Hafal (meaning ‘equal’) is the principal organisation in Wales working with individuals recovering from serious mental illness and their families. We are managed by the people we support – individuals with serious mental illness and their families.
Every day our staff and volunteers provide help to over 1,500 people affected by serious mental illness: this includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other diagnoses which typically involve psychosis or high levels of care, and which may require hospital treatment.
What’s our mission?
Hafal is founded on the belief that people who have direct experience of mental illness know best how services can be delivered.
Providing support across the seven local health board areas of Wales, Hafal is dedicated to empowering people with serious mental illness and their families to:
- achieve a better quality of life
- fulfil their ambitions for recovery
- fight discrimination
- enjoy equal access to health and social care, housing, income, education, and employment.
What do we do?
Hafal delivers a range of services to people with serious mental health illness including direct support and advice, support in a crisis, contact with others by phone, advocacy, support in a group setting, introductions for befriending, and employment and training projects. We also give clients a much-needed voice in the planning of mental health services.
Underpinning our services to clients, families and members is our own Recovery Programme. This Programme is based on modern principles of self-management and empowerment. It encourages clients and families to work towards recovery with the help of Hafal’s staff and other supporters by taking a more methodical approach to improving all areas of life.
As well as providing services Hafal campaigns vigorously through research, publications and media work to improve services for clients and families and to remove stigma and isolation associated with serious mental illness. Hafal is also represented on the Welsh Assembly Government’s Implementation Group which advises on implementation of the Mental Health Strategy for Wales.
Who runs Hafal?
Hafal is a member-led organisation. We have taken the lead in promoting collective client participation at all levels through our Partnership Compact which formalises client management of local services and engages clients in membership and governance. Clients in every project meet routinely with staff to make formal management decisions. Members are also represented on an all-Wales committee of elected Trustees comprising mainly clients and families. The fundamental principles which govern Hafal are set out in its Memorandum and Articles of Association.
The Welsh Assembly Government’s 2013 Mental Health Strategy informs and guides Hafal’s policy and operations. Hafal is supported by the Welsh Assembly Government, local statutory purchasers, and grant-making trusts.
Where can you find us?
Hafal’s services cover all of Wales. Our Programme is supported by 22 local networks covering each local authority in the country. These networks depend on local staff and volunteers to offer a flexible service to families and individuals.
Our main office is in Neath although we have resource centres across the country. To get in touch with us go to our Contacts page.
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Charity number 1093747. Registered company number 4504443. Matthew Pearce Head of Communications