Our Board of Trustees is responsible for our governance and strategic direction. Essentially, they are accountable for everything we do. 

Our board reflects and represents our many diverse communities and each of our trustees is passionate about ensuring everyone has the right to enjoy good mental health.  

You can find out more about our trustees below.

Sue Cash

Having spent most of her working life in the NHS, some years in hospitals and more recently in Public Health medicine Sue’s area of focus besides knowledge of the health needs on Teesside is governance, risk and partnership working.

She became a trustee to try to make a difference for people who need care and help to enjoy better mental health.

Of our organisation she says: “We are fortunate to have such dedicated and caring staff and volunteers who are all committed to helping people who use our services. It’s our hope that the services we provide give hope, support and coping strategies to everyone to improve their wellbeing.”

Gary Emerson

As a former CEO of Darlington Mind, Gary brings significant experience of the Mind network and of the issues it faces. He's familiar with the funding environment, some of the challenges faced by people with lived experience and understands many of the issues that we deal with every day. 

He's Vice-Chair of Stockton CAB, a Patient and Carer Lay Representative for NHS England North East, and Chair of the acquired brain injury charity Headway in Darlington.

Of our organisation he says: "Being a Trustee for Teesside Mind is a huge privilege and it's my local Mind so I want it to be the best it possibly can. Together as Trustees, staff, volunteers and service users, we can make a huge difference to peoples lives by ensuring everyone with a mental health issue has access to real and meaningful support."

Metab Hussain

Metab became a trustee to assist in developing strategy with a focus on commercial opportunities, risk and compliance. He has experience in a number of sectors ranging from FTSE 250’s, growing businesses and governmental bodies.

Having moved back to Teesside after spending the best part of 8 years away, the compound effect of underfunding was obvious to Metab and he felt he had acquired the skills to add value to a non-executive role.

Of our organisation he says: "Teesside Mind is the best of what is local. I believe the board can support the wider team to meet the goal of consistently providing the best service to both service users and the wider community as early as possible."

Ruth Smith

Ruth became Chair of our board of trustees in 2019. Since 2000 she has been a UK Board and Leadership coach and is known for her work around Authentic Leadership with a published book in 2019. Ruth's coaching focus has always been based on the approach of the transformative effects our mental wellbeing can have on our lives.

Prior to becoming our Chair, Ruth was a board member for NYLEP, as well as its diversity champion and chaired its Skills Board. She's also a trustee for Refuge, a national charity that supports people experiencing domestic abuse.

Of our organisation she says: "I particularly wanted to join Teesside Mind as I felt aligned to both its purpose and values. I have personal experience with my own family of how mental health issues affects people and the devastating consequences of not having good mental health support so I feel this is the best possible way to make a difference."

Thomas Smith

Thomas is a consultant to the Life Sciences Industry but became a trustee in 2018 in part due to his lived experience as a mental health services user. His area of focus on the board is volunteering and peer support.

Of our organisation he says: "The services that I have accessed over the years have fundamentally changed and improved my life and now being in a position as a trustee to close that loop and start being able to give back is something that I’m lucky to be able to do. Teesside Mind is part of the fabric of the local community and plays a major role in ensuring those in need have support and somewhere to turn to."

Girija Taylor

Girija's area of focus as a trustee is recognising community groups and diversity. She brings to the board her knowledge of diversity in cultural experiences and expectations. She also draws on her lived experience as she has benefitted from support previously.

Girija works within the primary care network and recognises the challenges service users face and as a trustee, the challenges an organisation faces, and so she brings a balanced view to the board.

Of our organisation she says: "Teesside Mind has played a significant part in my life. I've been a service user, a volunteer and now a trustee. I'm very passionate about the importance of self care and how we can provide support for others to embrace and practise this concept"

Nicola Wass

Nicola worked in the recruitment industry for 25 years, and now works in management consultancy. After volunteering for Middlesbrough and Stockton Mind as an appropriate adult - a valuable and in demand 24/7 service covered by an amazing and dedicated team of volunteers - she joined the board of Trustees.

The role enables her to put her skills and experience to use as well as her understanding of the importance of mental health, the challenges people face in the community and the growing demand for services. As a trustee her focus is on risk, safeguarding, process and auditing.

Of our organisation she says: "We play a critical and important role in the community, providing essential services for everyone facing mental health challenges and our teams work tirelessly to ensure access for everyone who needs support. It's our mission that everyone who needs help with their mental health has access to the right kind of support at the right time and that we continue to support the whole community and make a positive difference."

Dave Williams

Dave has worked in finance for over 20 years and currently works for North Yorkshire County Council as Head of Finance Commercial. As such his particular area of focus as a trustee is finance, understanding the current and future financial position of the charity.

Of our organisation he says: "We play such an important role supporting our local area. Over the last few years I've personally seen a decline in the mental health of those around me and its organisations like ours that enable people to access local help and advice. Times have been challenging for people of all ages and there still lies lots of uncertainty ahead, but I believe we can make a real impact to the residents of Middlesbrough and Stockton."