The success of a new approach to supporting mental health issues in Dundee has been hailed as a national success.
Making Recovery Real, which has been trialed in Dundee, brings people who have battled mental health challenges together with professionals, to decide the best support to offer in the city.
Participants from Making Recovery Real in Dundee traveled to Edinburgh to speak at a Scottish Recovery Network about how the scheme works.
They premiered a short film showing how people with experience of mental health issues could give their perspective on what helped them and go on to offer support to others.
It is hoped that the project will be adapted by communities across Scotland looking for a new approach to developing and accessing mental health support.
One of the service users, Rona Foy, said working with people who had similar experiences helped her see how the group could help her and she is now supporting others.
“I saw other people flourish that were on the group and they started to become more confident and wanted to help other people.
“It has given me lots of different opportunities and it has just been great.
“I am going to be facilitating a peer to peer course myself after doing on which is exciting and I just think it’s so worthwhile.”
The participants worked with professionals from Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership, NHS Tayside, Dundee City Council and Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA), among others.
Ruth Brown, team leader of mental health engagement and involvement at DVVA and chairwoman of the Making Recovery Real partners group said: “Our work with Scottish Recovery Network has been transformational for individuals who live with mental health challenges, for mental health organisations, and for our strategic planning and delivery mechanisms in the city.
“It enabled us to work more effectively together, to make better decisions, to keep lived experience at the centre of all we do, to maintain our focus on recovery and to invest in growing peer support.”
Dundee’s youth mental health charity, Feeling Strong, has opened its new community hub in Stobswell.
It aims to deliver a number of services for the young people of the city and the hub is also designed to be a one-stop-shop for those who have mental health challenges.
Among the services available to youngsters are an area to chill out and escape the pressures of day-to-day life, plus the chance to learn about services for more help and referrals to other organisations.
There are also opportunities, depending on the young person’s specific needs, such as counselling, support with employability plus education and access to other mental health activities available in Dundee.
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 Change.org 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 email@example.com.