MOVIN’ ON UP 2012: Aberystwyth service users keen to ensure Measure fulfils its promise

“How can service users ensure the Mental Health (Wales) Measure lives up to its potential?” was one of the questions raised at the “Movin’ On Up” campaign event in Aberystwyth today.

Hafal Aberystwyth Practice Leader Ruth Wilson said: “It’s great to have the Measure but will it really make a difference? It’s no good having a law which is good in theory but which doesn’t deliver what service users and carers want. If the Measure ‘does what it says on the tin’ then it will be a real step forward. The important thing is that there are some good systems in place to check that we can make the most of the new law.

“In terms of my illness I was pre-Care and Treatment Plans; my recovery from serious mental illness was more by luck than design. The Measure means users of secondary mental health services will finally have a legal right to an holistic Care and Treatment Plan covering all eight life areas (accommodation; education and training; finance and money; medical and other forms of treatment including psychological interventions; parenting or caring relationships; personal care and physical well-being; social, cultural or spiritual; work and occupation). If Plans like these were around when I was younger my process of recovery would have speeded up phenomenally. In fact if holistic Care and Treatment Plans were available when I was ill I think my recovery would have taken six months as opposed to the five years it actually took.”

Hafal will launch a new publication designed to help service users get the most from the new Care and Treatment Plans (which will be introduced on June 6th) next month. The guide, “Care and Treatment Planning: a step-by-step guide for secondary mental health service users” will be launched along with the Code of Practice for the Mental Health (Wales) Measure by Health and Social Services Minister Lesley Griffiths AM at the Pierhead Building, Cardiff, on June 11th. To view the guide online please click here.

The “Movin’ On Up” campaign is run by service users and carers and supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation. 22 weekly county events are taking place and the campaign will culminate in a climb of Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon, in September. The campaign will also feature an interactive stand at the Royal Welsh Show and, on World Mental Health Day, at the National Assembly.

·         For more pictures from the event go to Hafal’s Facebook page.

·         To get the latest updates on Twitter please go to: http://twitter.com/#!/hafal_