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Mental health support and information in Welsh is vital, says Mind Cymru

Monday, 08 April 2019 Mind

Mind Cymru has announced more Welsh language information on its website, as part of its ongoing commitment to bilingual support.

The newest pages, including stress, anxiety, and self esteem, follow the recent announcement of more Welsh speaking practitioners in the free Active Monitoring programme.

Sue O’Leary, Director of Mind Cymru, said: “We know that mental health support works best when it’s delivered in the language people are most comfortable using. It can be difficult enough to open up about your feelings, without having to translate them into a second language first.

“That’s why we are continuing to update our website to include more support and information in Welsh than ever before. We’re seeing record numbers of people accessing our Welsh language pages – more than 20,000 in the last quarter alone – so the need is clearly there.

“We want to see people being supported in their chosen language across Wales, both from organisations such as ourselves and also the NHS. The more choice there is the better.”

Alongside the information pages that Mind Cymru offers to people with mental health problems, there are also several blogs written in Welsh. These are personal experiences from people who have been through mental health problems, and give advice and support to make sure people don’t feel alone in their diagnoses.

Lois Parri, 22, from North Wales, understands the importance of Welsh language mental health services. In 2017, she received talking therapy from the Children and Adolescent Mental Health Service (CAMHS) for her severe anxiety. However, she had to do so in English because the waiting list for Welsh language support was too long. She said: “Growing up with anxiety was very difficult, and the therapy process can be challenging and sometimes uncomfortable.”

“Being able to access support in Welsh would have made a huge difference. Talking about your feelings is hard enough without having to do it in your second language, it’s an added barrier to communicating sensitive issues. It’s great that Mind Cymru is helping people in the language they feel most comfortable in – the more Welsh language support there is, the better. So that everyone has the same opportunity to express themselves fully.”

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