Friday 13 July 2012

Cynon the Egalitarian

The Welsh Government’s draft Mental Health Strategy was a key talking point at yesterday’s Movin’ On Up event in Aberdare.

Aberdare service user Ioan Bevan who has bipolar disorder tells us: "For me the main focus in the new Strategy has to be on delivery. We have very good legislation in Wales, the key is to ensure that the new laws are fully implemented. That’s going to be difficult in the current economic climate but now that we’ve got the Measure and the new holistic Care and Treatment Plans we’ve got to strive to make the most of them. There’s no excuses now we have the Measure - services have to deliver!

"From a personal point of view I think service users need as much help as we can get particularly when it comes to returning to work. Employment is my ultimate goal. I’ve attended training courses which have helped my confidence; coming to Hafal has helped me enormously too."

Spot on, Ioan, and check out the Mental Health Service User and Carer Panel which has compiled this response to the Draft Strategy.

The aim of the campaign is to maximise the opportunities for recovery from serious mental illness which are provided by the new Strategy 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 areas such as accommodation, finance and training.

The campaign is run by service users and carers and supported by us along with our friends in Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation, all of us united in our determination to achieve equality of opportunity in every field of life for people with a serious mental illness. 22 weekly county events are taking place and the campaign will culminate in a climb of England and 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.