Hafal launches national campaign for women’s mental health: #DeedsNotWords!

Hafal launched a new national campaign at an event in the Wales Millennium Centre, Cardiff Bay last night. The campaign – #DeedsNotWords – will highlight the mental health issues facing women in 2018, and will include 22 county events covering all of Wales.

Hafal Chair Elin Jones who is on the panel leading the campaign said: “The #MeToo and #TimesUp campaigns have shown that in many situations women’s voices have still not been heard, and there are many women today in prisons and in mental hospitals who have despaired of ever being heard at all. Women with mental illness all too often find themselves being punished for being ill.”

Hafal’s Director of Public and Corporate Affairs Nicola Thomas who is also on the campaign panel said: “A hundred years ago women won the right to vote through campaigning and direct action, calling for Deeds Not Words. We want to celebrate that centenary with a campaign on a new front line for women – the right to mental health and wellbeing.

“As women in 2018 we have rights, power and influence which we can use in place of the direct action which women had recourse to in fighting for the vote. But Deeds Not Words still applies because our campaign is about moving beyond discussion and making real changes.”

The campaign is proposing ten actions to address the issues facing the most vulnerable and at risk, and women in general. The actions will target:

  • Inpatients
  • Prisoners
  • Women in care
  • Female users of specialist mental health services
  • Female users in primary care
  • Women with eating disorders
  • Young women and girls with mental health problems
  • Mothers
  • Female carers
  • All women.

As well as attending events across Wales women will be asked to register their support and say what they are going to do to champion the campaign, as well as sharing their stories about how they tackled or overcame mental health problems. Women will also be asked to lobby their AMs and MPs to affect change, and reflect on their own wellbeing and make personal changes to improve their mental health.

“The campaign will also ask women across Wales to reach out and support other women who may be facing mental health or caring difficulties,” said Carina Edwards, a service user and mental health consultant sitting on the campaign panel.

“We are also calling on women in Wales with power and influence to change policies and legislate in order to support those women who are most vulnerable. We will ask the same of men in power.”

The campaign will include stands at the Royal Welsh Show and the National Eisteddfod, a national survey of women in Wales measuring the performance of the NHS and Social Services, and a concluding event at the Senedd on World Mental Health Day (10th October 2018) where the panel will set out what the campaign has achieved – and what they will do next.

Find out more about the campaign