Equality, diversity and inclusion statement

A commitment to equality, diversity and inclusion is fundamental to our charity and we want to build an environment where diversity is valued and everyone is treated with respect

Mental health access for all

We believe that everyone should be able to ask for and receive mental health support, regardless of race, age, gender, disability, sexual orientation, social class, religion or belief. We are committed to removing any existing and potential barriers so we can create a truly inclusive environment. Our aim is for everyone to feel welcome and confident about being themselves.

Our principles

These principles of valuing and embracing equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) run throughout our organisation and our work - so we can develop a diverse, equal and inclusive workplace and community. We acknowlege the basic right of everyone who uses our services, works or volunteers for us or who we contract or partner with to be treated fairly and with respect and dignity.

Our society is full of inequalities and discrimination based on many factors, not just the protected characteristics set out in law such as race, sex and disability but other factors such as poverty, education and language. Much of this is so embedded many of us barely notice it

Our responsibility

West Sussex Mind complies with the Equality Act 2010 and we understand our duties under it. As an organisation, we would take any reports of discrimination seriously. Unacceptable behaviour including bullying, harassment and victimisation or discrimination – including but not limited to the protected characteristics covered by the Act – will not be tolerated and any allegations will be taken seriously and dealt with appropriately under our relevant policies and procedures.

But we are committed to doing much more than just adhere to the Act.

Reaching our communities

To promote equality of access to mental health services for all, we reach out to connect with people who may need us most. This can include people living in deprived areas, children and young people, BAME (black, Asian and minority ethnic) people, older adults and young families.

We also look to develop new partnerships with community organisations and groups to help us reach individuals who may not be seeking our support, to listen to how we can change and adapt the way we work to help people to access our services. We aim to find funding for new roles to support this where opportunities arise.

Staff, trustees, training

We strive to create an equitable, inclusive workplace and have a programme of equality, diversity and inclusion training for our staff and trustees. Our staff annual review process was changed in 2023 so that each employee reflects on how they have contributed to making West Sussex Mind a more equitable, inclusive and diverse organisation.

We recruited new trustees in 2022 to our Board. Having a more diverse Board, which already includes people with lived experience of mental health problems, enables more balanced decision-making and gives West Sussex Mind more legitimacy and impact. Our Board works to be inclusive and ensures all trustees are welcomed, valued and able to contribute.

Our EDI actions
  • We have set up an EDI panel of staff and people with lived experience of mental health problems to focus on this area
  • We have created an EDI working group consisting of staff and trustees to lead this work. This group creates and reports on an annual action plan. The group also regularly receives progress reports from the EDI panel
  • Ongoing promotion of awareness and understanding among staff and trustees
  • Identifying barriers to support and participation and how we remove them.

We commit to being open and accountable as we progress this work and you can read our annual EDI action plan, including our achievements so far below. We understand that we have much more to do but we will move forward, listen, learn and take action.

Our values

We launched our updated values in autumn 2022 and these reflect our commitment to EDI. You can find our values below.

In this section