What do people have to say about Steve?
Steve Gilbert was a member of the West Midlands Mental Health Commission, which I chaired between 2015 and 2017. Steve played an absolutely invaluable role in the Commission’s work. He gave highly valuable insight into the experiences of someone who had used mental health services in the region. He always contributed constructively to our deliberations. Steve offers an articulate and insightful view of someone who has experienced mental ill-health and who has had to use mental health services. He is a passionate and effective advocate.
I worked with Steve throughout 2018 as the legal adviser to the independent Review of the Mental Health Act, of which he was a Vice-Chair. Steve’s commitment, passion and hard-earned knowledge infused the working group meetings, and his robust but unflaggingly polite challenging of received wisdoms were instrumental in sharpening recommendations across the board. He is a true force for good.
Steve is a very valuable resource for mental health organisations. As a man from a BAME background who uses MH services, he brings a necessary insight into the positive aspects of services and those that need reform and change. As a speaker and participant he is both challenging and very constructive in the way he interacts with professionals and organisations. He does not shy away from calling out the inequalities or failings of mental health services and the unconscious bias of those who work in them. Whilst this would be useful in itself, Steve’s real value is in his ability to then articulate how these services need to change and to work constructively with professionals and leaders to help them redesign their services so that the voice and views of the people who use services is kept at the forefront of our work.
Steve Gilbert is an outstanding advocate of reform in mental health policy and practice. He has an exceptional ability to analyse policy issues and options, to find solutions to entrenched and ‘wicked’ problems, and to build consensus in difficult situations. Steve’s leadership in the Mental Health Act Review was essential to ensure that equality issues remained a priority in every aspect of the process and were never, as so often is the case, kept on the sidelines. Steve’s passion for mental health, justice, and equality combine with his focus and his skill to get the best possible results every time.
Steve brings a refreshing dynamic to conversations about improving mental health and well-being. In his focus on user experience and on improving outcomes he is honest, articulate and passionate. He brings challenge but is realistic and pragmatic too and gets the importance of building relationships and working with people across organisational and professional boundaries. I cannot recommend Steve highly enough as someone to add value in bringing change for the better.
I was delighted to work with Steve Gilbert when he was a member of the West Midlands Combined Authority Mental Health Commission, chaired by Norman Lamb. Steve’s insights as a serious mental illness living experience consultant were invaluable to the Commission. He was constructive and appropriately challenging, perceptive in his contributions and generous in sharing his own experiences of serious mental illness.