The Dundee Fighting for Fairness report summarises how key issues affecting people in city are being tackled.
It was launched at the Steeple Church following months of research by the Fairness Commission, whose members met with people and families struggling to get by.
Among the recommendations are creating a single access point for all financial advice services in the city, preparing positive, anti-poverty messages and helping frontline staff including GP surgeries to raise awareness of the impact of poverty on mental health.
John Alexander, leader of Dundee City Council and chairman of the Dundee Partnership, said: “People and money, mental health and stigma are three of the main themes we are looking at because they have featured in all of the stories we have heard.
“We know that far too much poverty that exists in the city and this is one way to target some of the root causes of that – by involving people with real-life experience.”
Another recommendation aimed at tackling issues with mental health in the city is to create a 24/7 drop-in service offering clinical, non-clinical, therapeutic and peer support.
The commission had found that people reach crisis point outside normal working hours and cannot self-refer for support when they need it most. It was also found that services did not always treat people in poverty with respect.
The partnership recommended that guidance materials are developed to allow service providers to recruit and train staff with the right values.
On December 12, the recommendations will be presented to Aileen Campbell, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government.
More lives will be lost because of “ridiculous” delays to a new training programme in the Scottish Government’s suicide prevention strategy, says a Dundee campaigner.
Minsters unveiled their long-waited plan to reduce the number of the tragedies by 20% within four years on Thursday.
One scheme is for the SNP administration to fund improved mental health and suicide training by spring next year.
Gillian Murray, who lost her uncle to suicide in Dundee, said that target date will be too late for many.
“Refreshed suicide prevention training by May 2019 is ridiculous,” Ms Murray said.
“The suicide strategy is already two years late. How many have died and how many will still die as a result of this delay?”
She also criticised claims in the report there has been “real progress” in tackling suicide, with figures published this summer showing 32 people killed themselves in Dundee alone last year.
She said: “The rate of deaths by suicide has increased by 61% in Tayside. How on earth can this be classified as progress?”
However, she welcomed £3 million of extra funding for suicide prevention and strategies to break down stigma and support those who have been bereaved.
Ms Murray’s uncle David Ramsay was found dead at Templeton Woods in October 2016 following a mental breakdown. He had been rejected twice for treatment by NHS Tayside.
An independent inquiry is being held into suicides connected with the Carseview Centre and wider mental health services in Tayside.
The Scottish Government has been criticised for delays in publishing the strategy, which comes nearly two years after the previous one expired.
Alex Cole-Hamilton, the Lib Dem MSP, said that delay is unforgivable, but welcomed the strategy as a chance to be a “success and save lives”.
Scotland will have a dedicated team called the National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group to implement 10 new measures to cut the number of the tragedies.
It will be chaired by Rose Fitzpatrick, the recently-retired former deputy chief constable of Police Scotland.
NHS workers will be required to receive training in mental health issues and suicide prevention as part of the proposals, while ministers are also pledging “timely and effective support” for those affected by suicide.
Dr Donald Macgregor, of the Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health, said the plan “gives a clear signal that the Scottish Government is serious about supporting everyone, including children, who may develop a mental health problem”.
He called on the training to be compulsory for all staff – not just those in the NHS.
Claire Haughey, the Mental Health Minister, said: “Over the past decade, Scotland has made real progress in reducing deaths by suicide, but we have far more to do.
“This plan sets out how the Scottish Government and our partners will achieve this and it makes clear that suicide prevention is everyone’s business.”
Mandy McLaren, whose Dundee son Dale Thomson killed himself in 2015, said: “They can put any strategy they want in place, but until these psychiatrists and mental health nurses start listening to the patients, and the patients’ families, nothing is ever going to change.”
CRISIS talks to improve mental health support in the Highlands have been branded “disappointing”.
A seminar was held to help councillors understand the challenges these services are facing but it has been criticised for a lack of input from patients.
Councillor Richard Laird, who called for the event last year, said another meeting must be held so those effected can share their experiences.
The deputy opposition leader and gained unanimous support for a seminar to be held, when he raised the issue at a full Highland Council meeting in September and recounted the lack of help he received when he sought treatment for his own depression last year.
The meeting was held at the council’s headquarters in Inverness last week and although representatives from mental health support services Advocacy Highland and Highland Users Group attended, they were not invited to give a presentation.
Instead, councillors heard from NHS Highland, council staff and the police.
Councillor Laird, who represents Inverness Central, said: “To me and those support groups I have spoken to, the seminar was disappointing. “The most important voices are those belonging to the patients of mental health services but they went unheard at this seminar.
“While it was useful to hear from the council, NHS Highland and Police Scotland, I wanted councillors to also hear from the people who rely on these services.
