Di Medwell

Meet Trustee Di

My first experience of mental health was gained in the pharmaceutical industry, working for a company specialising in the treatment of schizophrenia and depression. I learnt an enormous amount about mental health and developed a passion for learning more. This led me to think about how I could play a part in supporting people with mental health issues and develop services, which resulted in a career change to become a qualified social worker.

I worked for over 30 years for the local authority, in adult and children services, in both practitioner and management roles, with around 19 years specialising in mental health in a variety of different settings.

In 2002, I became professional lead for adult mental health social care services, seconded to Sussex Partnership Foundation Trust, and later in 2009 for children and adolescent mental health social care services also. During this time I was involved in a number of significant service developments to improve mental health services across SPFT.

I became closely involved with Shoreham and District Mental Health Association (SDMHA) and was mentor to the service director for several years.

Following taking early retirement in September 2015, I wanted to use some of my life experiences and became a community ambassador for a local animal rescue, raising awareness and giving talks and presentations in the community.

I was also keen to continue to remain involved in mental health and, when approached by the Chair of SDMHA, became a Trustee and Director on the Board of the Corner House (SDMHA).

In August 2018, SDMHA began work with Coastal West Sussex Mind and we successfully merged in October 2019, to become West Sussex Mind.

As one of the two vice-chairs, I am excited and enthusiastic about being a part of West Sussex Mind and the opportunities and challenges ahead. I feel that, with my past experience and knowledge, I can make a positive contribution to service development in the future, whilst remaining involved with mental health service delivery.

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