Issue 23

About Hafal

The mental health charity run by clients for clients

Hafal is the principal organisation in Wales working with people recovering from severe mental illness, their families and carers. Every day our 155 staff and 150+ volunteers provide help to over 700 people affected by severe mental illness across all the 22 counties of Wales.

Hafal is run by the people it supports: people with severe mental illness and their carers and families. The charity is founded on the belief that people who have direct experience of mental illness know best how services can be delivered. In practice this means that at every project our clients meet to make decisions about how the service will move forward and the charity itself is led by a board of elected Trustees, most of whom have either had severe mental illness themselves or are the carers of a person with a mental illness.

"Hafal"means equal. Our mission is to empower people with severe mental illness and their families to enjoy equal access to health and social care, housing, income, education, and employment, and to:

Achieve a better quality of life.
Fulfil their ambitions for recovery.
Fight discrimination.

All of our services are based on our unique Recovery Programme. Recovery means regaining mental health and achieving a better quality of life. Many people with severe mental illness can make a full recovery; others can make far greater progress than has traditionally been thought possible. Hafal's Recovery Programme involves creating a step-by-step plan identifying goals in key areas of life and the supporters who can assist in achieving those goals.

Hafal delivers key services to both people with severe mental illness and their carers. These services include a range of activities for both clients and carers including: employment training; housing support; resource centres; befriending; arts projects; inpatient advocacy; family support; and carers' support services.

Hafal also supports clients and carers in providing a much-needed voice in the planning of mental health services. We campaign vigorously through research, publications and media work, and through direct contact with AMs and MPs, to improve services for clients and families and to remove the stigma and isolation associated with severe mental illness.

Here's what some of our Members have to say:

"I have made use of nearly all the services that Hafal offers. I am much happier knowing that there is someone there who is willing to support me when I need it." Richard Timm, Client.

"Hafal has provided support both to me and to the person I care for. I now regularly take time out from caring thanks to Hafal, and this has really enabled me to achieve more things." – Jane Ahearne, Carer.

"I have managed to do so much more than I thought I was capable of thanks to Hafal's Recovery Programme. I now feel like I'm back in control of my life." – Helen Oseman, Client.

Why not join Hafal and help us make a difference?

You can now join Hafal for as little as £1.00 Members receive valuable and regular information on mental health issues through the Mental Health Wales journal and periodic letters with news of Hafal's progress, new services and events. By becoming a Member you also add strength to our numbers – together we can gain a greater voice for people with severe mental illness in Wales and their carers. For more information, please get in touch.