The Dean Wallace Show.

The Dean Wallace Show.

The Welsh Family Dealing with the Suicide of their Son Lee – Not in Vain for Lee

Tonight at 8pm I will have Big Welshy (Phil), Lesley & Kirsty on the Show!These guys tragically lost a beautiful son & an amazing brother Lee 3 years ago to suicide!This inspiring family are coming on to tell their personal story & share some special stories about Lee as well as the struggles he went through in his life.This along with what they are up to now & campaigning to get a Crisis Centre set up right here in Dundee.This has actually been planned for a few weeks & I didn’t even realise it was landing right in & around this time!I’ve know these guys & Lee from I was just a wee laddie growing up on the Tap O’ the Hull & it’s an honour to have them on & really try to share their message & help save lives ❤️🙏🏼❤️http://www.notinvainforlee.co.uk/

Posted by The Dean Wallace Show on Monday, 14 September 2020

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A drastic overhaul of mental health support remains the key to reducing the number of attempted suicides on the Tay Road Bridge, it has been claimed.

There has been a spate of incidents on the crossing recently, with the bridge being closed by police after reports of concern for a person just after 3am earlier this week.

In another incident, a body was recovered from the Tay after a man was seen entering the water from the bridge.

Dundee City Council leader John Alexander said more must be done for people struggling with their mental health before they reach crisis point.

He said: “The reality is, the bridge isn’t the issue.

“Mental health services, and making sure adequate support is there for people who find themselves in crisis, is the issue.

“We have to ask ourselves, why are people presenting themselves at the bridge and why are people – in some instances – jumping off the bridge? And are they receiving the right support?

“In many cases, the answer will be ‘no’.

“And that is fundamentally the crux of it – we’ve got to get better at providing the right services at the right time, to intervene and support people to save their lives.

“That’s what’s going to make the difference to saving people’s lives.

“The bridge, unfortunately, is just one way in which a negative experience manifests itself.

“And, if it wasn’t the bridge, it might well be something else.”

In July, Health Improvement Scotland said it had found “significant concerns” with adult mental health community services in Dundee.

Campaigners such as Phil Welsh, whose son Lee took his own life in 2017, are among those who have called for a 24/7 crisis centre.

Mr Alexander reiterated his backing for such a facility, as well as other measures which may discourage people from accessing the bridge.

© DCThomson John Alexander.

He said: “It’s just not about physical things like barriers and netting, there are other things.

“It’s about more than having messages and support available on the bridge – such as if people can pick up a phone and call someone.

“It is making sure people know there is support available and they are valued, and that isn’t what they need to do and where they need to be.

“I’ve been asked previously about things like a crisis centre, and I think those types of initiatives are going to make far more of a difference than netting, or fencing or whatever it might be.”

The ongoing issue will be discussed at a meeting of the bridge board on Monday.

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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In full: Report claims mental health services ‘fall short’ of what is needed in Tayside

In full: Report claims mental health services ‘fall short’ of what is needed in Tayside

Campaigners claim a damning review into mental health services across Tayside proves the region is “falling far short” of what is needed.

And fears have also been raised that more preventable suicides will happen before measures are put in place to prevent them.

© Shutterstock
(stock image)

A report, by Health Improvement Scotland (HIS), found “significant concerns” with adult mental health community services, which are managed by NHS Tayside and health and social care partnerships.

It is the latest blow for the local service’s reputation following a string of damaging inquiries and reports in recent years.

HIS raise questions over the area’s “crisis resolution” service, and claims there are inconsistencies in access to treatment depending on where people live.


Campaigners call for 24-hour Dundee crisis centre to end high suicide numbers


Phil Welsh, who has been campaigning for a 24/7 crisis centre since the suicide of his son Lee, said: “The review, specifically in regard to immediate crisis support, still leaves the region far short of what is needed – namely a non-referral 24 hour crisis centre.

“What is offered in the report exemplifies that no real change will be forthcoming.

“While the review goes on to acknowledge that the partnerships and NHS Tayside recognise that they are struggling to provide the appropriate levels and quality of crisis response – but what is really alarming is the vagueness and empty gesture that `steps are being taken to address this’.

