Mental health service users launch their manifesto for the 2011 National Assembly elections

Mental health service users have set out the commitments they want from candidates in the run up to May’s Assembly elections.

Members of service-user-led mental health charity Hafal have been speaking to the media about the new vision for mental health services they want from the next Assembly Government, and Expert Patient Dave Smith has officially launched Hafal’s manifesto calling for candidates to show their support for service user rights.

Sharon Harris, a service user and Hafal volunteer from Merthyr, and Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of the charity, were interviewed by ITV Wales this week about the key election issues for mental health service users and will be appearing on the “Wales Decides” programme at 10:35p.m. on Tuesday 5th April.

Above: Sharon Harris, service user and Hafal volunteer, and Bill Walden-Jones, Hafal Chief Executive, talk to ITV Wales

Meanwhile service user and Hafal Expert Patient Dave Smith (below) has launched Hafal’s manifesto giving details of what patients want from services in the next term of government.

Dave said: “In the past year we have taken our campaign microbus to all 22 counties of Wales to find out what Hafal Members have to say about mental health. What people told us is that Wales needs a new vision for mental health.

“We’re asking candidates to assure us that if they gain a seat at the Assembly they will support people with a mental illness by protecting funding for services, delivering on new mental health law and regulations, and putting patients in the driving seat of their own recovery.”

All candidates will be receiving Dave’s manifesto which is now available online. Service users from across Wales are planning to challenge candidates about mental health issues over the coming month and to ensure that patients’ voices are heard in the run up to the election.

 To read Dave’s manifesto please click here