Prison Mental Health Services in Focus at Hafal AGM 2005

The lack of adequate mental health services for mentally disordered offenders (MDOs) will be one of the discussion points at Welsh mental health charity Hafal’s 2005 Annual General Meeting to be held at Llandrindod Wells on 17th November.

Research undertaken by the charity shows a number of weaknesses in the process of recognising and treating mental illness amongst MDOs. During the day, seminars will give attendees the opportunity to question a number of professionals about the problems, and to consider how they could be overcome. Speakers will include Cathy Stancer, Director of Women in Prisons; Dave Spurgeon of NACRO; South Wales Police Mental Health Liaison Officer, Penny Roberts, and a representative from the Prison Reform Trust.

Julie Davies, Training and Events Manager at Hafal, said: “The seminars will bring service users and carers together with key people from the criminal justice and mental health field, providing the opportunity for a productive discussion about mental health in the criminal justice system.

“This is an area that has long been neglected and that needs urgent action. We hope that the seminars will promote a greater awareness of the issues amongst our Members and mental health and criminal justice professionals, and signal the need for change.”

A “Recovery Fair” will also run during the day including 22 interactive exhibition stands covering every area of Wales, plus information stands covering a range of subjects, and a cybercafé. And if attendees are feeling creative they can attend Visual Art workshops with Maria Hayes, Artist and Tutor, or creative writing workshops with author John Davies. The day will also include a User Activists Forum and an All-Wales Carers’ Forum, where service users and carers can raise issues specific to them.