Many of us have an interest in mental health for one reason and another. For some this interest comes from personal, lived experience. We may have experienced mental distress ourselves or we may have been close to someone else who has. We may have used or be using mental health services or we may be close to someone else who does. Many of us wish to get involved and share our ideas, skills, knowledge, experience and expertise in the hope that we can make things better.
Here you can find out what opportunities there are for you to use your experience and get your voice heard. If you see an opportunity that interests you but you are not sure about getting involved, feel you need some support or training or have any questions, then please just get in touch with us and we will try and help. If you don’t see an opportunity that you are interested in but have an idea about how you might like to be involved then do please get in touch.
You can email firstname.lastname@example.org or call the team on 01686 628300 or 01597 822191.
Self Injury Support and Cardiff University are working to develop a mobile phone app for people who self harm and are looking for people to get involved. More here.
The Deprivation of Liberty Safeguards (DoLS) aim to protect people who lack mental capacity, but who need to be deprived of liberty so they can be given care and treatment in a hospital or care home.
The DoLS have been criticised since they were introduced for being overly complex and excessively bureaucratic. The Law Society is running a consultation proposing that DoLS are replaced with a new system, to be called ‘Protective Care’. This system is not focused on authorising deprivations of liberty, but instead upon providing appropriate care and better outcomes for people who lack mental capacity and helping their family and carers. Closing date for responses: 2 November 2015. More here.
Participation Cymru is looking for people who use and have experience of care, childcare and social services - such as carers, parents, former professionals and members of the public - to apply to join CSSIW's regional forums. These regional forums will bring the voice of citizens even more centrally into the work of CSSIW. They will help drive improvements in care, childcare and social services. You can apply to be a member of the new regional forums here and further information on the forums can be found here. Closing date for applications is Wednesday, 26th August, 2015.
Darren O'Connell manages Hafal's Appropriate Adult service, which supports vulnerable adults in police custody. For the past five years Hafal has delivered an Appropriate Adult Scheme to vulnerable adults across the South Wales Police authority area. The police have requested Hafal provide a service in the Dyfed Powys area, including stations in Brecon and Newtown.
Hafal is inviting applications from individuals across Mid Wales who have an interest in supporting vulnerable adults through the police custody process. Hafal uses a team of both volunteers and staff (who receive a modest payment) to deliver this service and is seeking to recruit candidates in both categories. This service is delivered 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days of the year through flexible cover arrangements. You can find out more here, download an application pack here, or email email@example.com or on ring 07971 970 714.
Future Fit is currently looking to collect the views of people from specific target groups (including mental health groups) to help understand how they use health services now and would like to use them in the future. Download a poster with further information.
Merthyr and the Valleys Mind has been commissioned by Mind Cymru to undertake an evaluation of patient experience of Independent Mental Health Advocacy Services (IMHA) across Wales. The evaluation / survey contributes to the Welsh Government’s duty to review the implementation of the Mental Health (Wales) Measure 2010. Mind Cymru is commissioned, as part of their Section 64 core funding grant, to carry out the survey in order to evaluate the effectiveness of Part 4 of the Measure.
You might be aware that an evaluation of Independent Mental Health Advocacy (IMHA) by inpatients on acute adult mental health wards took place last year, therefore, the current evaluation will seek the views of children and adolescents, forensic and older persons inpatients.
Link to online survey here.
The Welsh Government is preparing to revise the Code of Practice to the Mental Health Act 1983. You can read the current COP from 2008 here. Whilst the COP will not amend the Act, its status has the effect of significantly influencing the way in which the Act is applied.
Several pre-consultation events organised by the Welsh Government took place in January throughout Wales, alongside an online questionnaire. The actual consultation will take place between February - April 2015. Watch this space for further information.
If you are interested in getting involved, please contact Jane Cooke by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org or tel: 01597 822191.
You can find out more about the whole process by reading about the Review which took place in England recently here.
The Extra Costs Commission is a year-long independent enquiry that will explore the extra costs faced by disabled people and families with disabled children in England and Wales. You can find out more about the enquiry and how to participate here.
The University of Edinburgh and the European Union are currently conducting a project on risk and innovation in mental health services/projects (either provided by statutory bodies or private providers). Find out more and complete a 5-minute survey here. You can download a participant information sheet here.
Researchers at the University of Liverpool, including Professor Richard Bentall, are interested in finding out what happens when people who speak more than one language have the experience of hearing voices, also known as auditory verbal hallucinations (AVH). You can download further info in English and Welsh, and also Participant Self Referral forms in English and Welsh.
Opinion Research Services (ORS) is interviewing people across Wales about their experiences of secondary mental health services. Information from these interviews is informing the Welsh Government’s review of the Mental Health Measure (Wales) 2010.
If you have direct personal experience of at least one of the following services, ORS would like to hear from you:
Would you be willing to take part? This is an opportunity for you to make an important contribution to the review of services introduced under the Measure.
Telephone interviews are expected to last about half an hour – one interview per participant.
All interviews are entirely confidential and your Informed consent would be requested beforehand.
If this sounds like something you would be interested in contributing to, please get in touch with Jane Cooke by ringing 01597 822191 or emailing email@example.com
Mind are looking for information about peer support projects for adults in Wales experiencing any form of mental distress/ mental illness/ mental health problems. You can find out more, along with a link to a short survey, here.
Everyone's got's a story what's yours? Have you used any of the Welsh Ambulance Services or NHS Direct Wales? Your story can help us think about the way we work and improve the services we provide for you. More here
Have you experience of being detained and/or being voluntarily or involuntarily an in-patient on a mental health ward? PAVO is looking for volunteers to help run Powys Patients' Council. The role requires a committment of visiting Felindre Ward, Bronllys Hospital, once a month and a senior management meeting, every two months, with some other ad hoc activities/meetings. Lunch and transport expenses are paid. More here
Are you 18-25 and interested in becoming a mentor or do you work with 18-25 year olds who might be? Fine out more here.
We all need support sometimes. Yet too often those who have been helped by benefits get ignored, misrepresented or at worst blamed for their situation. If the millions of us who have needed benefits share our stories - and those who haven't express their support – then together we can change the debate. Share Your Story and Change The Debate here.
Powys teaching Health Board (PtHB) would like to find out what people think of the services provided by mental health resource centres and other mental health charities funded by the Health Board in Powys. If you have used the services of one or more of these organisations, or are a carer of someone who has, there is an online survey you can complete here.
You will need to complete a separate survey for each organisation you wish to give feedback about.
This survey is open all year round.
Phoenix House, a private mental health hospital in Welshpool, now provides specialist mental health services for women in a complementary new female annex.