Sarah Brennan to step down as Chief Executive of YoungMinds

Sarah Brennan to step down as Chief Executive of YoungMinds

After ten years as Chief Executive of YoungMinds, Sarah Brennan has announced that she will step down from her role.

Sarah Brennan, Chief Executive of YoungMinds, has announced that she will step down from her role in May 2018.

Sarah has led YoungMinds since 2007. During her tenure, the charity has more than tripled in size and played a vital role in transforming the public and political profile of children and young people’s mental health.

Over the last ten years, Sarah has influenced major government policy initiatives, including the Future in Mind strategy in 2014 and last year’s Green Paper on Children and Young People’s Mental Health. She also has also overseen the expansion of the charity’s award-winning Parents Helpline, which helps many thousands of parents and carers each year.

Under Sarah’s leadership, the charity has set up Headmeds, a ground-breaking website for young people about mental health medication, and run major youth participation programmes including Very Important Kids and YoungMindsVs.

In the last two years, YoungMinds has been a charity partner in the Heads Together campaign, and has hosted visits by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and by the Prime Minister. Sarah was awarded an OBE in the 2017 News Year’s Honours list for services to children and young people.

Sarah said: “During my time at YoungMinds we have witnessed a period of huge change in the awareness of the importance of children and young people’s mental health, and the help they need. I am proud of the part that we have played in creating that increased awareness as well as improved funding – though only too aware of how much more there is still to do.

“What has always inspired me, and remains inspirational, is the endless commitment, hard work and determination of everyone touched by or working in children and young people’s mental health. The young people and parents who work with us are the best advocates for change and the most impressive and inspirational people of all.”

Dr Elizabeth Vallance, Chair of YoungMinds, said: “When Sarah began at YoungMinds, nearly all policy initiatives and funding focused on adults with mental health problems, rather than on children and young people. Sarah has worked tirelessly to change this, and to ensure that young people and parents are at the heart of decisions about policy and services. We are extremely grateful for everything she has done, and wish her the very best for the future.”

The recruitment process for a new Chief Executive will begin shortly.

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