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Article published on: Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Bucks Mind is celebrating our 110th anniversary this year. So much has changed in the last 110 years, including our charity, which was originally named the Buckinghamshire Voluntary Association for the Care of the ‘Mentally Defective’.

In the early twentieth century, many local people experiencing mental ill-health were neglected, abandoned and put in to the Aylesbury workhouse as a ‘place of safety’. In 1914 there were over 100,000 patients within over 100 mental institutions around the UK.

Our charity was formed to support people with mental health issues, through education and home visits. Since then, we’ve helped many thousands of people through a diverse range of services and worked hard to change attitudes about mental health.

In the 1930s our charity supported people in a wide variety of ways, including purchasing clothing or paying for medical, dental and optical care for adults who were unemployed due to mental ill-health and providing home tuition for children experiencing mental health difficulties.

Post-war, the charity noted an increase in mental health problems within the community. At the same time, it was recognised that grants to provide clothing etc were mostly no longer required because people with mental health problems were now able to find employment and earn money for themselves.

Black and white image of an old shop with a lorry in front of it and various people in hats and coats. The text reads: 1930s and 1940s

In 1951, Dr Alfred Torrie gave a speech at our AGM about how prejudice related to mental health was a ‘hindrance’ to the work of the charity. “The man in the street avoids the subject,” he said. This is still an issue, despite society’s attitudes having come a long way. We are challenging the stigma and discrimination associated with mental health and encouraging people to talk about their mental health through our campaign; Champion the Change.

Read more about our important work in this and future issues of our newsletter.

A group of people holding up placqards that say 'Join the fight', @early Mental Support', 'We're fighting for Mental Health' and 'Mind Matters'. One man and one woman have their fists in the air. Another woman is holding up a megaphone.

How to get involved

To get involved in the celebrations and support our mental health services, why not take part in the 110 Challenge and help us raise £110,000 this year?

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