#DeedsNotWords September Update: Women across Wales set out their priorities for mental health

We have enjoyed some fantastic #DeedsNotWords events throughout September!

#DeedsNotWords is our campaign highlighting the mental health issues facing women in Wales in 2018.

The campaign includes 22 county events covering all of Wales. In September we held county events in Cardiff, Flintshire, Swansea, Rhondda Cynon Taf, Blaenau Gwent, Carmarthenshire, Merthyr Tydfil and Caerphilly!

 

Women’s priorities

Throughout the campaign we’ve been speaking to women across Wales about their priorities for mental health.

Next month we’ll be presenting the findings of our national survey to Assembly Members at an event in the Senedd, Cardiff Bay.

Here’s a preview of some of the comments we’ve received so far:

“Long waiting time for first appointment after referral to CAMHS. Great need for more resources to be put into this service for help at an early stage. Hospital services are overstretched and more resources needed to ensure positive and safe environments for inpatients.”

 “Women need to be able to access services if they are in need, in a timely manner. Many people with mental health issues are put on a long waiting list so cannot access the support they need for long periods of time, if at all. Many of these women may not have the privilege of accessing private health care, so rely on the NHS services which are often understaffed.”

“I have worked in a custody setting as paid employment and as an appropriate adult and have seen first hand the difficulties facing women in a custody setting and the conditions they face need to be improved. As a mother and grandmother I know how difficult things can be and believe more help should be readily available.”

“Professionals tend to be quick to administer drugs, quick to sign you off as “solved”. ONLY if you ask a professional for referrals or signposting will you get it.”

“An acute inpatient setting is not the place for expectant mothers or those who have recently given birth. Wales needs dedicated units for peri and post natal inpatients, within north and south Wales.”

These comments provide just a flavour of the extensive feedback we have received throughout the campaign. Next month we will publish our campaign report online – this will summarise the key issues identified by women across Wales, and the actions needed to address those issues.

 

Campaign talk

We’ve also interviewed several women in September including:

  • Director of Cymorth Cymru Katie Dalton, service manager Ruth Wilson and Housing

Consultant Tracy Lee who spoke about mental health housing in our latest journal.

To read the latest interviews please follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

 

How can I take part in the campaign?

As well as attending our events we are asking women across Wales to:

  • register their support and tell us what they are going to do to champion the campaign
  • share their stories about how they tackled or overcame mental health problems
  • lobby their AMs and MPs to affect change
  • take part in our survey
  • reflect on their own wellbeing and make personal changes to improve their mental health
  • reach out and support other women who may be facing mental health or caring difficulties.

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.

We are asking everyone – women and men – to support the reach of the campaign, either by spreading the word or by following the campaign on social media (and using the hashtag #DeedsNotWords).

Find out about the #DeedsNotWords campaign at: hafal.org/deedsnotwords/