World Mental Health Day was celebrated at the Senedd earlier today as the culmination of “Movin’ On Up”, the summer-long national campaign led by mental health service users and carers and supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation.
As well as Assembly Members the event was attended by a large contingent of service users and carers from across Wales, plus key mental health professionals.
During the event AMs saw a film of the Snowdon Challenge which took place on 28th September when 100 service users, carers and professionals scaled Wales’ highest peak. The climb symbolised how service users can reach greater heights in their empowerment and recovery.
Speaking at the event Health and Social Services Minister Lesley Griffiths AM said: “One in four adults in Wales will experience mental health symptoms at some point in their lives. People who experience such problems need access to effective care and treatment. It is also very important we ensure service users and carers have their say on the policies and services which we know impact on their daily lives.
“‘Movin’ On Up’ accomplished just that. It has empowered service users, families and their carers and also highlighted the crucial role the third sector plays. Hafal and its partners, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation, deserve our thanks for making the campaign such a success over the summer.
“I was particularly interested to learn of the recent climb of Snowdon. The climb neatly symbolised the desire of service users to reach new heights and maximise their potential for recovery and to take control of their lives.
“Service users were at the heart of ‘Movin’ On Up’ and their views also informed the Welsh Government. Our philosophy that service users should be involved in the planning and delivery of care can be seen in both the Mental Health (Wales) Measure and the forthcoming Mental Health Strategy for Wales. ‘Together for Mental Health’ is one of the best Strategies I’ve seen as Minister and AM since I’ve been here since 2007. I think the reason for that is because service users have had such a big input in to it.”
The “Movin’ On Up” campaign, which aims to maximise the opportunities for recovery from serious mental illness which are provided by the draft Welsh Government’s new Mental Health Strategy “Together for Mental Health” and the historic Mental Health (Wales) Measure, was supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation, and included 22 county events and climbs of Pen y Fan and Snowdon.
Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Hafal, said: “We are extremely pleased with the campaign which has been a great success. In particular the Government has listened to us and ensured that the Measure and its Regulations and Code of Practice prescribe a holistic Care and Treatment Plan format and set timescales for producing Plans. We are also optimistic that the forthcoming Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and accompanying Delivery Plan will recognise that mental health services should be commissioned in response to the needs identified in Care and Treatment Plans – and that they must address all eight life areas included in those Plans.”