Canolfan Dysgu
Hafal Learning Centre
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in Wales.

Taking the Wheel



Who will run the 2011 “Taking the Wheel” campaign?
“Taking the Wheel” will be run by people with a serious mental illness. Service-user led organisations Hafal and MDF the Bipolar Organisation Cymru will work in partnership with the Mental Health Foundation to support the campaign.

Who is the campaign for?
“Taking the Wheel” will engage those people in Wales who are receiving secondary mental health services or who have serious mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other diagnoses which typically require high levels of care.

What will the campaign achieve?
“Taking the Wheel” will see mental health service users taking more control of their lives and the services they receive. The campaign will empower people with serious mental illness to:

• Take the driving seat in managing their own recovery from mental illness
Service users will learn from other service users how to self-manage, take the lead on care planning and adopt a positive and progressive approach to improving their lives.

• Make use of their new rights under the Mental Health Measure
Service users will gain key new rights under the new Mental Health (Wales) Measure: the campaign will raise awareness about these new rights among service users – and highlight how they can make the most of them.

• Make choices about the care and treatment they receive – and who provides it
The campaign will raise awareness of the ways in which service users can be empowered to make decisions about their care and treatment and exercise choice when accessing services – for example, by using Direct
Payments or by selecting from a choice of providers.

• Develop and manage services themselves
Peer-led services are proven to be effective because service users can identify with those delivering the services. The campaign will encourage participants to be more ambitious about developing and managing services themselves.

• Engage with the providers of mental health services so that they can get more involved in planning and commissioning those services
“Taking the Wheel” will encourage service users to make their voices heard and engage in the running of local services. Consumers of services know best how services should be delivered, and service users will be encouraged to take full advantage of opportunities to get involved.

What about current mental health issues in Wales?
“Taking the Wheel” also provides an opportunity for service users and carers to engage in current campaigning issues and ensure that:

● the Mental Health (Wales) Measure has a robust Code of Practice and Regulations
● the Assembly Government’s Annual Quality Framework target for full compliance by the NHS with the Care Programme Approach is fully implemented
● there are sufficient resources for mental health services, and the mental health budget is protected
● service users get a fair deal on benefits.

What’s taking place during the campaign?
“Taking the Wheel” will feature a rally around Wales in a classic VW microbus with a number of regional and national events. People will be able literally to ‘take the wheel’ as they race in our camper van rally simulator. “Taking the Wheel” will be officially launched at a Seminar on May 12th in Builth Wells run by service users. The Seminar will explore the ways in which services users can be empowered to take control of their own recovery and have their say on the services they receive. 22 weekly events will follow from May to September, one in each county, and major events will take place at the National Eisteddfod and Royal Welsh Show.

Why are the three campaign organisations working together on “Taking the Wheel”?
For many years user-led charity Hafal has pioneered a recovery model which has been widely adopted in Wales – empowering users to take
responsibility for their own lives and plan the steps towards their goals. MDF the Bipolar Organisation Cymru and the Mental Health Foundation have pioneered the development and delivery of self-management training to service users, providing clients with the tools they need to govern their own lives. The “Taking the Wheel” campaign unites the three organisations in their aim to put service users in the driving seat – both in terms of their own recovery and in the wider delivery of mental health services.


Suite C2
William Knox House
Britannic Way, Llandarcy
Neath SA10 6EL
Tel: 01792 816600
Fax: 01792 813056
Email: Web:

Mental Health Foundation
 Wales Office
Merlin House
No. 1 Langstone Business Park
Priory Drive
Newport NP18 2HJ
Tel: 01633 415 434

MDF the BiPolar
Organisation Cymru
22-29 Mill Street
Newport NP20 5HA
Tel: 01633 244244
Fax: 01633 244111
Email:   Web:


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