Get involved

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 freda.lacey@pavo.org.uk or call the team on 01686 628300 or 01597 822191.

All the latest participation opportunities below...

Powys Individuals Forum – NEW opportunity for Involvement

Meriel Richards from North Powys, Kate Van Den Ende from Mid Powys and Rhydian Parry from South Powys have all been actively involved as individual representatives on the Powys Mental Health Planning and Development Partnership board (multi-agency partnership board driving the strategy for mental health in Powys).  It’s been over a year since they all stepped up to the opportunity to volunteer their time to do this work. 

They are very keen to ensure that people in contact with mental health services and those close to them, from an all age perspective, have an opportunity to meet together to hear about what’s been going on over the last year in terms of:

  • Mental health in Powys.
  • What's happening at Welsh Government levels - an update.
  • What’s new from the “National Service Users and Carers Forum” which they all attend.
  • Discussing what’s important and, most importantly, the differences that are happening in relation to mental health services.

There will also be an opportunity of recruiting more volunteers to participate at strategic or operational (small action groups) level.

Two meetings will take place, one in Newtown and another in Brecon, in April (dates tbc).  This is your opportunity to come and meet your individual representatives, learn what’s new with mental health services across Powys and give your opinions.  

These meetings are only open to people in contact with services and those close to them (“service users” and  “carers”).  Young people, adults and older adults are all welcome to attend.  Please let us know if you have any specific requirements to enable attendance. The Individual Reps are keen that this day should be fun.  Transport, lunch and free wellbeing activities will be provided on the day. 

To find out more please contact Glynis Luke, email: glynis.luke@pavo.org.uk or ring 01686 628300.

Vulnerable adults and anti-social behaviour: an exploration of current practice

This 2 year research study is conducted by the Centre for Mental Health and Society at Bangor University, in collaboration with two police forces and two third sector organisations (Unllais and Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations). We would like to invite you to share your views on anti-social behaviour policy and practice in relation to vulnerable people. There is evidence that suggests that people who have or are experiencing mental health problems may be involved in anti-social behaviour either as victims, perpetrators or both. 

This project is now actively on track for completion by the end of this year.  PAVO has recently facilitated three local volunteers to be trained in “How to facilitate focus groups” as part of this project.  The University of Bangor delivered the training over two days in Shrewsbury.  Feedback indicates that the volunteers all found the training to be very useful.

As part of the project, three focus groups are planned:

  • 22 April - Newtown
  • 27 April - Llandrindod Wells
  • 12 May - Brecon

Anyone who has an interest in mental health and how the police interact with people who may be perceived as being “anti-social” are welcome to attend.  Of particular interest are people who may have been involved with the police under Sections 135 or 136.  Public Service staff will be interviewed separately to ensure their feedback is captured. 

If you are interested in attending these focus groups, please contact Freda Lacey on 01597 822191 or Freda.Lacey@pavo.org.uk.  Transportation and/or travel expenses will be paid and refreshments provided on the day.

Find out more about the project here. More detailed information about the research is available here

Welsh Review Mental Health Code of Practice

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 Freda Lacey, Participation Officer, by emailing: freda.lacey@pavo.org.uk 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.

Scope Extra Costs Commission Enquiry

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.

Design competition - North Wales & North Powys Recovery Network

The North Wales and North Powys Recovery Network is looking for cover designs for a report on a new project called Real Steps. Closing date: 25 March. Contact Tina Foulkes for further information by emailing: asstdirector@unllais.co.uk or find out more here.

The Commission to review the provision of acute inpatient psychiatric care for adults

The Commission on Acute Adult Psychiatric Care has been set up by the Royal College of Psychiatrists (RCPsych) in response to widespread concerns about the provision of acute inpatient psychiatric beds and alternatives to admission available for patients. There is evidence – some quantified, some anecdotal – of difficulties in admissions, variable services for patients in the community, long distance transfers of patients, high occupancy rates and high stress levels amongst patients, their families, carers and staff. Would you like to feedback your views? Closing date for responses: 18 March. More here.

