YoungMinds Emma Thomas

Released 17 June 2022 YoungMinds Chief Executive to step down

Emma Thomas is to step down as Chief Executive of YoungMinds in the autumn, the youth mental health charity announced today. She will leave following four successful years in the role, during which time she has overseen huge change in the organisation, including its new purpose and strategy, growth in reach and impact and the charity’s income and staffing numbers more than doubling.

After a lot of careful consideration, and an incredible four years, I have decided that it is the right time for fresh leadership at YoungMinds to lead the next phase of the charity’s growth. I’m proud of the work I’ve been part of during my time here and to be leaving the organisation in a strong position with a brilliant Board and Senior Leadership Team and wider team of staff, as well as a hugely engaged group of young people and volunteers, to continue to increase our impact for young people, when it has never been more needed.

After the demands of the last few years, I want to take some time off and create a new phase in my career with a different balance of work in my life. This has been a really hard decision for me to make as I have loved my time here and it has been an immense privilege to lead such crucial work.
Emma Thomas on her decision

Emma joined YoungMinds in July 2018 and has steered the organisation through the pandemic, increasing impact in line with rapidly increasing need for mental health support among young people. She has been a strong and collaborative advocate for young people’s mental health, contributing to many positive policy changes during her tenure, including the introduction of the Mental Health Units (Use of Force) Act, a significant funding settlement for youth mental health services and additional financial support for mental health charities during the Covid-19 pandemic.

During her time at YoungMinds she also led the development of a new five-year strategy for the charity, You Matter, which has already seen the charity’s reach, engagement and impact grow, including through its Parents Helpline, online advice and information for young people, training for professionals and youth-led campaigning. Under her leadership the charity’s income has grown from £4m to £9.2m, while the staff team has doubled to deliver the new strategy.

It is hard to imagine YoungMinds without Emma and on behalf of the whole Board I’d like to express my heartfelt gratitude for everything she has done for young people through our charity.

Emma has led the significant development of the organisation and has been ceaselessly passionate about ensuring young people get the support they need. She has been relentless in her commitment to involving young people in everything we do, which has transformed the way we run and govern our charity.

The impact of her leadership has been profound and leaves YoungMinds in a very strong position as we begin our search for a new Chief Executive. We are excited that with a new and more diverse Board, an ambitious new anti-racism, diversity and inclusion plan, healthy finances and a critical mission, we will attract strong, diverse candidates. Alongside my team of Trustees and Directors I will now be working closely with Emma on a smooth transition to new leadership, to take us to the pivotal next stage of YoungMinds’ journey.
Caroline Hope, Chair of Trustees at YoungMinds

The charity begins its search for a new Chief Executive from today supported by Executive search company Starfish. Applications close on 15 July 2022.

For further information please contact press@youngminds.org.uk or call 0203 861 2072.

About YoungMinds

YoungMinds is the UK’s leading charity fighting for young people’s mental health. For more information please visit www.youngminds.org.uk

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For free advice and support for parents, call our helpline on 0808 802 5544