“The public have a right to understand `what steps` will actually be taken. This review does nothing to assure the people of Tayside that mental health provision will change,

“Will we as a region suffer more preventable suicides until these ‘steps’ are put in place?”


‘This was no cry for help… I wanted to die’ – brave Dundee woman Zana speaks out about her mental health battle


HIS also criticised the reliance on temporary staff, which the organisation claimed was unsustainable in the long-term.

And the organisation has recommended the health board and partnerships address these issues urgently.

However, the report did acknowledge that Tayside was not the only board facing these challenges, and that it was a nationwide problem.

And it also praised the commitment and dedication of staff, in the face of a number of challenges outwith their control.

NHS Tayside has issued a joint response with Angus, Dundee and Perth and Kinross health and social care partnerships.

It maintains they will continue to work to keep their promise of listening and acting on what requires to be done to improve mental health care in the region.

A spokesman said: “We will now ensure that the actions and recommendations set out in the report are progressed through the improvement work already under way across mental health services Tayside.”

The statement added: “This HIS review coincided and overlapped with the final report of the Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services in Tayside which was published by Dr David Strang in February 2020.

“The findings released are reflected in the 51 recommendations of the independent inquiry’s report, and they will be taken forward in our Listen Learn Change draft Action Plan, which was submitted to Scottish Government in June 2020.

“Our final action plan will be completed later this month and include any further recommendations from this review, alongside the detailed work which is being progressed to improve mental health services across Tayside.

“We made a promise to the people of Tayside that we will ‘Listen, Learn and Change’ in response to the independent inquiry and the further actions which we will take from today’s report reinforce that pledge.

“As we move forward we will continue to refine our plans and ensure that these voices feature strongly and influence the new Tayside-wide Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy which will be published in early 2021.”

Mental health campaigner Gillian Murray, whose uncle, David Ramsay killed himself after being refused treatment at Carseview Centre, said the report highlighted the “same old rubbish.”

She said: “Given Health Improvement Scotland undertook multiple reports and investigations that proved worthless – hence the need for a truly independent inquiry – I have little faith in the substance or impartiality of their reports.

“Thankfully David Strang will be returning early next year to see which, if any, of his recommendations have been implemented. That will be a report worth reading.”

Richard Peter–Tenant, who formed Dundee men’s mental health charity Walk and Blether said he supported any effort to improve mental health services in Tayside.

Richard said: “It’s at least encouraging that a further review has been carried out into what is available in Tayside.

“I am a strong supporter of a 24-hour mental health crisis centre for Dundee.

“One was needed before but I think it is going to be even more necessary as we begin to come out of this situation.”

Richard added: “If this report is listened to, along with the recommendations made in the Strang Report then maybe we can go some way to resolving Dundee’s mental health crisis.”

The Independent Inquiry Into Mental Health Services in Tayside

In February of this year The Independent Inquiry Into Mental Health Services in Tayside published its Trust and Respect report and called for an urgent overhaul of the practices.

In May 2018, concerns were raised in the Scottish Parliament about the provision of mental health services in Tayside.

An inquiry to examine the accessibility, safety, quality and standards of care provided by all mental health services in the region was commissioned as a result.

The final report, Trust and Respect, was published on February 5 and was chaired by David Strang CBE.

It contained 51 recommendations to improve mental health care in Tayside and highlights numerous failings, including a breakdown of trust, a failure to deliver services, a lack of psychiatrists, a lack of leadership and a lack of accountability.

Addressing his findings at the time Dr Strang said the board had “lurched from crisis to crisis”.

Dr Strang said he’d been disappointed NHS Tayside appeared to not have listened and did not learn from previous incidents.

He said: “On too many occasions, Tayside has adopted a defensive position, giving the impression of wanting to protect its reputation at all costs.”

Dr Strang said, while he couldn’t make any promises NHS Tayside would act on his recommendations, he was confident there would be strict monitoring of what the board was doing and he vowed to revisit the situation.

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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‘This was no cry for help… I wanted to die’ – brave Dundee woman Zana speaks out about her mental health battle

‘This was no cry for help… I wanted to die’ – brave Dundee woman Zana speaks out about her mental health battle

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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Video: City councillors back 24-hour crisis centre for Dundee following incident on Tay Bridge

Video: City councillors back 24-hour crisis centre for Dundee following incident on Tay Bridge

Dundee City Council’s leader has backed calls for a 24-hour crisis centre for people struggling with mental health problems – after admitting support services in the city “have not been good enough”.

