Wednesday 22 June 2011

Môn Mam Cymru

Hafal's intrepid microbus crossed the water courtesy of Thomas Telford to Wales' premier island bringing the “Taking the Wheel” campaign to Holyhead where service users and carers have been discussing the campaign’s theme of empowerment during today’s event.

Hafal's family worker Cathrin Jones (pictured above with some of the state-of-the-art touch-screen technology with which the vintage van is rammed) reports:

“We’ve had a good discussion on how people with serious mental illness can take control of their lives today.

“One factor often neglected is that users have their own caring or parenting responsibilities. For example among the service users we support on the island there are people who as well as dealing with their own mental illness have partners with physical disabilities.

“Users' own caring responsibilities are covered as one of the eight life areas in the Mental Health (Wales) Measure and we certainly hope it’s something that is included in the new Care and Treatment Plans which come into force when the Measure is implemented on January 1st 2012.

“Unfortunately, this issue has often been neglected in the past as there is a tendency to concentrate on immediate symptoms of service users’ illness rather than also looking at their wider life including their responsibilities for others.”

Good point. We await publication of the Measure's Regulations following the recent consultation - we fear that there won't be consistent planning for patients' responsibilities as mums or dads or other caring duties unless there's a specific place in the Care and Treatment Plan format to record it in (or to confirm that they don't have any such responsibilities for the time being)...

Giraldus Cambrensis called Ynys Môn the "Mother of Wales" because of her alleged capacity to feed the country. He couldn't have predicted that she would also be able to heat and light much of Wales with her two Wylfa nuclear reactors pumping out nearly one billion watts (output which might more than double if they replace the reactors).