The National Spirituality & Mental Health Forum operates under the Charity Commission England & Wales and in association with stakeholders such as the UK government, the NHS, national mental health initiatives and religious institutions. The Board of Trustees meets at least twice a year to plan the role and work of the Forum and to address governance matters.
Chair of Trustees
Ben Bano, M.Sc (Oxon), CQSW, DMS, LTh, PGCert, has been a social worker for 38 years and was Director of Older Peoples services in East Kent Mental Health Partnership Trust from 2002 to 2005. In 2007 he founded Telos Training and he has delivered a range of training workshops across a range of subjects in mental health care and dementia across the statutory and non-statutory sector.
Ben’s interests include social inclusion, the spiritual and the holistic dimension in mental health and dementia care. Ben is delivering awareness courses in dementia as well as programmes on Assessment Practice and Dementia for Approved Mental Health Professionals as well as a programme 'See ME rather than dementia' for NHS staff in five South London Boroughs. He is a regular contributor to AMHP refresher programmes. Ban has been endorsed by TCSW as working to an agreed set of quality criteria and offers provision that meets the CPD learning needs of social workers Ben has a particular interest in spirituality and older age.
He produced the DVD ‘Its still ME, Lord’ for Caritas Social Action Network, as well as an on-line learning resource.
Recent publications include an article on ‘Positive aspects of the fourth age’ (with Professor Susan Benbow). He has also co-authored a chapter on spirituality and dementia for a book published by Pavilion Publications in Spring 2011 and he has contributed a chapter on spiritual accompaniment at the end of life for a book published by Pavilion Publications later in 2013. He co-edited a recent book in tribute to the late Professor Peter Gilbert - 'Crossing the River - the contribution of spirituality to the future of humanity.' which was published in April 2014. Ben is currently the Chair of the National Spirituality and Mental Health Forum.
He is currently co-authoring a new guide for social workers: 'Faith Perspectives and Mental Health'. Outside his training activities he is a local District and Town Councillor and leads an organisation 'Seeking Sanctuary' which provides support for migrants in Calais.