Tributes paid to leading mental health expert William Bingley

Tributes paid to leading mental health expert William Bingley

by Rebecca Coxon

There are few people who have contributed as much towards transforming and improving Mental Health law and organisations throughout their lifetimes as William Bingley. It is with sadness that I report his untimely death after a fall in the Lake District this weekend.

Bingley, aged just 61, slipped and tragically fell 35ft (11 metres) whilst walking on a Cumbrian fell in Ravenstonedale, Kirkby Stephen, on Sunday afternoon.

The chief executive of the Abaseen Foundation UK, was airlifted to hospital but soon pronounced dead after suffering from serious head injuries.

A family spokesperson described his life as one that “inspired great respect” and had "positive impact on the lives of many".

Mr Bingley, from Caton near Lancaster was one of the country's leading authorities on mental health law and a life-long advocate of the National Health Service and human rights.

Timeline of Williams Bingley’s Life

1972 – Graduated from University of Cambridge

1983 – Wrote the Code of Practice for the 1983 Mental Health Act

1983 – Appointed as a legal director for mental health charity Mind

1990 – Became Chief Executive of the Mental Health Act Commission for England and Wales

1999 – released a report as a member of the Expert Committee appointed by the Government to undertake the initial review of the Mental Health Act.

2000 - Moved to North Lancashire to become Professor of Mental Health Law and Ethics at the University of Central Lancashire.

2002 - Established the Abaseen Foundation UK, a charity developing health, education and research North West Pakistan.

2005 - Published NICE guidelines for the management of disturbed (violent) behaviour in psychiatric in-patient units as a member of Guidelines Development Group

2006 – Became chairman of North Lancashire NHS Teaching Primary Care Trust

An inspirational and remarkable man

At the time of his death Mr Bingley was also co-director of Bingley Consulting, a member of the Council of Lancaster University and Vice-Chair of Mind in Furness, a mental health charity based in Barrow-in-Furness.

The following was posted on his website: “William inspired great respect and affection in all who knew him. His work at home and overseas has made a positive impact on the lives of many.

“He leaves his wife, Helen, two daughters, Alexandra and Harriet, and step-daughter, Andrea. Details of the funeral will be announced shortly.”

We at Mental Healthy are very sad to learn the loss of such a remarkable man who has achieved so much for mental health law over the past 30 years. We wish his family and friends our condolences at this difficult time.

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