Tuesday 28 October 2014

Unsexy And Politically Incorrect

Hafal bows to nobody on our record of promoting an holistic approach to recovery from mental illness. Witness the success of Let's Get Physical! this year and a dozen previous initiatives, not least our successful campaign to ensure that Care and Treatment Plans prescribed under the Mental Health Measure require attention to eight "life areas". Plenty of people talk holistic but we walk the walk.

Plenty of people also bang on rightly about psychological therapies but not many have anything to say about the unsexy and borderline politically incorrect topic of medication, other than to try to push it out of sight as part of a "medical model" of mental health, a stale old argument which never took account of patients and families who are keen to consider all forms of treatment and don't for the most part bring ideology to the doctor's surgery - they just want what works and for serious mental illnesses that may well be a mix of both psychological and medical treatments.

One of the consequences of the hostility to medication (from busybodies not patients) was an argument that medication should not be a distinct category - alongside psychological therapies - in Care and Treatment Plans because (the politically correct people said) that would dignify medication too much.

The result was that the two types of treatment were lumped together and consequently (surprise surprise) psychological therapies were marginalised because it is easy to fill in the treatments "box" with details of medication only, as we warned all along.

Incidentally the Welsh Code of Practice under the Mental Health Act does distinguish the two types of treatment - because back then the hand-wringers didn't notice Hafal's influence on the Code until after it was settled. It's now being revised and may therefore change to reflect the Measure - which would be consistent but unfortunate.

Now, as part of our campaigning to promote choice and quality in treatments for mental illness, we have launched a new guide to treatments designed to give service users and carers key information on both psychological therapies and medication. See the guide on this link.

Hafal's 2014 treatments campaign is supported by Bipolar UK, Diverse Cymru and the Mental Health Foundation and aims to empower people with a serious mental illness in Wales and their carers to have their say on the services they receive – and to make an informed choice about their care and treatment.

The new guide includes an overview of the full range of treatments for serious mental illness including:

• In-depth psychotherapy
• Counselling
• Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) and Cognitive Analytic Therapy (CAT)
• Hypnotherapy
• Antipsychotics
• Mood Stabilizers
• Antidepressants
• "Complementary" Medicines.


For the record everybody agrees that in fact Hafal is very sexy (camper van and all) and always politically correct (in the literal sense).

And check out Hafal's sexy new website here: it not only looks good but tells it how it is and is never politically correct (in the pejorative sense).