Mind Cymru has today (Tuesday 22nd September) launched its #StandForMe campaign, which I am not only supporting but am proud to be a part of. Next year sees the election of members into the Welsh ‘parliament’ and I, along with so many others, demand that mental health be high on the political agenda. Since the COVID19 pandemic, many more people have been struggling with their mental health and even more have been diagnosed with anxiety and depression. Now is the time for improvement.

The campaign is:

encouraging [the Welsh people] to call on political parties/candidates and ask them to stand for mental health in the 2021 election. #StandForMe demands action from current and future members of the Senedd. It is clear and direct with one outcome, for candidates and political parties to stand for mental health.

It’s so important that these decision makers understand:

  • What life is like for those struggling with poor mental health
  • What it’s like not having 24/7 access to mental health services when in crisis
  • What it’s like not being listened to
  • That existing services are under-funded and overstretched
  • That the fantastic mental health professionals on the front line trying to help every person they can but not succeeding because there aren’t enough hours in the day.

For me, having 24/7 access to mental health services when in crisis is so crucial. Last year, after self harming, I was taken to a hospital A&E in Cardiff for medical attention. They were very kind and the staff were amazing. However, because I didn’t live in that postcode, I had to be referred to my local mental health team for support. When the nurse rang them at 12am, they said they couldn’t help me because they were closed. I then had to tell them I was happy to go home and promise not to hurt myself again. The onus was on me. If a 24/7 was provided, I would’ve been able to have the attention I needed in the area I live in. This shouldn’t be too much to ask. And I can’t be the only one.

Things need to change and I want to help make that happen. If you live in Wales and want to get involved, you can and you should:

  • Download the campaign manifesto here and send it to the Senedd candidate for your area
  • Share your story and mental health experiences using #StandForMe
  • Share a photo of you holding the campaign poster (download here), use #StandForMe and tag @MindCymru on Twitter
  • Add a footer to your emails (see below)

Together, we can bring about change and make sure that anyone in need of mental health support and care can access it. We all deserve that.