All-Wales appeal to improve Wales’ mental health

The National Centre for Mental Health (NCMH) is looking for people to join the Wales Mental Health Network. The Network includes individuals from childhood to old age who suffer with mental health problems including people with neuro-developmental disorders such as ADHD and Autism, major psychiatric disorders such as Schizophrenia, Bipolar Disorder, and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and neurodegenerative disorders, such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Tracy, who first became unwell after her little boy was born five years ago, had a severe postpartum illness – a postpartum psychosis. Tracy decided to take part in WMHN as she wanted to help find out more about what causes people to have these illnesses. “I would definitely encourage others to participate. It has the possibility of making a massive difference in the years to come for people with mental illness. There is huge amount to gain.”

Recruitment to the Network, which is funded by the Welsh Government, began earlier this year with the aim of finding some 6,000 volunteers from all parts of Wales. Volunteers take part in a short, informal 20 minute interview – often in their own home or at their local health clinic- with one of the Wales Mental Health Network researchers with information provided in strictest confidence.

Colin, who has had post traumatic stress disorder after serving in the army for nine years, has volunteered to help the study and encourages more people to join to help to raise awareness and improve understanding of mental illness. “I found the process easy, quite relaxing and pleasant and I would encourage others to take part in order to make the general public aware that there is a problem and mental ill health should not be a taboo subject.”

“Traditionally it’s been difficult for people to come forward to discuss their mental health problems to help others – we want to change that,” says Professor Nick Craddock, NCMH Director. “Mental health problems can affect anyone regardless of age, location, race, gender or social background and our research aims to use patients’ experiences to ensure services and treatments reflect the needs of sufferers.

For further information, or to volunteer to take part in the WMHN, please visit our website www.ncmh.info, call 029 20 74 4392, or E-mail info@ncmh.info.