Saturday 30 June 2012

Tight Lines

Wednesday was my birthday and I get two presents the next morning when I head off to Builth Wells for our Staff Learning Day and trustees' meeting. First, a ferocious burst of gout which takes most of the day to abate and, second and infinitely more welcome, an excellent portrait by our project in Blaenau Gwent which will now grace my otherwise Spartan and minimalist office (they previously did one of Sigmund Freud - see here - so this is an honour indeed. I think they have shown me as more self-assured than old Siggers but that may of course be a satire on my delusions rather than real confidence?).

Meanwhile the Movin' On Up road-show was actually in Blaenau Gwent yesterday and the importance of education and training for recovery from serious mental illness was one of the talking points...

Speaking about his recovery service user Rob Mckeown says: "I went on a confidence-building course shortly after coming to Hafal, this made me realise that despite my issues, namely anxiety and depression, I can still make a positive contribution to my community. I have recently attended a presentation skills seminar at Hafal’s Head Office; I also completed a 10-week counselling course and work as a volunteer for Hafal.

"I would love to return to work if possible. If you’re employed you’ve got a focus in life, structure in your day. If people want to get better they need the chance to get back to work. There should be more support for people with a disability, not cuts. It’s hard enough getting a job if you haven’t got a disability. My ultimate goal is to have employment in some form be it part or full-time work."

Good luck, Rob, the employment market is tough as you say but the training and experience you are getting could give you the edge!

The aim of the campaign is to maximise the opportunities for recovery from serious mental illness which are provided by the draft Welsh Government Mental Health Strategy "Together for Mental Health" and the historic Mental Health (Wales) Measure. The Measure is hugely significant because it affords service users key new rights and has finally given users of secondary mental health services in Wales the legal right to a comprehensive holistic Care and Treatment Plan covering all areas of life including education and training.

The campaign is run by service users and carers and supported by us and our friends in Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation. 22 weekly county events are taking place and the campaign will culminate in a climb of Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon, in September. The campaign will also feature an interactive stand at the Royal Welsh Show and on World Mental Health Day at the National Assembly.

I've got a few days off now so I'm going fishing. Wish me warm weather and tight lines.