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Rachel Bannister

Rachel Bannister

Carer representative

Rachel works part time as a teacher and is the co-founder of the campaign group Mental Health – Time for Action. She is also the carer representative on the RCpsych Trent Executive Committee

When her eldest daughter became ill with an eating disorder in 2012, she struggled to access the necessary early intervention in the community and was eventually admitted to a hospital 50 miles from home. Sadly, this was a situation that was repeated numerous times over the following 5 years culminating in a 6 month stay in a hospital in Scotland over 300 miles from home.

During this particularly painful separation from her daughter Rachel embarked on a campaign for properly funded mental health care which prioritises continuity of care, where possible within the local community. Rachel has spoken movingly of the effect of her daughter’s illness on the wider family including her own addiction to benzodiazepines and her middle daughter’s struggle with PTSD.

Her campaign has involved meetings with senior politicians as well as numerous media appearances including a Channel 4 documentary .

Rachel has co-organised two Mental Health Conferences most recently the Mental Health Crisis Summit at The Royal Free London.

Rachel continues to use her extensive lived experience to ensure progressive change and improvement in the understanding and treatment of those suffering from mental illness.

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