City council called upon to play their part in mental health care in Dundee

City council called upon to play their part in mental health care in Dundee

A senior politician has said no stone should be left unturned if the city is to address the deepening mental health crisis.

Labour leader on Dundee City Council Kevin Keenan said that the independent inquiry into mental health services in  NHS Tayside published this week, which set out 50 recommendations, raised very concerning issues.

Mr Keenan said: “Everything I have read so far shows that there needs to be some level of spending from Dundee City Council to help achieve the recommendations  laid out by the report.

“I have written to the council’s chief executive David Martin to ask what that level of financial commitment will be.

Mr Keenan added: “I have also asked him to address the issues and have further asked whether there is any opportunity to receive government funding given that the NHS in Tayside has effectively let down individuals and those in need of care.”

Mr Keenan said that the council had a crucial role to play as one of the partners involved in  caring for people with mental health issues in Dundee.

He said: “Through  our council housing services and our social work department we regularly come into contact with people with mental health issues.

David Martin, chief executive of Dundee City Council

“I want to know how we can provide better support, particularity following on the concerns raised by the  independent  inquiry report.

“There is little doubt that there is a link in Dundee between mental health and drug taking issues and the previous Fair Commission held in the city highlighted this and committed to providing appropriate care.

Mr Keenan added: “It also concerns  me that many children in Dundee  suffer as a result of mental health and drug issues.

“We should be looking at how we can best support these children. We have one of the highest number of Looked After Children and many sibling groups would have been split – something which I understand this report has been very critical of.

“I would hope that we could have some level of case review undertaken fairly quickly – if we are getting it wrong for any child then we must address this promptly. ”

A Dundee City Council spokesman said: “The chief executive will respond to Bailie Keenan in due course.”


Link to Evening Telegraph article here  

Grieving Dundee dad accuses Tay Bridge bosses of putting a price on people’s lives

Dundee’s Wullie

Dundee’s Wullie

Oor Wullie’s no feeling great!

His heid is in an afa state!

He’s sitting there jist haeing a greet!

Life’s no iwiz reilly on the street!


When times are tough, and life is sare,

there’s iwiz somedee wa will care.

A problem shared is a problem halved,

Yir mind can often drev yi daft!


Our local cooncil care not a jot!

If it wiz up tae them, yid be left tae rot!

With cuts to athing we hold dear,

It’s enough to ful yir hert we fear.


What Dundee needs maist o a!

Is a space to gee yir mind a blaw

A non-referral crisis centre.

a safe place anyone can enter!


But mind, when times are tough and hard,

Play Dundee Wullie’s cunning card

Instead of telling life tae fuck it!

Stick yir heid inside a bucket!!!



Wullie can be found at the junction of Strathmartine Road and Mains Road. Or directly behind Lesley’s snack bar.



Hundreds back petition calling for action to make Tay Road Bridge safer

Hundreds back petition calling for action to make Tay Road Bridge safer

Hundreds of people have signed a petition calling for action to make the Tay Road Bridge safer for people who are thinking of ending their lives.

An online petition demanding measures are put in place to make it harder for people to consider using the bridge to take their own lives.

The petition has amassed nearly 400 signatures at time of writing, with a target of 500.

It calls for measures such as barriers to be installed in protect vulnerable people.

Michael Low started the petition after a friend took their own life.

He said: “My personal mission is to take this to the authorities.

“The fact is there needs to be higher fencing or other materials or methods to ensure that the Tay Road Bridge is no longer available in a person’s hour of distress.”

The petition has been backed by Phil Welsh, who lost his son Lee to suicide in August 2017.

Phil said: “The bridge needs to be looked at with the evidence that things like barriers can’t be put in place.

“As well as supporting the petition, I have sent a letter to the bridge board asking about protections on the bridge. I haven’t heard anything back yet.

“We’re just trying to keep the conversation going as much as we can because there’s a lot more that can be done to help people in need.

“We’ve also been campaigning for a 24-hour crisis centre, like in Edinburgh.

“I do think they should look at what can be done at the bridge, with barriers being a big one. If it is the case that they can’t put barriers in place then that’s fine, but I would like to see evidence supporting that.

“All routes should be followed before making a decision.

“The grassroots support should be there to help people before they get to that stage, but there should still be something at the bridge.”

Officials from the Tay Road Bridge Joint Board have examined such measures and ultimately decided it was not feasible to make any substantial changes to the bridge’s structure.

The bridge deck cantilevers — long beams or girders commonly used in bridge construction — would be unable to support additional barriers because of the strain windy weather would put on them, it has been claimed.

