Thursday 6 March 2014

High Spirits

Sneak preview of the likely logo for our service user and carer-led "Let's get physical!" campaign (actually our excellent Facebook platform got there ahead of me).

The campaign will set a challenge - both to service users and carers and to our service providers - to improve physical health by looking at nutrition, physical activity and access to services.

The campaign will be supported by Hafal, the Mental Health Foundation, Bipolar UK and Diverse Cymru. We met this week alongside members of our service user and carer panel which will lead the charge. We left the meeting in high spirits because we can all see that the campaign will be a lot of fun and do a lot of good too.

It's also a very serious matter. People with a mental illness die on average some 17 years younger than the rest of us - and the physical health of most carers (about 80%)) is compromised by their caring responsibilities.

I have heard users say that it is upsetting to hear these statistics - and it is. The reason we mention it is because (i) it's true unfortunately but (ii) it's something that everybody can do something about by attending to their diet, taking exercise, and using their doctor effectively.

But there is no point in wagging fingers at people about their health - the campaign will let people work together to come up with their own ideas and make the changes they choose to make.