Flintshire service users highlight importance of taking small steps towards recovery

The importance of setting small, achievable steps on the journey towards recovery from serious mental illness was the theme of today’s ‘Movin On Up’ event in Flintshire.

Just two weeks before the campaign culminates with the Snowdon Challenge, a climb of Wales’ highest peak, service users and carers from the area reflected on a number of issues including: the importance of exercise; the benefits of being part of a social group; and the need for clear information which explains the recent changes to mental health legislation in Wales.

Service user Ed Davies will be climbing Snowdon in two weeks. Ed, who has received treatment for substance misuse, said: “Having a good support network has really helped my wife, who cares for me, and I, get our lives back on track. A new goal is set for me every day: achieving my daily goal gives me a lot of satisfaction. My journey towards recovery has been like climbing a mountain: one step at a time until the summit is reached.”

Ed’s wife, Karen, said: “Being a carer is hard work. It’s difficult for carers to confide with someone outside the family about what’s going on as there is often stigma associated with substance misuse. Carers often have to cope alone and in silence. Knowing that there are services available where I can talk to someone without being pitied or judged has changed my life.”

During today’s event, which was opened by Councilor Ann Minshull, Chair of Flintshire County Council, carers were asked to write one sentence on something that has helped them in their caring duties. Here’s a selection of the views expressed:

“I enjoy being able to talk to others in similar circumstances, it helps me feel I’m not alone.”

“Having social groups has really reduced my isolation, I have something to go out for now.”

“Being involved in Hafal’s carers’ groups has boosted my self-confidence and encouraged me to voice my opinion to other organisations, too.”

“Getting information about the recent changes to mental health legislation has helped me understand how my son’s care will change for the better.”

“I think the Snowdon Challenge will prove to be a fantastic day; a real statement will be made.”

“I’ve been exercising to help keep my depression away. I started with small steps and now I feel I have a brighter future.”

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, later this month. The campaign will also feature an interactive stand at the National Assembly on World Mental Health Day.

For more pictures from the event please visit Hafal’s Facebook page.
For more information on the campaign, including The Snowdon Challenge, please visit: www.hafal.org.
To get the latest updates on Twitter please go to: http://twitter.com/#!/hafal_