Mental Health (financial) Ringfence review commissioned by Welsh Government

This is now underway and due to be completed by the end of January 2015. Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations, as part of the national network - Mental Health Action Wales, has been involved in helping to create questions that Price Waterhouse Cooper (who are undertaking the review) are asking people to respond to.  This is initially being done by electronic means, through the PWC website and went live week commencing 15 December 2014. The closing date for responses was 5pm on 16 January 2015. However, if you still have information you would like to feed into this review, please contact Freda Lacey, details below.

If you would like further information please contact Freda Lacey by ringing 01597 822191 or emailing: freda.lacey@pavo.org.uk

Influencing the Development of the All Wales Public Health Network – survey

In the past 12 months, important health improvement activity has passed from Welsh Government to Public Health Wales and a major review of health improvement programmes in Wales has identified the need for new ways of working.

Your views are sought on the creation of The All Wales Public Health Network which will incorporate the existing Public Health Wales Networks, which are: All Wales Sexual Health Network, All Wales Mental Health Promotion Network, and Physical Activity & Nutrition Networks Wales. 

Find out more and complete an online survey here.

EU Research Project on Risk and Innovation in Mental Health Services

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.

What do you think about mental health research priorities in Wales?

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) works to learn more about mental illness so that it can contribute to developing better diagnosis, care and treatment for the future.

In order to do this effectively and make a real difference to people’s lives in years to come, NCMH would like you to tell them what you think are the key research areas that mental health research in Wales should focus on.

That’s why they’ve created #TellNCMH – a new online survey that allows you to help shape the direction of mental health research for the future.

You can find out more and complete the survey here.

Research project on bilingualism and hearing voices

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.

Have your say about mental health services

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:

  • You - or someone you care for - were discharged from a CMHT within the last 3 years and had an assessment within the last 2 years to re-enter secondary services (Part 3 of the Measure). ORS would be interested in hearing from you whether or not you re-entered secondary care.  
  • You – or someone you care for - had an Independent Mental Health Advocate whilst you/they were a voluntary patient in hospital within the last 2 years (Part 4 of the Measure).

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 Freda Lacey by ringing 01597 822191 or emailing freda.lacey@pavo.org.uk

Mind Cymru peer support research

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.

New website - Care Wales Online - seeks feedback

Participation Cymru has been asked to help facilitate engagement with potential users of a new website called 'Care Wales Online' that is being developed by the Care Council for Wales and the Care and Social Services Inspectorate Wales. We are seeking people who are interested in giving feedback on the website during its development.

Please find a link to the website and to an on-line survey that can be circulated to interested parties.

Welsh Ambulance Services NHS Trust Have Your Say

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

Vulnerable adults and anti-social behaviour an exploration of current practice

If you are a someone, or close to someone, that has been in contact with the police, and in particular in relation to anti-social behaviour, you are invited to become a member of a research project reference group (PRG) for Powys and North Wales.   More here.

Powys Patients' Council Seeks New Volunteers

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

Young Adult Peer Support Project Newtown

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.

Benefits Share Your Story and Change The Debate

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 and North Wales Vulnerable people and anti-social behaviour project

Powys and North Wales Vulnerable people and anti-social behaviour project – what is happening here.  Want to find out more or get involved contact Freda.lacey@pavo.org.uk or call 01597 822 191 and ask for Freda.

What do you think of voluntary sector mental health services?

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.

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latest news

Comic Relief award of £110,605 for Powys project to develop Mental Health Networks

Thursday 5 March 2015

The mental health team at Powys Association of Voluntary Organisations is pleased to announce 3 year funding from Comic Relief for a much-needed new participation project.

events

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 9 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

An Evening with Kirsty Williams

Monday 9 March 2015

Brecon & District Mind Event

Train the Trainer - 2 day course

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Dementia Awareness & Challenging Behaviour

Tea, Chat & Activities in Brecon

Tuesday 10 March 2015

Alzheimer's Society Event

Regional Policy Event - Reforming Local Government

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Llandrindod Wells

Mental Health Awareness Training

Wednesday 11 March 2015

Brecon

Peer-Supported Open Dialogue (POD) Conference

Wednesday 11 March 2015

North East London NHS Foundation Trust

Mid Wales Rural Healthcare Conference

Thursday 12 March 2015

Dolfor, Newtown

Thinking Ahead - Welsh & Mental Health in the Third Sector

Thursday 12 March 2015

A seminar to share good practice and plan ahead

Assessing Capacity

Thursday 12 March 2015

A course, in Llandrindod Wells, for staff who undertake mental capacity assessments

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 12 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Neurological Conditions Information & Advice Day

Friday 13 March 2015

A drop-in information event in Newtown for people with, or caring for, someone with a neurological condition.

