Trisha Gianfrancesco - Mental Health
Under her maiden name of Trisha Goddard, Trisha is best known as host of daytime television chat shows ITV’s Trisha and, from 2005, Five’s Trisha Goddard.
Brought up in Tanzania and Surrey by a Norfolk father and West Indian mother, both psychiatric nurses, Trisha has also spent from 1985 to 1998 in Australia and has dual Australian and British citizenship. Trisha returned to the UK in 1998.
In Australia Trisha had two careers, one as a television journalist and producer of current affairs, health and social welfare programmes, the other as an Australian Government adviser in mental health.
Trisha has personal experience of mental distress and has spent time as an in-patient in a psychiatric hospital. Three months after the birth of her youngest daughter and following the breakdown of her second marriage, Trisha had a nervous breakdown and spent five weeks under psychiatric care. She has described this as her “lowest period”.
Her passion for campaigning for better mental health services stemmed from her sister, Linda, having killed herself, partly as a result of schizophrenia in 1988. Says Trisha, “I started doing stories on mental health, and I became a bit of a thorn in the side of governments.”
For more than 10 years Trisha utilised both life experience and training in Conflict Resolution to host 2000 episodes of her daytime show. Almost 16,000 contributors have sat on her stage. As a programme maker, she has ensured the on-going involvement of mental health counsellors not only with programme guests, but her staff as well.
In 2007 Trisha hosted the Mental Health Media Awards where she called on media organisations to do more to ensure the “real story” of mental distress gets told in newspapers, on television and radio. The Trisha Goddard Show was short-listed in 2008 for ‘Raising Public Awareness’.
In 2003, Trisha became patron of mental health charity MIND Norwich in recognition of her work, a position she still holds. Trisha has also been actively involved in family support charity Home-Start Norwich since its inception in 1999 and is the organisation’s local patron. Trisha has recently become a Licensed NLP (Neuro-Linguistice Programming) Practitioner and a MIND Mental Health First Aider.
Trisha, 51, currently lives in Norwich with her husband, Peter, and daughters Billie, 22, and Madi, 18. Trisha met her husband when they worked together in the mental health field in Australia. They married in 1998. Peter Gianfrancesco was one of the main authors and project manager for Australia’s National Mental Health Standards. Peter is currently Chief Executive of MIND Norwich.
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