Friday 6 June 2014

Fighting Talk

More inspiration - it's been an inspiring week - as service-users take control of their physical health and face down those gloomy statistics about the poor health of people with a mental illness.

They are proving that you don't need to be fatalistic and trends can be bucked if you take on the challenge of taking care of yourself...

Today the Let’s Fizz! campaign reached Caerphilly at an event which included a 'smoothie bike', exercise and dance taster sessions, and tunes from the Hyderus music group.

But every Friday is active at Hafal Caerphilly thanks to the Fighting Fit group.

Service user Ian Parr explains: "Due to a change in my medication I had gained weight, and this left me feeling very low with no confidence and self-esteem. So I joined the Fighting Fit group at the Hafal Hyderus project. We all work well as a part of a group as we are able to support each other. I felt motivated to repair the puncture in my bike and started to cycle to the project, and now I walk as I can burn more calories! I feel a lot more confident and motivated and my self-esteem has improved.

"The Fighting Fit group is all about taking practical steps towards good health. During the group we all weigh and record our weight so that we can monitor it weekly to see the progress. We then have a group discussion about what we have eaten during the week and the exercise we have done. We eat a healthy lunch that we make ourselves and then we walk for two hours on a route near to the project.

"The Let’s Get Physical! campaign has given us new ideas about how to develop the group. It’s going from strength to strength."

As part of their campaign activity the Fighting Fit group will be producing a short video blog about their achievements in getting more active, eating well and losing weight. Hafal Blackwood service users will also be producing case studies about what they have done to become more healthy. Watch out for these on Hafal’s Facebook platform!

Thanks are also due to all the organisations who had a stand at today’s event including the GP Exercise Referral Scheme, local Food Co-op, Citizens Advice Bureau, Gofal, Pathways to Employment, Smoking Cessation and Drug Aid: it's fantastic that we can work together on the vital mission of improving the physical health of people with a mental illness and their families.