Dr Edana Minghella: A tribute from Centre for Mental Health’s Dr Graham Durcan

21 July 2022

Centre for Mental Health are deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Dr Edana Minghella, a former colleague and lifelong advocate for better mental health care.

Edana worked for what was then Sainsbury Centre for Mental Health as a senior researcher on some of the most influential programmes on community mental health care – assertive outreach, crisis resolution and home treatment. She played a key role in the shaping of community mental health services through her work.

Edana had trained as a psychiatric nurse and worked in various roles before joining the Sainsbury Centre.

I had the privilege of working with Edana whilst at the Centre and we kept contact in the years since she left. After leaving the Centre she held several leading roles, including with the Audit Commission and the National Development Team for Inclusion. Edana very kindly acted as a supervisor for my own doctoral studies, and I am eternally grateful for the support she gave me over a three-year period.

Edana was brought up on the Isle of Wight and was born into a creative Anglo-Italian family, her parents establishing the famous Isle of Wight based Minghella Ice Cream Company, which the family continues to this day. One of her brothers Anthony, was a film director (Cold Mountain, The Talented Mr Ripley and The English Patient). Another, Dominic, is a successful producer and screenwriter and her nephew Max a tremendously talented actor. Edana too, was touch with this creative familial trait. I remember our doctoral supervision sessions nearly always preceded her voice coaching lessons. These sessions and her passion for jazz paid off and I have had the privilege to see her perform on stage in London.

In more recent times she had moved to Liguria in Italy. However, she would return to the UK regularly and I had the pleasure of seeing her play with a jazz band in November 2021, the last time we met.

On behalf of the Centre and myself I would like to pass on our condolences and express our sympathy to Edana’s partner, Heather (also a former colleague), and to all the Minghella family and Edana’s many friends.

Dr Graham Durcan

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