Today Let’s Get Physical! reached Neath Port Talbotat an event which included a healthy eating buffet, a zumba exercise class -and a Wii Fit competition! Visitors at today’s event also had the opportunityto get key health checks in the Mobile Health Centre which has journeyed to all22 counties of Wales during the summer.
Alison Guyatt, Hafal’s RecoveryCentre Manager and a registered nurse, said: “We developed the MobileHealth Centre to raise awareness of the range of physical health checks thatpeople recovering from serious mental illness – and their carers – can accessthrough their GP and Primary Care Team.
“Our Let’s Get Physical!nurses have been travelling across Wales and providing visitors at our 22county events with the opportunity to have their blood pressure checked, theirweight and height recorded and have a basic blood glucose check carried out.
“The message is simple:people with a mental illness and their carers should receive the right support from healthprofessionals to stay physically healthy as well as mentally healthy – and it’s something that we all have to work together toachieve.”
Over 300 people have received aphysical health check from the Mobile Health Centre during the campaign. Whilethe results of these health checks remain private to individuals, overallfindings indicate that:
- 18% of people were found to have above thresholdblood pressure
- 47% of people were found to have above thresholdblood glucose levels
- 10% of people were found to have both abovethreshold blood pressure and blood glucose levels.
People who were found to have abovethreshold blood pressure or blood glucose levels were strongly advised to makean early appointment with their GP, and further support is being offered toservice users or carers through each of Hafal’s local projects.
Morgan Williams, a service user from Neath Port Talbot, said: “I think theMobile Health Centre was a great way of getting people to know about the keychecks they should be getting from their local surgery. The campaign has shownthat people with a mental illness and their carers have physical healthconcerns which need to be addressed on a regular basis. The Mobile HealthCentre delivered a really friendly service and it gave us a record which we cantake with us to our GP.”
Let’sGet Physical!sets a challenge –both to service users and carers, and to service providers and policy makers –to radically improve the physical health of people with a mental illness andtheir carers. The campaign is supported by mental health charities Hafal,Bipolar UK and the Mental Health Foundation; Diverse Cymru will help to ensurethe campaign reaches out to minority and disadvantaged communities. Thecampaign was launched by Health Minister Mark Drakeford AM in May and includes22 events covering all the counties of Wales.