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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Time to challenge mental health stigma, say AMs

* From left, Wrexham AM Lesley Griffiths, ABF trustee Phillip Jones, chief officer Lorrisa Roberts, engagement officer Hannah Murphy, mental health lifestyle coach Tracey Jones and Clwyd South AM Ken Skates.

Two Assembly Members have spoken about the importance of challenging stigma after visiting a Wrexham-based mental health charity. 

Lesley Griffiths and Ken Skates were invited to Advance Brighter Futures last Friday to coincide with Time to Talk Day earlier this month.

Mr Skates said: “Mental health is an issue which is very important to me and Time to Talk Day offers a timely reminder that we all need to be more open about it.

"The fact that it’s often difficult to talk about can make things even harder. Talking and listening can change people’s lives – and that’s the key message of Time to Talk Day.”

Advance Brighter Futures was established in Wrexham in 1992. Its services offer people a confidential space to build emotional wellbeing and resilience, helping them get on track to where they want to be after a difficult periods of their life. 

Mrs Griffiths said: “Advance Brighter Futures is an established local organisation which supports people with mild, moderate and severe mental illness and has been raising awareness and supporting people experiencing mental health problems for over 25 years.

“Mental health issues are common, with one in four people being affected at any one time. People in and around Wrexham are fortunate that charities like ABF are on hand to listen, promote wellbeing and ultimately help work towards recovery.” 

Hannah Murphy coordinates the BYW project which supports people currently in acute and secondary mental health care services. She said: “The third sector have become key in mental health services and not just an optional extra. Our intervention is now often the difference between life and death.”

Mr Skates added: “I would like to thank Hannah for inviting us to meet with the ABF Team and for their warm welcome. They are doing an incredible job supporting local people, and Lesley and I will do whatever we can to help them.”

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