Monday 5 July 2010

Vintage Port

Hafal Gwynedd delivers a classic "Road to Recovery" event with the microbus looking well in the Summer sunshine on Porthmadog High Street. A record 72 people sign up to the Campaign calling for:-

• A new Welsh law (Measure) which gives priority to timely treatment and comprehensive care planning.
• All mental health services to be developed and delivered in response to individuals' care plans.
• New resources to bring mental health services up to scratch.

Hafal Gwynedd’s event coincides with the publication of the Assembly Legislation Committee’s report on the draft Mental Health Measure (see this link). We are very pleased to see that the Committee is calling for the Measure to include young people (excluded in the first draft) but disappointed that they did not see the need for time limits in relation to completion of assessments and care plans under Part 2 of the Measure which provides rights for people requiring secondary mental health services. In the absence of clear time limits there will need instead to be case law to establish how quickly assessments and care plans should be completed: Hafal will certainly aim to support judicial review where delays seem unreasonable so that precedents can be established. How much better if the time limits were set out clearly in the first place?

This Thursday the bus will also be at Hafal’s annual Physical Health Awareness Day which has so far attracted over 200 bookings! I freely confess that, when the suggestion for such an event was first made some years ago, I was sceptical about how many Hafal clients would want to engage in a vigorous round of sporting events but my doubts were wholly misplaced and we can scarcely manage the numbers which grow every year. There is tremendous enthusiasm for the various competitive sports on offer on the day which gives the lie to the idea that clients prefer passive and unchallenging services. I also believe there is a huge amount of work to be done to open up access to mainstream sport and recreational facilities for people with a serious mental illness – and this annual event has already inspired several of our local services to open those doors into leisure centres, rambling, and so on.

As if to prove the point while writing this post I receive news of Hafal Members who successfully completed the gruelling British Heart Foundation cycle ride around Swansea and the Gower yesterday (see picture below). I missed this year's event but have done this and some other BHF rides before (including the spectacular "Round the Harbours" Portsmouth one) in memory of my brother Alan who died from heart disease a few years back: BHF is a good charity with realistic goals and gentle and effective messages which we should all heed. Follow the link above for good advice and opportunities to get involved!