Let’s Get Physical! 2014 campaign celebrated at an event in Cardiff today

Let’s Get Physical! – a 2014 national campaign run by mentalhealth service users and carers – reached its climax today at an event held in StFagans, Cardiff to mark World Mental Health Day. The event was attended by MarkDrakeford AM and Kevin Brennan MP as well as service users and carers fromacross Wales, and saw the launch of:-

·         A new Let’s GetPhysical! guide for mental health services on how to promote physicalhealth, based on the experiences and insights of hundreds of service users andcarers across Wales

·         A new Let’s GetPhysical! website for mental health services providing tools andinformation on promoting physical health

·         A Let’s GetPhysical! Report giving an overview of the campaign’s many achievements.

Visitors at today’s event had the opportunity to watch live demonstrations of how to prepare hearty andnutritious meals on a budget; get a physical health check from a qualifiedhealthcare professional in the Mobile Health Centre; have a go at spinning,Choi Kwang Do, salsa dancing and table tennis, and meet mental health serviceusers, carers and professionals from across Wales.

The 2014 ‘Let’s GetPhysical!’ campaign was led by people with a serious mental illness and carers,and supported by mental health charities Hafal, Bipolar UK and the MentalHealth Foundation; DiverseCymru helped to ensure thecampaign reached out to minority and disadvantaged communities. During Summer 2014 the campaign engaged thousands of peopleacross the 22 counties of Wales in 2014 including:

  • Over 3000 service users and carers using Hafal and Bipolar UK services who took part in local Let’s Get Physical! activities run through our projects across Wales
  • Many thousands of people who attended the 22 local events covering all the counties of Wales, the launch of the campaign by Health and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford at the Assembly, and the Royal Welsh Show event
  • Tens of thousands of people who followed and interacted with the campaign via the online social media channels of Hafal, the Mental Health Foundation, Bipolar UK and Diverse Cymru
  • The 65,000 unique visitors who visited Hafal’s websites – including the dedicated ‘Let’s Get Physical!’ website – and saw coverage of the campaign in the local and national media.

As a result, service users and carers across Wales are nowmuch better equipped to improve their physical health – and mental health servicesare better equipped to support service users and carers to achieve theirphysical health goals.

Participants scored the effectiveness of the campaign (outof 10) as follows:

  • In supporting them be more physically active – average score 9.4
  • In supporting them improve their diet – average score 8.9
  • In supporting them to get the right support from their GP to stay physically well – average score 8.5

JunaidIqbal, a member of the campaigns Service User and Carer Panel, said: “Whatwe’ve been doing, and what we will continue to do in the coming years, is totake the side of the users of mental health services and empower them to engagefully with those services. We’re promoting co-production – where services andservice users work together in partnership in an equal relationship to achievethe very best outcome.”

For more pictures from today’s event go to: en-gb.facebook.com/Hafal