, Director of the NVR [...]

Synergi-Leeds awarded Mental Health Innovation of the Year

20th November 2023|Communities of Interest, Featured, Harnessing the Power of Communities, Health & Care, Inclusion, MailChimp, Mental Health|

Forum Central is enormously proud to be part of the Synergi-Leeds partnership. We'd like to congratulate everyone in the team and beyond who have worked so hard - it's a fantastic achievement. We look forward to continuing to support the [...]

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