News Round-up 26.01.04


The Citizens Advice Bureau has announced that people need better legal rights if their state of mind makes them incapable of understanding consumer contracts they have signed up to.

The charity is urging peers to support amendments to the Mental Capacity Bill which would give people the right to cancel or challenge agreements when there is clear evidence that a contract has not been understood by the consumer because of their mental incapacity.

Evidence from Citizens Advice Bureaux shows that difficulties in managing personal finances due to loss of mental capacity can lead to severe debt problems, often ending up in court, and sometimes resulting in people losing their homes.

Citizens Advice Director of Policy Teresa Perchard said: “The bill is at serious risk of disadvantaging people with mental health problems when it comes to everyday purchases, by failing to provide appropriate protection in a competitive marketplace. We often find people are subjected to high pressure selling, or can be tricked into signing contracts for loans or major purchases.”

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Training & Education

ELWa are currently looking at the results of a consultation on Learning Community Accounts (LCAs). The Accounts would give communities the resources they need to get more people involved in learning – for instance, those who have barriers to accessing education.

Elwa will soon be publishing their outline proposals on their website:

Click here to find out more about training & education

Social Life

Have you visited the website yet? This new website is a gateway to internet resources relating to Wales providing a wealth of information on arts and recreation, volunteering, travelling around Wales, plus details of local events and organisations.

Click here to find out more about improving your social life

Other Treatment & Therapy

According to a new study, sixty eight per cent of British adults think that complementary medical disciplines can be as valid as conventional medicine.

The survey, conducted by The Diagnostic Clinic in London, found that only 24 per cent of people believe western medicine to be the only legitimate way of diagnosing and treating health problems. The evidence suggests that complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is now seen as a mainstream part of healthcare in the UK.

Commenting, Dr Rajendra Sharma, Medical Director of The Diagnostic Clinic, said: “These findings demonstrate that public opinion has developed more rapidly than the traditional medical community can deliver. People want, and deserve, a greater range of health options, yet few doctors have the breadth of knowledge to advise on the best complementary options available.”

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Physical Health

The Mental Health Foundation – a UK organization that uses research and practical projects to help people with mental health problems – is exploring the use of exercise as a treatment for mild to moderate depression.

As part of this project, the Foundation is gathering people’s opinions about exercise and depression. Responses will form the basis of a report on exercise and depression which will be available on the Mental Health Foundation’s website in March.

To find out more or to take part, visit:

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Mental health charity Hafal is working on providing simple, patient-friendly advice on medication covering efficacy, side effects and management issues. The information will be provided in a table format so that people will be able to compare medications as easily as possible.

Mental Health Wales will be publishing the new guide to medication within the next few months – keep visiting to find out more.

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Age Positive Cymru has enlisted the aid of Welsh celebrities to fight ageist discrimination in the workplace.

John Humphrys and Aled Jones are amongst those supporting Age Positive Cymru, a Government campaign promoting the benefits of employing a mixed-age workforce that includes older and younger people.
For more information go to:

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Shelter Cymru’s Building Future Lives Campaign is inviting people to sign up to a petition to stop homelessness and bad housing in Wales.

The names of people who sign up will be published in newspapers across Wales in 2005. Find out more at

Click here to find out more about accommodation