The problem with fundraising for mental health charities such as MIND
Losing a member of your family or close friend to suicide must be heart breaking.
I cannot imagine the pain.
I understand the need for family members or work colleagues to campaign, to fundraise, to help others struggling.
However, what if there is a problem with fundraising for mental health charities such as MIND.
These charities are doing good right?
Looking at their annual statement you would think I was crazy to suggest otherwise.
Good will stories. Volunteering. Positive outcomes.
Donations for MIND in 2018/2019 reached 8.5 million.
Looks like many people would question why there is a problem fundraising for them.
Looking closer …….. the hidden problem:
One of the testimonials used in the company statement.
• Suicidal and hopeless
• Convinced they have a mental health condition
• Received barbaric electroconvulsive therapy (ECT)
• Introduced to someone at MIND who made them feel valuable
• Now volunteering at MIND and a voice for MIND, promoting service to others struggling
Her story presented in the Companies’ Financial Statements.
An online sales pitch. A business. A business who relies on 20% of their income from donations.
Impact on families
If you are a family member left without a loved one to suicide, I imagine you would read a testimonial like this and wish, your family member could have had access to MIND’s services.
The desire to make sure no-one else suffers the way you have is strong. It is natural to want to channel that pain into something positive.
The reality ……
In a recent article that I wrote, What Someone With Anxiety and Depression Would love to Tell You, I explained the number of myths that block a person with anxiety and depression from experiencing deep rest.
It is extremely important as a person who has anxiety and depression who is not able to rest, deteriorates. I explain this is what happens to someone like Darrell Hammond, which can be seen in the recent documentary, Cracked Up, where he shares his story.
One of the myths I discuss is the belief that mental illness exists.
Dr Dorothy Rowe, famous Psychologist and Author, states “the profession of psychiatry is based on the belief that there are such things as mental illnesses, and that these illnesses have a physical cause and a physical cure – drugs and electroconvulsive therapy. The only way to maintain the belief that mental disorder has a physical cause is steadfastly to refuse to be aware of what is going on and what has gone on in the individual lives of individual people”. Read – Learn to switch off and rest with ease.
If you read any of the literature or stories on MIND’s website … they are based on this fear based story/paradigm (Read – Take the steps to overcome your fear)
I invite you to consider the following:
• What about giving someone the opportunity to rebuild their life without the reliance of a mental health charity like MIND. That’s independence!
• Educating that panic attacks are not a mental health condition
• The inability to cope with life changes and stresses are not mental health conditions
• Not placing your value and worth in an organisation that requires you to believe you are ill to survive
• Not being a sales person for that organisation in order to build a life for yourself.
This would be real empowerment. This is a campaign I could get behind.
This is the problem with fundraising for mental health charities such as MIND.
Kelly Niven MCIPD
Contemporary, engaging & creative HR professional. Results driven, with a strong track record of driving change whilst building engagement. Working with brands such as Heathrow, Tesco bank and Lloyds Pharmacy – leading a Sunday Times Best Company Award.
MCIPD qualified (BA degree in HRM) with extensive experience within an HR Business Partner/Shared Services model. Responsible for all employee relations cases in Tesco Bank (including complex cases), leading a team of 5 HR advisors. A commercial business partner with entrepreneurial experience providing a balance between support and challenge.
Highly skilled coach (Post Graduate Certificate in Counselling) and strong advocate for wellbeing – promoting a culture of diversity, creativity and innovation.