Focus on Mental Illness has appointed a nurse with experience of working with mental health to its Board of Trustees.
A nurse by profession, Karen Wilson has worked in both the public and charitable sector in the UK, as well as for the Health and Community Services Department in Jersey.
After starting her career as a general nurse, she graduated as a mental health practitioner. She worked for frontline services for several years and then served on the boards of two large specialist mental health trusts as Executive Director of Nursing. She was then appointed as Chief Executive of an NHS Foundation Trust and as Managing Director of a large mental health and learning disability charity in the North West of England.
Locally, she worked on a number of service issues, most notably the Health and Safety Inspectorate investigation into conditions at Orchard House, the Scrutiny Review of Mental Health Services by the States Assembly and related mental health improvement work.
Ms Wilson's appointment comes as Focus on Mental Illness embarks on a campaign to strengthen the voice of those living with severe mental illness.
"We are delighted that Karen has joined us and excited to have her experience, knowledge and understanding in helping us to propel the work of the charity," Tom Binet, Chair of Focus on Mental Illness, said. "As a valuable addition to our Board of Trustees she will bring an authentic contribution that completely aligns with our values."
Ms Wilson added: “There is so much more that can be done for people with severe mental illness in Jersey and services still remain well below what would be expected elsewhere. Across the island service users and carers are raising their concerns.
"I am inspired and delighted to join the Board because of the charity’s determination to put mental illness back on the agenda and help people with severe mental illness receive the quality of care they have a right to expect. As a Trustee of this new and progressive charity I will do all that I can to support service users and carers, the talented management team and the Board of Trustees to bring about the changes so desperately needed."
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