Friday 30 September 2011

Last But Not Least

The "Taking the Wheel" campaign rolled into Swansea yesterday for the last of 22 county visits - and what weather! Quite a challenge for the 1964 microbus which of course has no radiator but improbably relies on air blowing through side-vents to cool her diminutive and under-powered engine.

Service user Sarah Stanyon, 23, who has depression and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, tells us: "Before going into hospital I felt trapped in a downward spiral. I couldn’t see any light at the end of the tunnel, I couldn’t cope with many day-to-day activities, and I really felt like the mental health services available from the NHS were not helpful.

"Since being admitted to hospital things have changed. Hafal found a social worker to talk to my parents about my treatment and after hearing their views of how poorly I had been treated the social worker got to work. I now have a Community Psychiatric Nurse, I will have a home of my own soon and I will be returning to education shortly. I feel my mental health is being taken seriously and this, along with the developments that are taking place in my life, has made me feel empowered.

"Without the support of Hafal over the last year I would not be where I am today. The services they have provided have increased my confidence and opened my eyes to new experiences and ways of thinking. I’ve also made some friends along the way, too."

Thanks, Sarah, for an uplifting story to mark the end of this summer's remarkable campaign alongside our partners and friends in MDF the Bipolar Organisation and the Mental Health Foundation. Not that this is really the end - the microbus can be rested up but we will be carrying messages from the campaign to the Senedd on 11 October where we are celebrating World Mental Health Day with the Minister of Health Lesley Griffiths AM. I'll do a link to our joint report when it is published next week.