Association of Mental Health Providers

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Governance During Covid-19 in VCSE Mental Health Sector

The last year has brought with it many challenges for organisations working in the voluntary, community and social enterprise (VCSE) sector and constituted as charities. These organisations have continued to deliver essential mental health and wellbeing services to people in crisis – for both those whose mental illness or poor mental health pre-dated the COVID-19 pandemic and for people whose need for support has arisen during or as a result of it. The pandemic has highlighted more than ever the critical role of the VCSE sector in supporting people and communities, keeping them safe and well, and in responding to the health needs exacerbated or generated by the it; not as substitutes to statutory services but as partners.

During the last year, the Association of Mental Health Providers convened a Governance subgroup comprising of member organisations and worked in collaboration with the Good Governance Institute to consider the specific requirements of effective governance in the VCSE mental health and wellbeing sector, particularly in the context of the experience of Covid-19. In partnership with the Institute, The Association and its subgroup convened two roundtable discussions bringing together CEOs and leaders from our membership, along with other key partners to review and explore pertinent issues.

This report has been informed by contributions from our members and the discussions at the roundtables, and includes our recommendations for governance in the VCSE mental health sector.