A manifesto for good mental health in Wales
Posted Wednesday 20 April 2011
When we were asking people what they thought we should include in the Mind Cymru manifesto for the National Assembly for Wales elections on 5 May, the issue of employment came up time and time again.
Whether it was a case of simply not being able to work and concerns around that; needing the right support to find and maintain work; worries about attitudes towards mental health in the workplace and whether to admit to having experienced mental distress — so many people felt that this was an area that we had to tackle.
Mind’s Taking care of business campaign goes a long way to addressing some of these issues, encouraging employers and employees to work together to create mentally healthy working environments. With 1 in 6 workers experiencing depression, anxiety or stress, it’s vital that we don’t just bury the issue and let it stay as the ‘elephant in the room’.
Mind Cymru has been busy talking to politicians and candidates and raising the issues highlighted in our manifesto, including employment.
Some of the parties have really taken this on board. The Welsh Liberal Democrat manifesto says that they will improve wellbeing across Wales by actions that include:Targeting a mental health awareness campaign at employers, to address the high levels of unemployment amongst people with mental ill-health
while the Labour party manifesto states that in the next Assembly term, they would:Raise awareness of mental health issues amongst employers and employees so that those with mental health problems can gain and retain employment.
The real test will be what action the next Welsh Government actually takes to address the issue of employment, along with the other areas highlighted in our manifesto: the need for an anti-discrimination campaign, action to improve equalities in mental health, better access to advocacy and talking therapies.
You can help keep up the pressure by contacting Assembly candidates between now and 5 May and asking questions about how they would improve the mental health and wellbeing of people in Wales. See our manifesto briefing documents for more information.
In addition, a number of current Assembly Members are standing down and not seeking re-election. That means we have lots of potential new Members who really need to know how important an issue mental health is for the population of Wales. Why not get in touch to tell them?
Information on all candidates and manifestos can be found on the Voices Cymru site.
All of Mind Cymru's election briefings are downloadable here. To discuss issues relating to the election, please contact Rachel Bowen at Mind Cymru or call 029 2034 6588.
Lindsay Foyster, Director of Mind Cymru
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