Friday 3 October 2014


Today Let's Get Physical! reached Neath Port Talbot at an event which included a healthy eating buffet, a zumba exercise class - and a Wii Fit competition.

I had a go on on a Wii boxing game in the office a year or two back - good fun but it strained my arms somewhat as I punched into thin air - instead of connecting satisfactorily with somebody's face I suppose?

Visitors at today's event also had the opportunity to get key health checks in the Mobile Health Centre which has journeyed to all 22 counties of Wales during the summer.

Alison Guyatt, Hafal's Recovery Centre Manager and a registered nurse, said: "We developed the Mobile Health Centre to raise awareness of the range of physical health checks that people recovering from serious mental illness - and their carers - can access through their GP and Primary Care Team.

"Our Let's Get Physical! nurses have been travelling across Wales and providing visitors at our 22 county events with the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked, their weight and height recorded and have a basic blood glucose check carried out.

"The message is simple: people with a mental illness and their carers should receive the right support from health professionals to stay physically healthy as well as mentally healthy - and it's something that we all have to work together to achieve."

Over 300 people have received a physical health check from the Mobile Health Centre during the campaign. While the results of these health checks remain private to individuals, overall findings indicate that:

• 18% of people were found to have above threshold blood pressure

• 47% of people were found to have above threshold blood glucose levels

• 10% of people were found to have both above threshold blood pressure and blood glucose levels.

People who were found to have above threshold blood pressure or blood glucose levels were strongly advised to make an early appointment with their GP, and further support is being offered to service users or carers through each of Hafal’s local projects.

Morgan Williams, a service user from Neath Port Talbot, said: "I think the Mobile Health Centre was a great way of getting people to know about the key checks they should be getting from their local surgery. The campaign has shown that people with a mental illness and their carers have physical health concerns which need to be addressed on a regular basis. The Mobile Health Centre delivered a really friendly service and it gave us a record which we can take with us to our GP."

Let's Get Physical! sets a challenge – both to service users and carers, and to service providers and policy makers – to radically improve the physical health of people with a mental illness and their carers. The campaign is supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation; Diverse Cymru helps us to ensure that the campaign reaches out to minority and disadvantaged communities. The campaign was launched by Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM in May and includes 22 events covering all the counties of Wales.


Meanwhile on the window sills of the Blog household there is increasing divergence between those who take the Let's Get Physical! message on board...

Rhys about to leap 12 feet onto the pavement

and those who do not...

Huw (aka "Huge" by virtue of his indolence and consequent great weight) not going anywhere