Sue Hawker

Meet our chair

My personal experiences with mental health have meant it has been something I have been interested in for many years. My previous work allowed me to work in communities with members of the public which drew me to the role of trustee. As Chair, I am able to work with people in many different ways, something I really enjoy. I can bring my experience of working in large organisations and my management background to the role. I have a genuine interest in the topic and in people and, as a result, my aim is for our board to be as effective as possible for our service users.

Mental health is so varied, as are people. People can be experiencing a multitude of challenges and I feel it is important that we have a curiosity for learning about these. I also feel it is important that we recognise the impact of mental health on physical health and the extra challenges this can bring.

Mental health issues have been a part of my life for a long time. I have personal experience with depression, both with myself and with my mother. In addition, my daughter is on the autistic spectrum and the help we received changed our lives. I know how much of a difference good support can have in people’s lives. These experiences have also shown me the importance of identifying triggers and how to manage them. At West Sussex Mind we can provide this sustainable and positive impact for our service users.

It is a great honour to be Chair for West Sussex Mind. We can reach so many people and provide them with the support they need. We can identify the needs of the community, make the case for funding and deliver accessible and positive support. People should not have to fight for what they need. Society is built around self-help but we recognise that not everybody is able to do this. The priority is allowing and supporting people in fulfilling their potential.

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