Thursday 7 July 2011


Now an established fixture Hafal's Physical Health Awareness Day (universally known as "The Sports Day") has been an outstanding success with 250 attending the event at Neath Sports Centre today compared to last year's record-breaking 150. Once again we were especially delighted to welcome a large contingent of participants from three hospitals who enjoyed their active day out.

This partly reflects Hafal's recent spurt of growth in services but also the growing optimism of our clients who increasingly challenge the stereotyping of people with a serious mental illness as passive and sedentary.

You can still find people who should know better - including mental health professionals - saying things like "There's no point in trying to persuade people with schizophrenia to stop smoking - it's the least of their worries!" etc. It's that stereotyping which leads to people with a serious mental illness having a life expectancy 10 or 20 years below the average.

Fortunately many patients know that it is in their power to defy those glum statistics and enjoy life more in their defiance through anything from gentle walking through to five-a-side soccer.

You have nothing to lose except perhaps a little of your dignity as Hafal Chair Elin Jones sportingly illustrates...