Mental Health Foundation

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"n January 1949, Dr Derek Richter, a neurochemist with a particular interest in mental health, vented his frustration at the scarcity of funding for the field. “I am getting tired of this perpetual fight to get small sums for research,” he wrote, “when our colleagues working on cancer and TB are almost embarrassed by the money being thrust at them.” Richter, director of research at the Whitchurch hospital in Cardiff, had an idea for how things could be changed. “Obviously,” he declared, “there should be a Mental Health Research Fund.”

"Richter enlisted the help of Ian Henderson, a well-connected stockbroker, and the first meeting of the Mental Health Research Fund (MHRF) took place at the Royal Society of Medicine on July 18th the same year. Henderson took the job of chairman, while Sir Geofrey Vickers VC, the distinguished war hero, lawyer, and systems scientist, became chairman of the research committee.

"Fundraising began in earnest, with the aim of securing money to award grants. Meanwhile, the embryonic organisation set itself the task of bringing together experts practising a variety of approaches. This bore fruit in 1952, when the first MHRF conference took place in Oxford. The research committee was also a multi-disciplinary affair, aiming to give a voice to all academic fields concerned with mental health "[1]


Accessed October 2012: [2]



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  1. Mental Health Foundation History, organizational web page, accessed October 18, 2012.
  2. Mental Health Foundation Trustees, organizational web page, accessed October 18, 2012.