“If more people living with poor mental health are not invited to the next meeting to share their experiences with councillors and those same agencies that attended the seminar last week then my motion will have been for nothing.”
Cllr Laird’s push for the event came just a month after a cut in the number of places at New Craigs Psychiatric Hospital in Inverness. Bed numbers were temporarily reduced from 54 to 48 in August last year due to “extreme staffing pressures” but this was made permanent in December, when health chiefs decided to give more places to people with age-related illnesses such as dementia.
During the council debate last year, Cllr Laird said people suffering mental health conditions feel they are not taken seriously and that some have been turned away for treatment despite numerous suicide attempts.
Council leader Margaret Davidson said the seminar had been a success and that another one will be held to hear from more organisations.
“This excellent seminar was arranged today because councillors acknowledged that the provision of adequate mental health services in the Highlands is of the utmost importance,” she said.
“Today was a great awareness raiser and we had outstanding presentations from NHS mental health services, child and adult mental health and the police.
“We will be following this up with a second event so that we get a clear understanding about how we can improve and plan services together with partner agencies and the voluntary sector.”
Last year a report revealed NHS Highland was falling short of target times to treat people with mental health illnesses.
Performance indicators showed 78 per cent of patients waiting for child and adolescent mental health services were treated within 18 weeks of referral, falling far short of the Scottish target of 90 per cent, although other health boards in Scotland fared only slightly better with an average of 80.7 per cent.
NHS Highland’s rate of psychological services was better, with 87 per cent of patients treated within 18 weeks of referral, compared to the Scottish average of 72.4 per cent, both missing the 90 per cent target.
Dundee could be facing an “imminent mental health storm” in the wake of a string of shocking and violent crimes, a leading charity has warned.
A series of horrific incidents in the city over recent months have had mental health identified as a potential factor.
On Thursday, Dundee Sheriff Court heard how Stephen Brisbane, 32, who is accused of using a knife to chop off a disabled pensioner’s hand, will undergo psychiatric assessment to determine whether he is fit to stand trial.
Mr Giugliano said he would back calls for a roll-out of centres across Scotland because “people need to know where to turn”.
“We are facing an imminent mental health storm if we don’t reduce the number of issues people are facing,” he said.
“The number of people reaching crisis point is increasing and our focus has to be on reducing those problems and encouraging people to seek help.”
Scottish Conservative justice spokesman Liam Kerr said mental health has proved a “huge challenge” for police.
“Officers are coming into contact with people with mental health difficulties every day and it puts huge pressure on police resources,” he said.
“We believe there should be parity between mental and physical health, and that more needs to be done to improve capacity and staffing within our NHS.”
A Scottish Government spokeswoman said it was “long-established” that individuals who cannot appreciate the nature or wrongfulness of their actions are not held responsible by criminal law. However, she insisted the government “fully recognises that mental health is a public health issue”
The spokeswoman added: “We are committed to ensuring people receive appropriate care and treatment that meets their individual needs, no matter the setting, with specific attention given to mental health.”
The First Minister has backed a call for an emergency mental health unit providing round-the-clock care in Dundee.
Scottish Labour’s Jenny Marra said the dedicated A&E unit is vital in the wake of the revelation from Tayside’s most senior police officer that mental health is the force’s “greatest challenge” in the city.
Speaking at First Minister’s Questions, Ms Marra said: “Does the FM agree with me that the time has now come for a mental health accident and emergency facility open seven days a week, over the weekend, with access to specialist nurses, doctors and counsellors?
“(And) for this kind of facility to open in Dundee and in other places across Scotland that desperately need it?”
Nicola Sturgeon immediately threw her support behind Ms Marra’s proposal at Holyrood’s weekly showpiece.
“Yes I do agree,” the SNP leader replied.
“Indeed one of the factors behind the future strategy for policing in Scotland is about the changing nature of demand.
“Certainly when I speak to senior police officers they often mental health and the additional demands that they put on police.”
Ms Sturgeon said the Scottish Government’s mental health strategy releases extra funding for mental health workers in places such as police stations and prisons.
Earlier this month, Tayside’s divisional commander Ch Supt Paul Anderson said new ways must be found to help police with the “huge” level of mental health demand in Dundee.
Speaking after FMQs, Ms Marra said: “The present system of mental health crisis care is simply not enough.
“People are not getting the immediate care they require especially over the weekends.
“The police have said that it is the biggest challenge facing officers here in Dundee.
“I hear stories time and time again of police seeking care for people and being turned away.
“It’s time that Dundee had a mental health A&E so that those in the most desperate need of care can present themselves, be assessed and given help, care and assistance.
“I’m pleased the First Minister agreed with my call, I will now be making sure that she fulfils her promise.”