Hafal’s Autumn Conference shows the Road to Recovery

Above: Gwenda Thomas AM races on the Hafal Road to Recovery track

Hafal welcomed visitors from across the country – including the Welsh Assembly’s new Carers’ Champion and Deputy Health Minister Gwenda Thomas AM – to Llandrindod Wells this week for the charity’s 2007 Autumn Recovery Conference.

The theme of this year’s conference was the Road to Recovery, with a special focus on treatments for serious mental illness, both medication and psychological therapies, tying in with Hafal’s newly launched publication ‘Treatments for Severe mental illness – a practical guide.’

The day was a big success and featured well-attended workshops and discussion forums alongside displays and exhibitions created by service users from all of Hafal’s 22 local projects across Wales.

Welsh Assembly Health and Social Services Minister Edwina Hart AM was due to speak at the conference but was unable to attend. Her place was taken by Gwenda Thomas, the Deputy Minister, who conveyed the Minister’s words.

“Hafal is an important partner in delivering mental health services, and the Minister fully supports their belief that people who have direct experience of mental illness know best how services can be delivered,” she said.

“I commend Hafal’s new publication on treatments for mental illness, which was launched at the Senedd on World Mental Health Day. The guide focuses on the roles of both psychological therapies and medical treatment in the road to recovery from serious mental illness.

“In order to be effective, treatment should take into account all areas of a person’s life, tailored to individual circumstances and specific needs, and this involves meaningful engagement, active support and listening from service providers, to help patients live better lives.”