Friday 25 May 2012

Global Warming

Apparently it was the hottest May night since records began last night, not a statistic I'm going to argue with. But for heaven's sake let's not complain. Now that we are apparently all to "blame" for the weather (a very Old Testament notion somehow?) I for one am happy to take credit for the fine weekend ahead which, had I not over many years roared around in my car and turned up the thermostat on the central heating, would have been the usual drizzle and nippy winds affair. Don't feel you have to thank me personally but I wanted you to know.

Anyway, let's catch up with Movin' On Up which rolled into Bridgend yesterday. The importance of holistic Care and Treatment Plans was one of the major talking points.

Paul Dennis, a service user at Hafal’s Bridgend project, tells us: "I know from experience that mental health patients require a lot more than just medication to get better. We campaigned for a long time to ensure that service users have a right to a Care and Treatment Plan that covers the eight areas of life and looks at all a patient’s needs (accommodation; education and training; finance and money; medical and other forms of treatment, including psychological interventions; parenting or caring relationships; personal care and physical well-being; social, cultural or spiritual; work and occupation). It’s great that the new Plans are about to come into force under the Mental Health (Wales) Measure."

Well said, Paul, and Hafal is launching a new publication designed to help service users get the most from the Plans which will be introduced on June 6th. "Care and Treatment Planning: a step-by-step guide for secondary mental health service users" will be launched along with the Code of Practice for the Mental Health (Wales) Measure by Health and Social Services Minister Lesley Griffiths AM at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff, on June 11th.

Holistic Care and Treatment Plans were not the only topic of discussion at today’s event in Bridgend. Service users and carers also spoke about the draft Mental Health Strategy, "Together for Mental Health", which was published by the Welsh Government recently. The response was positive – service users and carers welcomed the Strategy and its focus on the whole population; but participants agreed that the Strategy needs to focus more on vulnerable people with the highest needs.