Campaigners have previously urged public bodies in Dundee to fund and open a 24/7 mental health crisis centre in the city following previous cases of self-harm and suicide.

Members of Dundee Fighting for Fairness (DFFF) previously said people are “crying out” for a unit they can go to at times of crisis.

The parents of Lee Welsh and Dale Thomson – two young men who both took their lives after serious bouts of mental health problems and depression – have been outspoken on their support for such a facility.

The issue came to the fore again after a person was helped from the Tay Road Bridge on Thursday. The bridge has now been seen as a “crisis area” according to councillor Lynne Short – with numerous people rescued by emergency services on the bridge and surrounding area.

Ms Short is a member of the Tay Road Bridge board, and has spoken openly about her struggles with her own mental health in the past.

Speaking to the Tele in a video interview, councillor Short, who represents Maryfield, said: “The bridge staff work really, really hard to support people, and I can only thank them enough for all that support that they do give.

“It’s just really unfortunate that people in the city do see that area as being somewhere to find help.

“I recognise it, as an individual, and I’ve always found the support I’ve needed. That’s why I’ve always been very open about my struggles with my mental health, and the fact that we can talk about it nowadays.

Maryfield councillor Lynne Short spoke about the matter during a video interview.

The council leader echoed Ms Short’s views, and cited the Strang Report’s findings into mental health.

The chief executive of NHS Tayside, Grant Archibald, publicly apologised to patients, family and staff for the failings of mental health services laid bare in his damning report in February this year.

Mr Strang’s Trust and Respect report identified 51 recommendations to be implemented to improve mental health services in Tayside.

Strathmartine councillor Mr Alexander said: “The Strang Review, which was pretty hard-hitting, gave some very serious, well-thought out recommendations.

“One of the key recommendations was around this kind of idea of a support centre that was accessible to members of the public at any point in time.”

However, the council leader questioned whether the bridge would be the best place for a centre, because people may feel uncomfortable seeking help at such a visible location.

© DC Thomson
John Alexander joined the Tele for a video interview with colleague Lynne Short.

“You have to be conscious and listen to people who have real-life experience, rather than a politician saying, ‘I think it needs to be here’,” he added.

NHS Tayside was approached for comment

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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Mental health charity reveals stranded students are suffering during lockdown in Dundee

Mental health charity reveals stranded students are suffering during lockdown in Dundee

A leading mental health charity has said stranded students in Dundee are feeling the biggest strain during lockdown.

Feeling Strong, which offers support to young people who are suffer mental health issues, have said there has been an increase in worries among many in the city.

But, according to Marla Heier, lead volunteer at Feeling Strong, students attending universities in Dundee have been left feeling isolated, with coronavirus restrictions meaning some haven’t seen loved ones in month.

Ms Heier said: “Young people are definitely having increased mental health worries as a result of lockdown.

“Some of the worst affected are students who chose to stay in the city when lockdown began.

“Many believed it would maybe only last for around a month.

“Now we are several months in and for many it has been impossible to leave the city or to go home.

“Some of these students can’t leave Dundee to go to  home because their families are shielding or have vulnerable members.

“Other students from foreign countries are also unable to go home and for them the situation is worse because they are so far from their loved ones.”

In January, Feeling Strong opened a community hub in Stobswell aiming to deliver a number of services for the young people of the city.

The hub is also designed to be a one stop shop for those who are indeed of support.

However, throughout lockdown, the base has been closed to its users.

Although unable to physically meet with those struggling, volunteers at Feeling Strong been able to offer counselling online.

Ms Heier said: “We are regularly in touch with some people who have turned to us for help and we have also provided advice and support to people who have come to us  even once.

“We can offer peer support but they can also signpost and make referrals to other groups in the city who can also offer to help.”

“Hopefully we are providing a lifeline for young people who may be facing this current crisis alone and feel they have no one else to talk to.”

Feeling strong can be contacted at  www.feelingstrong.co.uk or at www.calendly.com/feelingstrong/drop-in-hub.

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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