Hafal to launch “Let’s Talk!” psychological therapies initiative at the Senedd on World Mental Health Day

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“Let’s Talk!”, a new Hafal initiative to promote access to talking therapies for people in Wales with a serious mental illness, will be formally launched at an event in the Senedd on World Mental Health Day (Monday 10th October 2016).

The innovative new project, which has received £204,000 funding from the Big Lottery People and Places programme, will promote and raise awareness about evidence-based psychological therapies and interventions for people in Wales with a serious mental illness. Activities and services will include the development of user-friendly guides about therapies, the creation of dedicated web pages, a training programme for staff and interested groups, and the provision of feedback to LHBs about the therapies they provide.

The initiative will also scope and map service availability across Wales, as well as collating, processing and analysing data to improve regional and Wales-wide understanding of talking therapies.

The “Let’s Talk!” launch takes place between 11am and 2pm in the Senedd at an event sponsored by Dai Lloyd AM. Guests will have the opportunity to meet key members of staff delivering the initiative, and will hear from service users whose recovery has been greatly enhanced by receiving psychological therapies.

The initiative was developed by Hafal’s Expert Leadership Panel (HELP) – a group of knowledgeable, creative and talented people, including service users and carers, who use their direct experience to help with Hafal’s campaigning and its development and delivery of services.

Christine Wilson, Hafal’s Senior Consultant who manages “Let’s Talk!” and facilitates the HELP panel, said: “The aim of the initiative is to address an unmet need for many people across Wales.

“Hafal Members know from experience that psychological therapies can be hugely beneficial in the recovery process, yet it can be extremely difficult and costly to access these services.

“The new initiative aims to address these issues head-on, raising awareness both locally and nationally of the effectiveness of talking therapies – and the difficulties in accessing them.”

Alun Thomas, Hafal’s Chief Executive, said: “ “Let’s Talk!” will promote and raise awareness about talking therapies for people with a serious mental illness across Wales.

“Many of our clients have had difficulty accessing talking therapies, even though evidence clearly suggests that they have a significant impact in promoting recovery from mental illness.

“The new initiative will see us developing user-friendly guides and online resources about talking therapies, and a new training programme. And through research and campaigning we can ensure that improving access to talking therapies is on the national agenda.”

Highlighting the importance of the People and Places programme which funds the new initiative, Rona Aldrich, Wales Committee Member for the Big Lottery Fund, said: “Programmes like People and Places are making a difference to the lives of so many people in communities across Wales.

“It delivers on our promise to use National Lottery funding to regenerate and revitalise communities, tackle disadvantage head on and leave a lasting legacy.”