Wednesday, 12 June 2024
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Wednesday, 12 June 2024

Cultural strategist Adah Parris joins mental health social enterprise as new Chair

MENTAL Health First Aid (MHFA) England CIC, the social enterprise best known for its expertise in workplace mental health, has announced the appointment of Adah Parris as its new Chair.

Adah’s first term as Chair begins on 15th September 2020, where she will join a new Board of Non-executive Directors, alongside Chief Executive Simon Blake and four Executive Directors. Adah joins the organisation at a time where mental health is high on the public and employer agenda, with ONS recently reporting that the proportion of people in the UK suffering from depression has almost doubled during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Adah is a cultural innovator, change consultant, network builder and keynote speaker. As a personal branding expert and an enthusiastic observer of people, patterns, and stories she is particularly interested in human-centred design and storytelling as an approach to problem-solving.

Commenting on her appointment Adah said:

“I’m excited to be joining MHFA England at this moment in history, where the focus on people’s mental health and wellbeing has never been sharper. As Chair, I will seek to create change so mental health is properly prioritised in society. Drawing on my lived experiences I will bring my whole self to the role I want us to lead and champion the discussion about mental health, systemic inequalities and the intersectionality of race, gender, age and mental health.

“As we work determinedly for progress in workplaces and wider communities, I want to work and learn with the whole MHFA England community to ensure this brilliant social enterprise achieves its mission of training one in ten of the adult population in mental health awareness and skills. The time for change is now, and I want to play my part in creating the mental health futures that we all want, need and desire.”

MHFA England has currently trained one in 69 of the English population in mental health awareness and skills, with an ultimate mission to reach one in ten people. Through delivering its training in a wide range of workplace settings, MHFA England is able to reinvest its profits and provide subsidised training to support the NHS, frontline workers and Black-led organisations.

Simon Blake, Chief Executive, MHFA England added:

“Along with the rest of the MHFA England Executive team, I am delighted to welcome Adah as our new Chair and I would also like to express our sincere thanks to our departing Chair, Mark Watson Gandy who has worked tirelessly on advancing our cause over the past six years. We are very excited to work with Adah and move forwards with our vision of improving the mental health of the nation, at a time when it is most needed.

“Adah’s experience of working across a wide range of organisations and communities will be a huge asset to MHFA England and her energy for achieving cultural change is exactly what we need right now. I am looking forward to working with Adah as we develop our strategy to be relevant in a post-pandemic world, keeping in sharp focus our goal to create a society where there is an unshakable belief that we can all talk freely about mental health and seek support when we need it.”

To find out more about MHFA England visit


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