If you need help with your mental health in Wales, there are lots of places you can go. Given that 1 in 4 of us will experience problems with our mental health at some point, it is important that we have resources available to help us and those who are affected by others’ mental health problems.
When talking about mental health problems, what makes matters worse is the fact that there is often a lot of stigma and discrimination.
In Wales, the government has put together a document entitled Together for Mental Health: A Strategy for Mental Health and Wellbeing in Wales. This is a strategy for ten years that bases itself on the improvement of the lives of those who use mental health services in Wales as well as their families and carers. You can find the strategy here.
Furthermore, the National Assembly for Wales has introduced The Mental Health (Wales) Measure, which is a piece of law that was introduced to bring about significant changes to mental health support for people suffering from mental health issues in Wales. This is the website that goes into more detail about The Measure: http://wales.gov.uk/topics/health/nhswales/healthservice/mental-health-services/measure/?lang=en
What is the NHS doing in Wales with regards to mental health support?
In Wales, there is a national programme called Health Challenge Wales. This programme encourages people to share the responsibility of their own health. Their website helps people by giving them information about the things they can do to help them improve their wellbeing and their mental health. Here is the website: https://healthchallengewales.org/.
Other organisations that can help
Meic Cymru is a helpline that is free and confidential for people up to age 25, including children. If you don’t like speaking on the phone you can text or instant message them. They use both Welsh and English and are there to give you advice, support and information. They open each day from 8 am until midnight. Their phone number is 08088023456 and their text message number is 84001. You can find out more on their website: www.meiccymry.org.
If you or someone you know is in crisis, the Samaritans can help you. They offer emotional support that is non-judgemental and confidential. This organisation is dedicated to people who are experiencing feelings of despair and distress and supports those with suicidal thoughts too. They have a 24-hour telephone line (08457909090) or you can email email@example.com. For more information about this vital service, visit their website: www.samaritans.org.
Time To Change Wales
This is a great organisation that aims to end the stigma that surrounds mental health conditions. They have a partnership with two Welsh mental health charities: Mind Cymru and Hafal.
Mind Cymru gathers their information by people who have experience of mental health conditions. They aim to change how society sees mental health. You can find out more at their website: https://www.mind.org.uk/about-us/mind-cymru/
Hafal means ‘equal’. This is the main Welsh organisation that works with people who are recovering from mental health conditions. They also support people’s families too. Their website has lots more information: http://www.hafal.org/.
Time To Change Wales also has a list of key mental health organisations on their website where you can seek support: https://www.timetochangewales.org.uk/en/need-help/.
Support by Region
There is lots of support available in the different areas of Wales.
ABM (Abertawe Bro Morgannwg) Mental Health Services provide a range of support for adult and older people in Swansea, Neath Port Talbot, Western Vale of Glamorgan, Bridgend and Ystradgynylais.
Cardiff and Vale University Health Board Mental Health Services work in collaboration with lots of different agencies including charities and the local authority. They have teams that work within the community but also offer inpatient settings and primary mental health services. They can help with addictions too.
Cwm Taf Health Board Adult Mental Health Services provide a range of services including primary services, community services and inpatient treatment for people living in Cynon, Rhondda, Merthyr Tydfil and Taff Ely. People can use this service either by self-referring or by getting a referral from their GP. The community mental health teams work 9 to 5 Monday through to Friday but there is also a Crisis Resolution team that is available 24/7.
Powys Teaching Health Board is a rural health board that is responsible for the wellbeing and health needs of about 133,000 people of Powys in mid-Wales. There are many local services as well as primary care services, community services and community hospitals.
Mental Health Support has useful information for people living in Merthyr Tydfil and Rhondda Cynon Taf. It is a project that is managed by the mental health charity New Horizons and aims to provide people with information and advice with regards to mental health issues. They work with individuals suffering from mental health problems, carers and health professionals.