The importance of education and training for recovery from serious mental illness was one of the talking points at today’s “Movin’ On Up” event in Blaenau Gwent.

Speaking about training in relation to his recovery from serious mental illness Blaenau Gwent service user Rob Mckeown said: “I went on a confidence-building course shortly after coming to Hafal, this made me realise that despite my issues, namely anxiety and depression, I can still make a positive contribution to my community. I have recently attended a presentation skills seminar at Hafal’s Head Office; I also completed a 10-week counselling course and work as a volunteer for Hafal.

“I would love to return to work if possible. If you’re employed you’ve got a focus in life, structure in your day. If people want to get better they need the chance to get back to work. There should be more support for people with a disability, not cuts. It’s hard enough getting a job if you haven’t got a disability. My ultimate goal is to have employment in some form be it part or full-time work.”

The aim of the campaign is to maximise the opportunities for recovery from serious mental illness which are provided by the draft Welsh Government Mental Health Strategy, “Together for Mental Health”, and the historic Mental Health (Wales) Measure. The Measure is hugely significant because it affords service users key new rights and has finally given users of secondary mental health services in Wales the legal right to a comprehensive holistic Care and Treatment Plan covering areas such as: accommodation; finance and money; and education and training.

The “Movin’ On Up” campaign is run by service users and carers and supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation. 22 weekly county events are taking place and the campaign will culminate in a climb of Wales’ highest peak, Snowdon, in September. The campaign will also feature an interactive stand at the Royal Welsh Show and, on World Mental Health Day, at the National Assembly.

For more pictures from the event go to Hafal’s Facebook page.

• For more information on the campaign please visit:

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