‘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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Emergency services attend as woman is rescued from the Tay

Emergency services attend as woman is rescued from the Tay

A female was rescued from the Tay by emergency services late last night.

The woman, who has not been identified, was hauled out of the water close to City Quay just before 11.30pm.

She was transferred to a waiting ambulance. The woman was reported to be very cold but otherwise uninjured.

Emergency services including Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, Broughty Ferry Lifeboat crew and two coastguard teams from Dundee and Arbroath raced to the scene shortly after the alarm was raised at 10.55pm.

A spokesman for HM Coastguard said they received a call from police saying that a female was in the water just off City Quay.

The spokesman said: “Emergency services, including both Broughty Ferry lifeboats, raced to the scene to the woman’s aid.

“The woman was traced by the RNLI crew and she was pulled on to the inshore lifeboat.

“She was then transferred to a waiting ambulance. She was conscious and breathing but was very cold.”

The Tay rescue is the second in three days for the volunteer Broughty Ferry lifeboat crew.

On Sunday they rescued a woman who was seen to enter the water opposite City Quay and began swimming out into the river.

The woman, who had been overwhelmed by the current, was saved by the crew of Broughty Ferry lifeboat who managed to haul her out of the water just as she was going under.

A spokeswoman for Police Scotland said: “Around 11.10pm on Tuesday, 16 June, police were called to a report of a woman in the River Tay near to City Quay in Dundee.

“The woman was rescued from the water and taken by ambulance to Ninewells Hospital to be checked over then later released.”

 

Link to Evening Telegraph story here  

 

 

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Family of tragic Dundee man aiming to raise thousands more for city charity

Family of tragic Dundee man aiming to raise thousands more for city charity

A mum and dad who have been campaigning for a 24-hour crisis centre after their son took his own life have revealed their plans to raise thousands for a mental health charity.

Dad Lee Welsh tragically took his own life in August 2017 leaving behind a seven-year-old daughter, Poppy.

Lee, who was just 23, had battled mental health issues for almost a decade before he committed suicide.

In the years since, Phil and Lee’s mum Lesley Nicoll have been raising money for local mental health charities while continuing to campaign for a self referral crisis centre to help people who find themselves with nowhere to turn.

In only two years they have raised more than £10,500 for city charities and this year they hope to raise  thousands more, topping the total amount raised last year. All the money is raised under the banner Not In Vain for Lee.

Phil said: “Our aim is to raise more money than last year for Haven and we already have three main events lined up.

“We will once more hold our soup and pudding lunch in May, there is a charity football match in June, and we will take part in the university abseil in August.

“We will also continue to hold a number of other small fundraising events and initiatives throughout the year all in Lee’s name.”

Phil said: “The Hearing Voices Network Dundee (Haven) is a small, service user-led charity which seeks to create acceptance that hearing voices is a valid experience.

“Haven provides support to voice hearers through a variety of projects, self-help groups, activities and supported volunteering.

“Our main aim continues to be a crisis centre. We were encouraged that in his independent inquiry report into mental health services, Dr David Strang spoke in favour of such a centre.

 

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 

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VIDEO: ‘You never get over it’ – Dundee parents discuss their children’s suicides

VIDEO: ‘You never get over it’ – Dundee parents discuss their children’s suicides

Link to Evening Telegraph article here 
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