Health Minister launches 2014 Let’s Get Physical! campaign

Let’s Get Physical!, a groundbreaking 2014 campaign led by mental health service users andcarers in Wales, was officially launched at the Pierhead building in CardiffBay today by Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM.

The event wasattended by service users and carers from across Wales as well as AMs, policymakers and health professionals. During the launch event today guests had theopportunity to:-

  • Learn more about Let’s Get Physical! and how they can get involved in the campaign
  • Watch live demos of how to make healthy fast food on a budget
  • Get a physical health check up from a qualified healthcare professional in the Mobile Health Centre
  • Have a go at Nia, a sensory-based movement practice that draws from martial arts and dance arts
  • Get information, advice and guidance from Hafal, Bipolar UK, the Mental Health Foundation, Diverse Cymru and the National Centre for Mental Health
  • Network with service users, carers and professionals from across Wales.

The Let’sGet Physical! campaign sets a challenge to mental health service users andcarers to radically improve their physical health by:

  • sourcing and preparing healthy, high quality, good value food
  • finding ways to become more active
  • getting the right support from health professionals to stay well.

People with a serious mental illness have a life expectancy around 17 yearslower than the general population and this is mainly caused by preventablephysical health problems. As for carers – 80% have seen a negative impact ontheir physical health as a result of caring and many put this down to alack of practical support. Let’sGet Physical! will see service users, carers, health professionalspoliticians and policy makers working together to change this.

Launching the campaign the Health Minister MarkDrakeford said: “I am delighted to be able to launch the Let’s Get Physical! campaign today. Iam particularly impressed by the way Let’sGet Physical! is empowering service users to take control of their ownphysical health.  I will be following the success of the campaignthroughout the summer.”

Nigel Griffiths, amember of the Service User and Carer Panel leading the campaign, said:”It’s been a fantastic day and a great start to a really ambitious and engagingcampaign. It’s heartening to see the support Let’s Get Physical! isgetting from politicians, policy makers and health professionals as well asservice users and carers. I can already see the Let’s Get Physical! message capturing people’s imaginations. I’m really looking forward to seeingwhat happens in the 22 county events throughout the summer!”