Board vice-chairman Jonny Tepp said the bridge management are actively looking at ways to make the bridge safe.

“They do their best to make themselves aware of what action can be taken,” the Liberal Democrat councillor for Tay Bridgehead said.

Dundee City Council also launched an online campaign last month highlighting where people can go for support if they are having suicidal thoughts.

If you need help, or need someone to talk to, a Samaritans volunteers can help.
Contact them on 116 123, or email

Dundee has highest suicide rate in mainland Scotland as numbers rise across the country

Dundee has highest suicide rate in mainland Scotland as numbers rise across the country

Dundee has one of the highest rates of suicide in Scotland as the national figure rises.

Data published by the ISD (information services division) show that 784 probable suicides took place in the country in 2018 — a 15% rise on the 680 recorded in 2017.

There had been a dip in overall rates across Scotland between 2013 and 2015, but it has steadily risen since then.

In Dundee, 19 people per 100,000 people have committed suicide in the last five years — second only to the Orkney Islands with 20.1.

The national average between 2014 and 2018 was 13.2.

Angus was below that, with 10.1 per 100,000 people — the fifth lowest in Scotland.

In Perth and Kinross the rate was 13.3 and in Fife it was 12.9.

Dundee City Council launched a campaign earlier this month, focusing on social media, that highlights where to go for support.

Across Scotland, the rates for men are three times higher than for women.

The highest rate for men occur between the ages of 35 and 44, but for women it is between 45 and 54.

In August 2018, the Scottish Government launched a suicide prevention action plan.

The National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group is expected to publish its first annual report in September.

As of the end of April this year, there has been more than 2,800 referrals to specialists help from front-line services.

Clare Haughey, mental health minister, said: “Any suicide is a tragedy.

“An increase in deaths by suicide last year is concerning and is sadly reflected in other parts of the world, too.

“We remain committed to building on the overall 19% decrease in suicide rates in Scotland between 2004-2008.

“Alongside mental health and suicide prevention groups, we are working to raise public awareness and improve crisis support services for at risk groups.”

Scottish Liberal Democrat MSP Alex Cole-Hamilton said: “These are startling and heartbreaking statistics.

“More than two people a day are dying by suicide and there has been an unbelievable rise in deaths among young people.”

Scottish Conservative MSP Annie Wells said: “The Scottish Government may have spent more time talking about mental health in recent years, but these figures show that hasn’t been matched by action.

“We’ve gone backwards and the hundreds of who took their own lives last year are a tragic testament to that.”



Parents hit out at thieves who stole from grave of tragic Dundee dad Lee

Parents hit out at thieves who stole from grave of tragic Dundee dad Lee

The parents of a young Dundee dad who took his own life have hit out at thieves who stole sentimental trinkets from their son’s grave.

Parents Phil and Lesley at a mural which was painted in tribute to their son Lee

Lee Welsh, 27, was found dead at his Peddie Street home in the city’s West End in August 2017 after suffering from depression.

His dad Phil and mum Lesley discovered the heartbreaking theft when they visited Lee’s grave at Birkhill Cemetery on Sunday.

Phil said: “Lesley had four little glass trinkets in the shape of diamonds hanging on the little fence that goes round the gravestone.

“They aren’t worth anything financially but they are significant to us as a family as the words ‘Shine on you crazy diamond’ from a Pink Floyd song are engraved on the gravestone.

“We know they aren’t worth any money but it has been really upsetting for us.

“When we realised they had been taken we were really hurt.”

Phil added: “Whoever took them probably doesn’t think too much about what they have done but I want them to realise that taking things from a grave can be desperately upsetting for those left behind and grieving.

“People should think more carefully about their actions and be aware of the hurt they can cause.”

Since Lee died, Phil and Lesley have been campaigning for a 24/7 crisis centre in Dundee to give immediate access to people having suicidal thoughts.

They have also organised various fundraising events for groups and centres that currently offer support.

The next event is a soup and pudding lunch to be held at Dundee West Church on May 25.

Money raised from the lunch will this year go to the Art Angel charity.

Lesley said: “Art Angel is a unique and inspired arts project run by and for people with experience of mental health difficulties in Dundee.

“It helps people work towards recovery and mental wellbeing.”

A similar event last year raised almost £1,000 for Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH).

The second Lee Welsh memorial football match is also planned for July 20.

It will be held at North End Park and this year the money raised will be donated to Art Angel on behalf of the Not in Vain for Lee charity.

As well as football, there will be other attractions including a bouncy castle, face and henna painting and a demonstration by Dundee Mods Scooter Club.

Last year’s match, organised by Lee’s childhood friend Steve Martin, raised more than £1,000 for DAMH.