Health Minister to Launch Pioneering Project for Vulnerable Young People in Gwent

Mark Drakeford AM will officially launch the “Up 4 It” initiative, which has been awarded £754,000 by the Big Lottery, on 14th November 2013 at the Post Grad Centre, Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr, Ystrad Mynach

A pioneering new project which will support some of the most vulnerable young people in the Gwent area will be launched at Ysbyty Ystrad Fawr by Health Minister Mark Drakeford on 14th November.

“Up 4 It”, a project run by the mental health charity Hafal in partnership with Aneurin Bevan Health Board, will deliver an Early Intervention Service for young people experiencing psychosis or at risk of developing psychosis. The project aims to support 600 young people aged 14-25 across the Gwent area over the next five years and has been awarded £754,000 funding from the Big Lottery’s Bright New Futures programme.

The project will:-

  • Provide timely and effective interventions appropriate to the early phase of a psychosis to support remission and prevent relapse
  • Offer a holistic package of support from pharmacotherapy, evidence-based psychosocial interventions including cognitive behavioural therapy, early signs monitoring and family intervention
  • Counter the risks of trauma, depression and suicide
  • Offer social and educational opportunities including access to training, work experience and Duke of Edinburgh Award schemes.

23-year-old service user Sarah Jones said: “This project will have a huge impact on the lives of young people with a mental illness in the area. If you get timely treatment when you first experience mental illness then you can be supported to stay in education or employment and prevent the illness from damaging the rest of your life. I have no doubt that the outlook for the clients of this new service will be greatly improved.”

Bill Walden-Jones, Chief Executive of Hafal, said: “We are pleased to be working with our LHB partners on a project which goes to the heart of all our ambitions for mental health services: engaging effectively at an early stage so that young people can make a decisive recovery. We are also delighted that this new initiative will embed our project staff with the NHS team at Aneurin Bevan which is a clear indication of the true partnership that we have developed.”