All Together Now! 2015 National Campaign to Launch in Cardiff Bay on 14th May

Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM willlaunch the mental health service user and carer-led music campaign at the NorwegianChurch Arts Centre on Thursday 14th May 2015


All Together Now!, a groundbreaking 2015 music campaign led by peoplein Wales with a mental illness and their carers, will be officially launched atthe Norwegian Church Arts Centre in Cardiff Bay on Thursday (14th May) byHealth and Social Services Minister Mark Drakeford AM. The event will beattended by service users and carers from across Wales as well as AMs, policymakers and health professionals, and will include a set of live performances.

The All TogetherNow! campaign aims to improve the sociallives of people with a mental illness and their carers across Wales.

Getting out, meeting peopleand taking part in activities can have a huge impact on people’s recovery frommental illness, but it’s not often addressed when planning for recovery. The All Together Now! campaign aims to do something about this. Run by serviceusers and carers and supported by Hafal, Bipolar UK, the Mental HealthFoundation and Diverse Cymru, thecampaignroadshow will travel across Wales withmusic festivals and events taking place in each of the 22 counties. On thejourney we will reach out to thousands of people across Wales affected bymental illness – both in rural and urban areas – and give them the opportunityto enhance their social lives.

At the launch event inCardiff guests will be entertained by performers including the Neath Ukele Band; the event will also be attended by Craig Yates andDavid Mahoney from Welsh Classical Brit Award-winning ensemble Only Men Aloud

Guests will also have theopportunity to:

  • hear from the All Together Now! panel members about the aims of the campaign
  • hear from the partners in All Together Now! about why the campaign is so important and timely for people in Wales with a mental illness and their carers
  • visit the All Together Now! Tour Bus
  • enjoy a light buffet lunch while networking with mental health service users, carers and professionals from across Wales.

Malcolm O’Callaghan, a member of the Service User and CarerPanel leading the campaign and a practitioner at Hafal, said: “Manypeople in Waleswith a mental illness and their carers feel lonely and isolated, so this is avery timely campaign which we hope will have a significant impact on thequality of life of people across Wales.

“Throughout the summer we’ll work to reach aswide an audience as possible by inviting people affected by mental illness tovisit our projects and join our local networks, and by engaging with facilitiesand leisure opportunities in our communities. A key part of the campaign willbe promoting best practice in care planning and ensuring that social life goalsare included in our care plans and carers’ assessments.”

Emily Wooster, Head of Development for Wales at theMental Health Foundation, said: “Music makes the people come together, as Madonna oncesaid! So the All Together Now! roadshow willtravel across Waleswith music festivals and events taking place in each of the 22 counties. Wewant everyone to be able to take part – performing, or spectating, the aim is toconnect and have fun.”

Michelle Sumner of Bipolar UK, a member of the ServiceUser and Carer Panel, said: “Theroadshow is just one part of ourcampaign.We’ll also work to reachas wide an audience as possible byinvitingpeople affected by mental illnessacross Wales to visit our projectsandjoin our local Networks aswell as engaging with facilities andleisureopportunities in ourcommunities.

“The aim is to empowerpeople to make lasting changes to their lives which will support theirrecovery.”

Diverse Cymru’s Pouran Jamshidi, a member of the Service User and Carer Panel, said: “Ifound greatcomfort in music during my low times and I wish I could have more opportunitiesto share and enjoy music for myself and my family. I understand the importanceof socialising but I find it difficult in my circumstances, so I’m lookingforward to participating in All Together Now! and I hope that I can bring some Persian inspiration to the project!”

As well as engaging peoplewith a mental illness and their carers, AllTogether Now!  also calls on theWelsh Government to develop targets for social integration of peoplewith a serious mental illness and their carers, and for mental health and otherservices to promote opportunities wider social integration.