As I walked towards the wood and slate structure, I realised how beautiful this building truly is. I forget that this is usually seen as a place where statements, policies, lies, protests and, sadly, recently vigils are held Where am I? The Senedd.
The movement of the wooden roof still takes my breath away and as well as me beeping (as per usual!) as I go through security, my shoes click on the Welsh Slate floor – yes be shocked, I am wearing heels!
I am here for a meeting, a really important one. I am sat down waiting for them to come and get me and I just realised that this place is more that just the Senedd.
There are people taking pictures of their loved ones graduating against the back drop of this beautiful building. I can hear a meeting going on up on the balcony above me and they are speaking in Welsh and English.
A man in a suit from the office comes to escort me into my meeting. As I approach a lovely glass office with both doors wide open, just like the smile of Leanne Wood, leader of Plaid Cymru, which greets me as I walk in the room. Leanne Wood is
a firm supporter of all work within the mental health remit. In
Plaid Cymru’s manifesto, they made four key pledges to
support people experiencing mental health difficulties.
- Tackle the unacceptably long waiting list times to access mental health services
- Improve access to mental health devices in our communities
- Increase spending on mental health services by £68m each year of the next Assembly term
- Support the ‘Time to change’ campaign against prejudice towards those with mental health issues.
We discussed the issues that this area faces, including how some people who go to A&E when they are having a manic episode have been put in a police cell. Her past as a probation officer and working in Women’s Aid means that Leanne knows all too well
the issues that our services face on a daily basis. Also, as a mother and as someone who has lost a loved one to suicide, we discussed the things that Discombob wanted to do and her throughs on them and advice.
At the end of our meeting, Leanne agreed to be the first signature on our pledge board. It was a fantastic meeting and hopefully the start of a partnership.