Monday 20 August 2012

Take Control

Last week's Movin' On Up event in Newport was a resounding success with many visitors and excellent discussion about the campaign. I also enjoyed a good chat with Mohammad Asghar AM: because it was Ramadan he couldn't eat until nightfall but I pressed a couple of Hafal-branded cup-cakes into his hand so he could break his fast in style later.

The Mayor of Newport gave a fittingly enthusiastic speech to launch our Mental Health Foundation friends' new publication Take Control produced in partnership with Bipolar UK and Hafal. The publication focuses on the role self-management plays in achieving recovery from serious mental illness and complements Care and Treatment Planning: A step-by-step guide for secondary mental health service users which was published by Hafal (in collaboration with MHF and Bipolar UK) and aims to help service users get the most from the new Care and Treatment Plans which were introduced as part of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure in June.

Mel Cook, Project Co-ordinator at the Mental Health Foundation, said: "Take Control features people with a serious mental illness who have attended a Mental Health Foundation’s Self-Management Training course. It charts the progress they made before, during and after the course, how they became empowered during the process. It also offers advice on the eight areas in the new Care and Treatment Plans and how users can help themselves in these areas."

Take Control aims to help service users get the most from the Mental Health (Wales) Measure, a theme discussed by service users at the event. Hafal Newport service user and volunteer Lyn Cooper, who has experience of anxiety and depression, explained that it is crucial that the new law is maximised by service users and professionals. "Delivery is the key to the Measure," said Lyn. "We need it to be fully delivered so people know what kind of level of care and help they can expect to receive. It’s particularly crucial that service users’ Care and Treatment Plans are put in place so we know where we stand, what we’re working with and what’s being done to help us. Once all that’s in place then things will begin to happen!"