In my six years on this committee, the last four as Chair, I’ve experienced so much – from managing our monthly committee meetings (more fun than it sounds!) to presenting resolutions at Congress; from consulting our membership on changes to the Mental Health Act to supporting committee colleagues in presenting those findings on a national platform. It’s a role and a responsibility I have found rewarding and challenging in equal measure.
The purpose of the forums within the RCN is to consult members, sponsor projects, share ideas and push for change. Every year we have one strategy meeting and eleven conference calls to formulate plans and manage progress.
We have led the RCN on issues like parity of esteem, therapeutic staffing in mental health services, challenging government policy on recruitment and retention, and been a visible (and vocal!) contributor.
We also collaborate with other forums in developing projects, and our committee members have spoken at events run by branches to support colleagues in other fields to better understand the impact of mental illness on their patient groups.
This year our steering committee has four vacancies. The forum committee must represent the diversity, skills, wisdom and experience of our membership, and the role is open to any member who meets the eligibility criteria - from students to chief executives. As a steering committee member, you will be adept at listening, working on projects and speaking up for your colleagues; by far the most important quality you could bring to this post is enthusiasm.
If you want to represent your profession and campaign for better outcomes, then we need you to apply today. Applications are particularly welcome from groups who have been historically underrepresented, especially Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic members. Our committee aims to include members from all four countries of the UK.
Being part of this committee has been an amazing learning experience for me; take the opportunity and apply today.