The challenges faced by people recovering from serious mental illness will be one of many issues discussed at Hafal’s forthcoming autumn conference, an event that comes at the climax of one of the most significant years in the history of the Welsh mental health sector.
Milestone legislation, successful campaigns, widespread discussion and the prospect of new mental health laws – it’s been an extremely busy year and Hafal, Wales’ leading charity for people with severe mental illness and their carers, has been at the forefront of much of the action.
This year’s conference, which takes place on Thursday November 13th at the Pavilion, Llandrindod Wells, promises to be a lively, colourful affair. Highlights will include:
A photography exhibition celebrating Hafal’s “Have You Clicked?” anti stigma campaign;
Workshop and debating sessions featuring Wales’ leading health professionals;
A workshop from the award-winning healthcare advertising agency, Langland;
“Art anarchy” , a chance for Hafal service users to express themselves in paint;
A taster session in the art of Tai Chi;
An opportunity to explore how to communicate effectively with the general public on mental health matters.
A strong creative element will underpin this year’s gathering with the prime attraction being a special exhibition of Hafal’s popular “Have You Clicked?” anti-stigma campaign. The aim of “Have You Clicked?” was to encourage service users, carers and members of the public to take photographs and, in so doing, raise awareness about mental health issues in Wales.
The fruits of the campaign, a diverse selection of photographs, were exhibited at the Senedd to commemorate World Mental Health Day. It followed events and workshops held in all the counties of Wales.
The exhibition, which was launched by Minister for Health and Social Services, Edwina Hart AM, attracted a great deal of interest from AMs and the general public.
The display was the subject of a feature on the Welsh political TV programme am:pm and, more recently, some of the campaign’s best shots graced two prestigious BBC photographic displays in Cardiff and Swansea city centres.
There’s clearly a lot to reflect on and much to look forward to in the Welsh mental health sector and members of the media would be made very welcome at Hafal’s conference.
“This has been a hugely significant time for mental health in Wales,” says Hafal Chairman, Peter Davey.
“It will be remembered as the year that brought it with the prospect of real change – and the year that Hafal made giant strides in shaping the future of mental health services.”