Jul 2015
Posted By: In: General, 0 Comments

Jane Hutt focuses on mental health and Mind in the Vale in her recent assembly notes in local newspaper, The Vale of Glamorgan Gem.


‘Working together for mental health’ was the message I gave when I spoke at this year’s Mind in the Vale AGM.

The meeting was attended by local members of the pioneering mental health charity, which works in partnership with the Vale Council and Health Board, and with voluntary and private sectors in the Vale.

I said how delighted I was to have the opportunity to thank and praise the work of Mind for their outreach and engagement with the community at their centres in Barry, Llantwit Major and Penarth – as well as the Mind Cafe and Travellers’ Gallery in Barry Town Station.

I opened a new charity shop in Llantwit last November, supported by the Mayor of the Town Council, Coun Tricia Lancaster, who joined me at the AGM. The refurbished Mind Shop in Cadoxton is also doing well, with both shops supported by volunteers who are able to gain experience and qualifications accredited by Cardiff and Vale College- another valuable partner for Mind in the Vale.

These shops raise vital funds for Mind, as well as raising awareness about the charity and signposting people for information and support.

I said in my speech how important it was to end stigma and discrimination faced by people with experience of mental ill-health.

The Welsh Government’s ‘Healthy Working Wales’ approach is seeking to address this. Our Health and Social Services Minister, Prof Mark Drakeford, recently announced funding to deliver Phase 2 of the ‘Time to Change Wales’ campaign, which seeks to end stigma and discrimination with a focus on the workplace, urging employers to make public declarations of their commitment to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination.

Improving mental health and well-being in the workplace is part of the Healthy Working Wales campaign to promote health at work, to prevent people being made ill at work and to encourage retention or rehabilitation of those made ill at work.

It encourages employers to see how work can have a positive effect on health and that mental ill-health is not necessarily a barrier to work.

It is good to learn that 2,418 employers have engaged in this Welsh Government programme, employing 31 per cent of the working age population.

I congratulated Mind in the Vale on their person-centred approach working with people who have mental health needs – making great strides with the ‘recovery model’ to assist people to get back to work linked to Careers Wales.

Prof Jeremy Hall, Director of the Neuroscience and Mental Health Research Institute at Cardiff University, is carrying out pioneering research in Wales and has provided us with a clear challenge.

He says: “Mental wellbeing is an integral part of a healthy life from the cradle to the grave.

“Not only do mental health conditions have a heavy toll on the quality of life for sufferers and their carers but they also result in an estimated cost to the economy of £80bn a year – £7.2bn here in Wales alone.”

“We believe this is a time of unprecedented hope for research into mental health problems.”

One in four of us will experience mental health problems in our lifetimes. During these times, we can be vulnerable and subject to stigma and poverty, as well as ill-health.

We need to work together to overcome this in the public, voluntary and private sectors, and that is why Mind in the Vale is such an effective local organisation which we can all support.

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Mind National has a variety of information on a whole host of issues, including depression , anxiety and bipolar disorder . If you would like to browse these, please click here.