Wednesday 29 June 2011


I must admit I am so chilled on my holiday that I only caught up this morning with news of the "Taking the Wheel" campaign which reached Denbigh Town Hall yesterday.

Hafal Practice Leader Caroline Jones reports: "We've had a good discussion on how people with serious mental illness can take control of their lives."

Speaking on what empowered her, service user and carer Ann Edwards, 52, said: "Finding the right medication has been the greatest help for me.

"I had a breakdown when I was 24. Everything got on top of me, it was bewildering. However, it didn't take me long to find the right medication. There have been side-effects, it makes me put on weight, but I'd say my medication has been the main thing that's kept my schizophrenia under control, that's kept me balanced."

Ann cares for her husband, who also has a serious mental illness. She says attending carers' meetings has helped her manage her caring duties and her own recovery.

She said: "Going to meetings helps me a lot. I've made a few friends and found that sharing my thoughts with others makes me feel less alone.

"I get stressed at times, sometimes I have a little cry, but I've learned to manage my illness myself. I make the decisions about my recovery. I sort out a lot of things for my partner and me, we work together."

Caroline says that while it is crucial that clients are involved in choosing the right medication "this is only part of Hafal's broad ‘Whole Person' approach to recovery which encourages our clients to look at a variety of areas in their life including issues like accommodation, finance, training and education."

Quite so, Caroline, and you can see our recovery guide here.

Now I am off for another scramble around the coast (smothered in sun-block having turned beetroot in yesterday's uninterrupted sunshine) followed by more fishing. Will the elusive bass fall to my running ledger cast at low water beyond the tidal zone? Almost certainly not but hey-ho.