Rachel Perkins OBE

BA, MPhil (Clinical Psychology), PhD, OBE

Formerly Director of Quality Assurance and User Experience at South West London and St. George’s Mental Health NHS Trust, Rachel Perkins is now:

  • Chair of Equality 2025 Chair of Equality 2025 (the UK cross Government strategic advisory committee on issues relating to disabled people hosted by the  Department of Work and Pensions)
  • A consultant with the ‘Implementing Recovery through Organisational Change’ project team (a programme to help organizations to develop recovery-focused practice commissioned by the English Department of Health and delivered by a partnership between the NHS Confederation and Centre for Mental Health).
  • A member of the English Mental Health Strategy Ministerial Advisory Group.
  • Co-chair of the English Ministerial Working Group on Equalities in Mental Health.
  • External advisory member of the UK Government Inter Ministerial Group on Disability Employment.

She lives and works with a long term mental health condition and is a member of National Mind External Relations Committee. In 2010 she was voted Mind Champion of the Year and awarded an OBE for services to mental health.

In 2009 she was commissioned by the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions to lead an independent review into how Government might better support people with mental health problems to gain work and prosper in employment. (Realising ambitions: Better employment support for people with a mental health condition, DWP, December 2009). She has written and spoken widely about recovery and social inclusion for people with mental health conditions, set up the first English Recovery College and has pioneered the UK development of programmes to help people with mental health difficulties to access employment based on the ‘Individual Placement with Support’ approach, including one designed increase employment opportunities within mental health services for people who have themselves experienced mental health problems. She has provided training and consultancy nationally and internationally, most recently in Australia, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark and the Republic of Ireland.  The employment programmes that she developed have been cited as an example of good practice by Zero Project 2013 International Study On The Implementation of the UN Convention on The Rights of Persons with Disabilities.  Her latest book, written with Julie Repper, is Social Inclusion and Recovery: A Model for Mental Health Practice (2003, Balliere Tindall) and she has written briefing papers on Recovery Colleges and Personalisation and Recovery (Centre for Mental Health/ImROC, 2012).