Dr Maqsood (Max) Ahmed has been appointed the new Chairperson of Support in Mind Scotland's board of directors. Aged 34, Max is the youngest Chair the organisation has ever had, and he is proud and excited to have been handed the responsibility.

Max said: "I'm proud to be elected Chairman of Support in Mind Scotland (SiMS). Mental well-being, treatment and public attitudes towards mental health are things that I care about deeply. 

"SiMS are doing incredible work in this area with, for example, the National Rural Mental Health Forum which has recently been praised by the Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey or the Distress Brief Intervention programme that has recently celebrated helping 1000 people. 

“Mental well-being, treatment and public attitudes towards mental health are things that I care about deeply. SiMS are doing incredible work in this area

Max Ahmed, new chair of SiMS

"While these achievements are impressive in themselves, there remains plenty to do and challenges to overcome.  I now look forward to working with the excellent SiMS team and build on the impressive work currently being done to support those affected by mental illness and change public attitudes to mental health."

Medical scientist Max, who lives and works in Edinburgh, takes over the reins from Carolyn Little, who stepped down as chair earlier this year after 14 years in the post and was awarded the MBE for her contribution to mental health services.

Long-standing directors Alison Guest and Carol Gortmans have both in turn acted as interim chair during a period of transition for the board, while a permanent to successor to Carolyn was identified.

  • Chief Executive Frances Simpson presents outgoing director Alison Guest with a gift at the recent SiMS Members' Event to mark her 12 years' service to the board. 

Carol stepped down from the board earlier in 2018, and Alison Guest is leaving us after 12 years as a director. The two vice-chair positions will now be filled by Carolyn Papakyriakou and recent recruit Audrey Connolly.

It represents a new look for the Support in Mind Scotland board, who have also welcomed Norman Craig - who doubles as head of our Finance & Services Committee - Yvonne McHardy and Keith McKenzie, to their ranks this year.

There are still vacancies on the board, but the line-up of 10 now consists of: Max Ahmed (chair), Audrey Connolly (vice chair), Carolyn Papakyriakou (vice-chair and chair of our Public Affairs Committee), Annette Calder, Norman Craig, Mary Mowat, Yvonne McHardy, Keith McKenzie, Colin Murchie and Lisa Rutherford.

Frances Simpson, CEO of Support in Mind Scotland, said: “I am delighted Max is taking on the role of Chair with SiMS. He brings very different experience through his academic background and a fresh new perspective on the work we do. I am very much looking forward to working with him and our new Board over the next few years.

  • Look out for a Q & A interview with Max on the Support in Mind Scotland website in the next few days.