Thursday, 21 February 2013

Hafal in Powys

This afternoon I met with Carina Edwards, who works for the mental health charity Hafal, based in Colwyn Bay. There was no sign of the famous VW camper van in the PAVO office car park, but I look forward to getting an on-board tour another time!

For those that don't know, Hafal is, in its own words:  “a member-led charity run by the people it supports: people with a serious mental illness and their carers. We believe that people who have experienced mental illness at first hand know best about how to achieve recovery.”

I like dipping into Bill’s Blog - by the Hafal Chief Executive Bill Walden-Jones (one of our favourite blogs - link on the right). You never know what you might find... photos of his cats Rhys and Huw lazing around (pets are good for your mental health) or championing the value of psychological therapies for people with serious mental illness, including those who experience a psychotic illness.

Carina was in Powys to recruit a new Family Support Worker who will hopefully be based in Llandrindod Wells and start work in the next few weeks. The role was created to support carers of those with a serious mental illness, and is funded by Powys County Council. The previous worker had moved on after doing excellent work with about 60 carers across the county, setting up strong networks of carers, and also carrying out one-to-one work as required. Another particularly rewarding part of her role was to set up popular well-being days (of the spa and pampering variety).

Carina said that interestingly uptake had been much greater in South Powys, which was surprising considering the greater population in the North. I wonder why? What do you think? 

Do you know someone caring for a person with a serious mental illness such as schizophrenia or bipolar disorder? If they don't already know about the Hafal service, then watch this space, and we'll introduce you to the new worker when they start.

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