Spotlight On: Hafal

Spotlight on: Hafal

A column profiling organisations based in or working in Cardiff West

Hafal launched a new Campaign last week ” Let’s Get Physical” at their St Fagans facility. The Campaign promotes physical wellbeing among people with a serious mental health illness, who suffer more problems and have a lower life expectancy than the general population.

Mark was delighted to attend the launch of Hafal’s Let’s Get Physical Campaign in St Fagans last week, along with Kevin Brennan MP and plenty of other guests, staff, service users and carers.

Mark (centre, in hat) dancing away in support of Hafal's Let's Get Physical Campaign
Mark (centre, in hat) dancing away in support of Hafal’s Let’s Get Physical Campaign













The Campaign aims to radically improve the physical health of people with a serious mental health illness and their carers in Wales. It is concerning that people with a serious mental illness have a life expectancy between 15 and 20 years lower than the general population. People with a serious mental illness are dying earlier not so much because of suicide or violence but from heart attack, stroke and cancer. The risk factors for these conditions are not being managed as well as they are in the general population, for example weight gain and the propensity to smoke are higher than average. Additionally, 80% of carers have seen a negative impact on their physical health as a result of their caring responsibilities.

The Let’s Get Physical Campaign focuses on promoting opportunities and participation in physical activities, advising and encouraging better diet and nutrition, and signposting support from professionals.


Hafal (meaning ‘equal’) are Wales’ leading charity for people with serious mental illness and their carers. Covering all areas of Wales, it is an organisation managed by the people we support: individuals whose lives have been affected by serious mental illness.

Underpinning their services to clients is the unique Recovery Programme. Based on modern principles of self-management and empowerment, this programme offers clients a methodical way of achieving recovery by focusing on improving all areas of their life.

Every day 191 staff members and 150 volunteers provide help to over 1,000 people affected by serious mental illness: this includes schizophrenia, bipolar disorder and other diagnoses which typically involve psychosis or high levels of care, and which may require hospital treatment.

Hafal’s services in Cardiff for clients and families include: Employment Training; Family Support Service; Breaks for Carers; Carers Advocacy; General Support Information (Advice, Groups, Befriending, A voice in planning).

Hafal in Cardiff are based at: Gardens House, c/o Museum of Welsh History, St Fagans, Cardiff CF5 6XB.