Friday 11 October 2013

Dynamic and Flourishing

Two classicists and our Assembly liaison specialist Junaid Iqbal

A great day yesterday at the Senedd where we celebrated World Mental Health Day in style with a crowd of 70 plus including the Minister of Health Mark Drakeford AM, many other Assembly Members, dignitaries and user and carer activists - all there to mark the conclusion of our best ever campaign Lights! Camera! ACTION! run by mental health service users and carers and supported by Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation.

The Minister tells me that he is also a classicist (I didn't know that) which prompts me to suggest that with our infinitely relevant and applicable (as opposed to completely impractical and irrelevant) education together we could sort out all the problems of mental health services. He is too polite to point out that he went on to qualify as a Social Worker (and the rest - he's a Professor of Social Policy at Cardiff University) whereas I am still winging it on Horace, Euripides, and a gradually receding recollection of irregular Greek verbs (note to self - must relearn these).

At today's event we presented the Minister with our Campaign Report which points local services and national policy makers to good practice in mental health service delivery across Wales – and tells them what changes we want to see in services. The message is there's more to do – including...

• We want all service users to have an excellent and ambitious Care and Treatment Plan which identifies long and short-term goals in all relevant areas of life

• We also want a turnaround in the approach of commissioners so that all services are planned in response to needs identified in Care and Treatment Plans (as opposed to the other way round)

• We need a Welsh solution for giving control of resources to service users and carers

• We also need to evolve new policy and legislation in the next 5-10 years not only to provide greater empowerment to service users and carers but to address inequalities in all areas of life including training, employment, physical health, housing, etc.

A huge thank you to the thousands of people who took part in the Lights! Camera! ACTION! campaign including...

• The 2000 Members of the partner organisations

• Over 3000 service users and carers using partners' services who took part in local film projects or made individual film blogs at the projects

• Many thousands of people who attended the 22 county events, the launch of the campaign by Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford at the Assembly, and the Royal Welsh Show event

• Over 5000 people who followed and interacted with the campaign via our online social media channels (including over 2000 new followers of the campaign on Hafal’s Facebook platform)

• The 40,000 people who have received a copy of the Care and Treatment Planning guide (provided on request to service users, carers and professionals).

A big thank you too to Emma and the rest of the crew who put on such a spectacular show yesterday.

See more reportage and pictures on the campaign's dynamic and flourishing Facebook platform.

Not sure why I was remonstrating with the charming and blameless lady from ITV?!