Mental Health

/Mental Health
Mental Health 2018-05-10T14:33:34+00:00

About PSI-Volition

PSI-Volition was formed in November 2017 through the merger of Volition (the mental health forum) and the Physical and Sensory Impairment (PSI) Network.

Through PSI-Volition we promote good mental health for all people in Leeds. We work to ensure that the health and care third sector is involved in strategic planning and development of mental health services.


There are over 100 PSI-Volition member organisations with a focus on supporting people’s mental health and wellbeing. They work in various settings; from health, housing and the arts to carers’ support, talking therapy and crisis services. Our members are at the heart of what we do, and we aim for organisations both large and small to influence decisions across Leeds and nationally.

To find out more about our members please search the Forum Central members directory or download the list of Volition members (pdf, 127KB, March 2017).

For more information on joining please contact us.

We work to ensure that the health and care third sector is involved in strategic planning and development of mental health services.

We encourage partnership between agencies and across sectors, and provide information to third sector organisations to support them in delivering high quality services.

We have successfully ensured that the third sector is an integral part of the strategic development of mental health services in Leeds.

We and have excellent working relationships with mental health commissioners and statutory partners across the city, working together to continuously improve the way Leeds supports mental health.

Our member organisations support people through a variety of interventions including:

  • Peer support
  • Counselling
  • Healthy living
  • One-to-one support
  • Group wellbeing activities
  • Self-management courses
  • Specialist supported housing
  • Supported independent living
  • Mental health specialist services
  • Advocacy
  • Arts
  • Psychological therapies
  • Dementia services
  • Employment
  • Homelessness
  • Information and advice working with many of the communities with the greatest inequalities and those who are at most risk of poor mental health.

You can find mental health services on our members page, and a list of Volition members here.

Mental Health news and events


Our members and the Forum Central team are involved in the key strategic mental health and wellbeing groups and boards in Leeds.

Mental Health Partnership Board

This is chaired by Nigel Gray, Leeds North CCG and Cath Roff, Leeds City Council, Adult Social Care. The MHPB is the strategic board for mental health for Leeds. It’s responsible for driving the mental health agenda across the city as well as oversight for service development.

Third sector representatives:

Mental health services development groups

To make the mental health framework a reality, Leeds identified four priorities that would make the biggest difference:

  • Better and joined up crisis services
  • An increased focus on mental health support in the community, so as few people as possible would need secondary mental health services
  • Better information for all to prevent poor mental health and help when people are feeling unwell
  • The mental health of children and young people.

PSI-Volition and its members have worked with other partners to drive this work forward. A number of groups are now implementing this.

Information portal – MindWell steering group

MindWell is a new and innovative way of supporting people in Leeds. The aim is for everyone to get the information they need about mental health. This includes what to do when you are unwell, supporting someone who is unwell, and lots of information about having good mental health. Volition and the third sector have been part of the development of this, and the Content Manager for MindWell is located at Forum Central offices.

Third sector representatives:

Suicide and Prevention Steering group

This group brings together third sector, statutory and other stakeholders. It looks at delivering a coordinated Leeds response to minimising the number of people who commit suicide. It also champions the prevention of poor mental health.

  • Chaired by Victoria Eaton, Consultant in Public Health

Third sector representative:

  • Fiona Venner, CEO Leeds Survivor Led Crisis Service and PSI-Volition Trustee

Mindful Employer Steering Group

An important place for the creation or support of poor mental health is the workplace. The Mindful Employer initiative is a national Mind project which has been funded and delivered locally by Leeds Mind.

It encourages and supports employers of people with mental health needs, and leads all organisations in how to a good employer and not create poor mental health.

Employers can join the Mindful Employer network, which meets regularly to share good ideas, tips and support.

They have quarterly steering group meetings.

Third Sector representatives:

Leeds Mental Health Needs Assessment

Sarah Erskine from the Public Health team is currently developing the latest Mental Health Needs Assessment for Leeds.

This will be a vital tool for commissioners and decision makers across Leeds to understand:

  • Where poor mental health is greatest in terms of geography
  • The lives of different communities in Leeds.

Volition is a member of the steering group. We keep our members updated as things develop and ensure they know how to feed in.

Third sector representatives:

Information & Resources

  • Leeds Mental Health Framework (pdf)

    2014-2017 strategy for mental health services in Leeds. Developed by partners in Leeds, including Volition members and people with lived experience.

  • Leeds Suicide Audit

    The Leeds Suicide Audit is nationally recognised as best practice and is recommended by Public Health England. Details are available from the Leeds City Council website.

Mental Health – Strategic Information

Changes at Leeds Partnerships NHS Foundation Trust

An important partner for Volition and its members is LYPFT, the mental health trust for Leeds. LYPFT is currently undertaking a review of their activities, including how they can reduce the number of people being treated out of area.

This work has now expanded to look at:

  • The criteria for people to access the support given by the Community Mental Health teams.
  • A cultural change within LYPFT, moving from a risk management approach to a safety management approach.

Click here for the latest update from LYPFT [link or document needed]

Future commissioning arrangements for mental health services

There is a move to provide a clear and coherent mental health services system. Service commissioners have asked current NHS funded third sector mental health providers, Touchstone, Leeds Mind, Community Links and St Anne’s to work with LYPFT. They are developing a Memorandum of Understanding. This gives an approach of how any future commissioning of third sector mental health services done via LYPFT, as the lead provider, will take place.

Health and Wellbeing Board members meet to focus on mental health

Health and Wellbeing Board members met in January to discuss how they, as health leaders, can contribute to the prevention of poor mental health in Leeds.

Hannah Howe spoke at the workshop to profile the work already taking place. Every day the third sector supports people to connect and be less socially isolated, which in turns impacts greatly on people’s mental health.

Contact Us

Hannah Howe

Hannah Howe

PSI-Volition Director

Hannah brings a wealth of experience having worked in the private, public and not-for-profit sectors, including four years travelling the world talking about wallpaper, working with FTSE100 companies in London on their CSR programmes and eight years at a regional government level. Prior to working at Volition, Hannah worked at Touchstone in Leeds managing a wellbeing programme for people with long term conditions and a one-to-one service working with people with enduring mental health needs.

Hannah is passionate about all things mental health and in Leeds being a city that creates good mental health and good lives for all.

Hannah is an enthusiastic karaoke singer which is somewhat helping with her Forum Central public speaking engagements.

Lucy Graham

PSI-Volition, Development Worker

Lucy brings a variety of experience to the role of Development Worker, having worked and volunteered in numerous third sector organisations big and small, both locally and in her native Northern Ireland. Most recently, she lead a team in a start-up social enterprise, focusing on providing sustainable employment for people with mental health difficulties.

With a degree in Law and MSc in Psychology, Lucy feels strongly about human rights, equality and inclusion, and is passionate about better mental health for all.

Outside of work, Lucy enjoys exploring Leeds’ diverse culinary offerings – as with many adopted Yorkshire folk, she has a particular soft spot for a good pie!

Gillian Schofield

Gillian Schofield


Gillian joined Volition first as a volunteer in 2014, and then became the organisation’s administrator the following year.

Gillian has worked for the NHS and civil service previously, most recently as an information analyst with health data. She has a wealth of voluntary experience, especially in the health and care sector in Leeds. She currently volunteers with the Arts and Minds Network and Leeds Children’s Hospital Scout and Guide Group.

Gillian enjoys all things creative, from painting to jewellery making, and writing to singing with a choir. If she wasn’t working for Forum Central, she’d like to be writing and illustrating children’s books.