Our first physical health campaign meeting was a great success!
A group of us met in the tiled hall cafe at Leeds City Art Gallery. Most of us had had mixed experiences of physical healthcare, some people had been passed back and forwards between services, other people had not seen specialists in time due to the state of their mental health at the time.
When we moved on to discuss solutions, several people said they’d used advance statements to make sure they got the right physical healthcare.
An advance statement is a short document you can write when you’re mentally well, explainign what you’re needs are. For example if you regularly took medication for your blood pressue and you had to go into a mental health unit suddenly – your advance statement would tell staff what medication you needed. Advance statements can help you keep your life on track in other ways to – for example it might say what family members you would like to be informed when you become unwell.
So at the end of this discussioin we all agreed that more people should have advance statments especially those who also have an ongoing physical health condition or a disability. And we’re going to do something about it!
We have created a summary explaing what advance statments are. We’re meeting again next week to decide how to promote advance statements to people with mental illness and their families in Leeds. Have you got any ideas? Should we speak at groups? Produce post-cards? Would a personal story bring it to life? Please leave a comment and let us know what would work in Leeds. And do you know anyone else who might like to get involved? Or know any professionals who might help us?
If you’re interested in this issue, we’d love to have you along to our next meeting. It’s very informal and everyone’s friendly so you’ll be fine if you want to come on your own but do bring a friend if you’d like to:
The Tiled Hall Cafe, Leeds Art Gallery