National Assembly for Wales
In order to influence policy and legislation we regularly interact with politicians and their staff, often providing information and briefings to inform their contributions to Ministerial questions and Assembly debates. We also welcome politicians to Gofal projects and events within their constituencies and regions, enabling service users and staff to discuss issues with their local elected representatives.
Cross Party Group on Mental Health
On behalf of Wales Alliance for Mental Health we co-ordinate the cross party group on mental health, working the Chair David Rees AM to organise meetings and provide briefings for Assembly Members. The cross party group meets 3-4 times each year and membership includes Assembly Members from the four political parties, as well as representatives from Wales’ third sector mental health organisations.
National Assembly Debates
We frequently provide Assembly Members and their staff with briefings or supporting documents before National Assembly debates about mental health or any other relevant issues. In the past these have included debates about Together for Mental Health and the impact of welfare reform on mental health and wellbeiing.
We are particularly proud of our involvement in the National Assembly Individual Member debate about mental health stigma and discrimination. On 28th November 2012, four Assembly Members shared their experiences of mental ill health in a series of Time to Change Wales blogs and a cross party debate in the National Assembly. Gofal worked with colleagues in Time to Change Wales and Mind Cymru to secure the debate and provide support to Ken Skates AM, Eluned Parrott AM, Llyr Huws Gruffydd AM and David Melding AM. You can read their blogs and watch the debate here.
Together for Mental Health
In October 2012 the Welsh Government launched its new mental health and wellbeing strategy ‘Together for Mental Health’. This all-age, cross-government strategy seeks to improve whole population mental health and wellbeing, as well as improve services and reduce inequalities for people with serious mental illness. We worked closely with Welsh Government officials to ensure that the views of our service users and staff were fed into the drafting process.
- Welsh Government strategy: Together for Mental Health
- Gofal reaction to the final version of ‘Together for Mental Health’
- Gofal formal consultation response to the draft strategy
Mental Health (Wales) Measure
The Mental Health (Wales) Measure received Royal Assent in December 2010 and has been implemented in various stages throughout 2012. Hailed as a leading piece of legislation, the Measure received cross party support throughout its legislative journey. It was initiated by former Conservative Assembly Member Jonathan Morgan before being formally introduced by the Welsh Government. The Measure comprised of four main parts:
- Part 1: Local Primary Care Mental Health Support Services
- Part 2: Care Coordination and Care and Treatment Planning
- Part 3: Assessment of people who have used specialist mental health services before
- Part 4: Independent Mental Health Advocacy