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Dr Gráinne Fadden’s Retirement

The Meriden Family Programme would like to announce that the Founder and Director of the Programme for the last 20 years, Dr Gráinne Fadden, has retired. Many of those with regular contact with Meriden will be aware of this, but we wanted to ensure that her retirement is highlighted on our website and use the opportunity to pay tribute to her contribution to mental health care across the world.

Gráinne showed the drive and commitment required to create the Meriden Family Programme, which formed in 1998. Initially the programme covered the West Midlands and aimed to ensure that the experience of families in contact with mental health services was improved through the training of clinicians in family work and raising the profile of families and carers within services. The programme subsequently worked further afield and is partially self-funding through contracting with external organisations. At the time of writing the programme has links with mental health services across the U.K., Ireland, Australia, Japan, Canada, Uganda, and Nigeria amongst other countries.

Throughout the development of Meriden over the years, Gráinne has been the person who has been at the forefront of the team, demanding an improvement in the way that mental health services relate to families. Challenging the status quo is never an easy thing to do, but Gráinne has been at the centre of the process of driving through the changes that have been necessary to modernise mental health services, striving towards ensuring that families are at the heart of what services deliver.

Gráinne has published numerous articles, papers and book chapters, all about families and carers with experiences of mental health services. Her values have always been evident; certainly she pioneered the idea that carers should be involved in the co-production of training and services.  Up until her retirement she was working hard at establishing roles for carers to become carer peer support workers and work within services.

Peter Woodhams, our Carer Consultant stated:

Many carers and families are grateful to Gráinne for all the work she has done in championing their importance in care and recovery at international, national and local levels. Her role in developing and implementing family work over many years is unsurpassed and has helped the recovery of many service users and enabled families to feel better supported and more involved.

We would like to wish Gráinne all our best wishes in her retirement. There is always more to be done in the development of services, and the team will endeavour to follow in her footsteps and continue the work in supporting families in touch with mental health services.