Coffee Morning & Afternoon Tea

Friday 13 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Mental Health Awareness Course (half day)

Monday 16 March 2015

Diverse Cymru Training - Cardiff

Reducing Stress & Increasing Emotional Resilience (1 day course)

Monday 16 March 2015

Diverse Cymru Training - Cardiff

Singing for the Brain

Monday 16 March 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 16 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Deprivation of Liberty Safeguarding (DoLS) Training

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Brecon (half day course)

Personality Disorders Training

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Llandrindod Wells

Tea, Chat & Activities in Brecon

Tuesday 17 March 2015

Alzheimer's Society Event

DBS Information Session for Social Care Organisations

Wednesday 18 March 2015

Social Care in Partnerships in Wales Event, Newtown

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 19 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Mental Health First Aid Training (2 day course)

Monday 23 March 2015

Diverse Cymru Training - Ebbw Vale

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 23 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Challenging Behaviour in Dementia Course

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Llandrindod Wells

Tea, Chat & Activities in Brecon

Tuesday 24 March 2015

Alzheimer's Society Event

PAVO Health and Social Care Network Meeting

Wednesday 25 March 2015

PAVO Offices, Llandrindod Wells

Canal Boat Trip

Thursday 26 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 30 March 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Mental Capacity Act & Best Interest Training

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Llandrindod Wells

Tea, Chat & Activities in Brecon

Tuesday 31 March 2015

Alzheimer's Society Event

Art Class

Tuesday 31 March 2015

With local artist Richard Oke at Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 2 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Singing For The Brain

Monday 6 April 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 6 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 9 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Concert in Talgarth

Saturday 11 April 2015

Brecon & District Mind Event

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 13 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 16 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Singing For The Brain

Monday 20 April 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru Roadshow 2015

Monday 20 April 2015

'A co-operative approach to Direct Payments’. Disability Wales event in Llandrindod Wells

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 20 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 23 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

PQASSO for Wales Briefing Event

Thursday 23 April 2015

Are you interested in improving quality in third sector organisations in Wales? Then come along to our event in Llandrindod Wells!

Peer-Led Walking Group

Monday 27 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Peer-Led Walking Group

Thursday 30 April 2015

Ponthafren's Welshpool Outreach

Singing For The Brain

Monday 4 May 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Babette Rothschild: 2 Day Safer Trauma Therapy Professional Training

Wednesday 6 May 2015 to Thursday 7 May 2015

A 2 day training session in Llandrindod Wells with Babette Rothschild body-psychotherapist and specialist educator in the treatment of trauma

Public Health Network Cymru

Tuesday 12 May 2015

An event in Llandrindod Wells for professionals with an interest in public health

Public Health Network Cymru

Wednesday 13 May 2015

An event in Aberystwyth for professionals with an interest in public health

Brecon & District Mind May Fair

Saturday 16 May 2015

Brecon Guildhall

Singing For The Brain

Monday 18 May 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Exploring the Edge of Reality

Monday 18 May 2015

Brecon & District Mind Event

Mental Health Today Wales 2015

Wednesday 20 May 2015

Exhibition/Conference in Cardiff

Singing For The Brain

Monday 1 June 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

Singing For The Brain

Monday 15 June 2015

Builth Wells, 1st and 3rd Monday of every month, 2.30 pm - 4.00 pm

PAT for Wellbeing

Tuesday 23 June 2015

A talk about 'Pets as Therapy' - Brecon & District Mind Event.

Citizen Directed Co-operatives Cymru Roadshow 2015

Tuesday 23 June 2015

'A co-operative approach to Direct Payments’. Disability Wales event in Llandrindod Wells

Walk to the top of 'The Crug'

Sunday 26 July 2015

Brecon & District Mind Event