During Mental Health Awareness Week 2021 (Oct 3 - 9), Cwm Taf Morgannwg (CTM) University Health Board and Time to Change Wales highlight its significant partnership in creating a training module aimed at reducing mental health stigma within healthcare settings.  

We are hugely excited to be the first Health Board in Wales to pilot a new training module with Time to Change Wales.  

Aimed at shaping future mental health training for healthcare staff, the module has been designed to equip staff to improve the lived experiences and outcomes for individuals affected by mental health across Cwm Taf Morgannwg by better identifying how, and where, experiences of mental health stigma can happen in the workplace.  

Time to Change Wales’ 2020 survey looked at the link between COVID-19 and mental health stigma. It highlighted healthcare settings as one of the key areas where stigma is experienced by people with mental health problems in Wales. (Stigma during COVID-19 survey, Time to Change Wales, June 2020.) 

The anti-stigma campaign’s 2021 survey (with adults aged 16+ living in Wales) on Public Attitudes to Mental Illness also showed that 15% of those surveyed perceived a person as being treated unfairly by mental health professionals (an increase from 4% in 2019). 

Mental health leads within our Health Board have acted upon this research and over the past few months have been working closely with Time to Change Wales to develop a series of films and training materials that highlight the experiences of people in Wales.

In three short videos, some of our mental health staff at Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board speak passionately about why ending mental health stigma in healthcare is so important. 

Dr Andrea Davies, Cwm Taf Morgannwg Project Lead and Consultant Clinical Psychologist and Systemic Psychotherapist said: 

“The past 18 months have impacted on us all and more than ever, we need to take care of each other and ensure that people experiencing mental health difficulties are able to access the right support. 

“By working in collaboration with Time to Change Wales, we (Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board) hope to effectively address stigma in health and social care settings. This is a tremendous opportunity to improve the experiences for those receiving and giving care across our region, as well as providing learning for our Health Board partners. 

“By opening up a discussion around stigma, we hope to engage healthcare professionals in self-reflection and support them to take action around tackling stigma. Through this training, we want to empower and equip our staff to reflect on current practice and identify ways of improving experiences of patients with mental health issues in a non-judgemental way. 

Our Health Board’s mental health services have contributed fully towards the training material and have proudly partnered with Time to Change Wales over its development. We have been hugely grateful for all the support provided by the national team.”

Ben Jeffreys, Programme Manager for Time to Change Wales said:

"We are delighted to be partnering up with Cwm Taf Morgannwg University Health Board on this hugely important initiative to remove the mental health stigma in healthcare settings and to improve the overall patient experience across its services. Since emerging from the global coronavirus pandemic, tackling stigma is now more important than ever if we are to see a more compassionate and tolerant society in Wales. 

“We hope our carefully-crafted training module will empower mental health staff to deliver its services free from stigma and judgement for a better patient experience. We will be working very closely with CTMUBH on evaluating the training module so that we can start to deliver this in health boards across the country.” 

The training includes evaluation with delegates to measure the impact of the training and its effectiveness at improving patient and staff experiences across healthcare settings and services.

Time to Change Wales aims to support a future roll-out of the training more widely to all Health boards across Wales. 

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