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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Tayside Police and mental heath referrals.

Image result for CARSEVIEW DUNDEE

 

The following video was lifted from STV’s North Tonight. the quality of the video is not brilliant, however, it would be good to receive some opinion regarding the training of police officers to make the decision whether an individual with mental health issues should be referred to Carseview by means of a telephone conversation. Also it should be noted that often a person may not express the anxiety they are currently experiencing over the phone. Often the physical actions of an individual can reveal much more than what a telephone consultation can.

Report can be viewed here   

 

In addition to the article/video above, I received this observation regarding the subject from a friend of a friend on Facebook.  Please share any opinion or experience you have regarding this particular subject in our contact section. Which you can find here

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Call for new crisis centre in Dundee to help folk thinking about suicide

Lesley Nicoll and Phil Welsh — the parents of Lee Welsh — next to a mural in his memory.

New figures have revealed that almost three quarters of all suicides in Dundee were among men.

The latest statistics released by the NHS show that there were a total of 147 suicides in Dundee between 2009 and 2015, of which 109 were men.

The figures also show that the majority of men who committed suicide in the city were employed in senior positions, such as managers, while 43% of men who committed suicide were unemployed, disabled or living off their own means.

One Dundee dad who knows only too well the devastation and heartbreak caused by suicide is Phil Welsh.

Lee Welsh, 27, of the city’s West End, took his own life in August, leaving his friends and family devastated. Phil  called for a crisis centre — similar to one in Edinburgh, which is open 24/7 and provides community based, emotional and practical support at times of crisis — to be set up in Dundee.

Phil told the Evening Telegraph: “Not until Lee died did I appreciate just how many men took their own lives.

“Lee’s death left our family heartbroken and we’re doing everything we can to stop this happening to other families.

“We would like to see a crisis centre set up in Dundee similar to the one in Edinburgh where people who feel suicidal can turn.”

The Tele previously told that Lee had battled mental health issues for almost a decade prior to his death.

Lee’s suicide prompted his parents to campaign for more action to help people with similar issues and following his death, the website Not in Vain for Lee was established.

He said: “If through this focus we can prevent one family from enduring the heartache we as a family are currently suffering, then Lee’s death will not have been in vain.”

Rob Burns, development manager of Dundee’s mental health service the Hearing Voices Network, said that the figures relating to men did not surprise him.

Mr Burns said men who have taken their own lives may not have spoken to anyone about the issues they are experiencing.

He added: “It is really quite frightening the number of people who take their own lives.

“We are very aware that up until now men have not been as willing to come forward to talk about their mental issues or other things that are concerning them as women have been.

“I would think the men in Dundee who have taken their own lives have not previously spoken to anyone about their concerns.

“We are currently doing a lot of work to get men to open up, including taking on more male volunteer supporters.”

The majority of men — 64% — who took their own lives were also single, compared to just over 18% who were married or in a civil relationship.

The figures also revealed that 36 suicides took place within five years of discharge from a mental health service.

While 22 — 15% — of all suicides occurred within 12 months of the person being discharged from a mental health service.

The stats also reveal that more than 87% of people were taking antidepressants at the time of death, while 44.6% were on drugs used in psychoses and related disorders.

The figures follow recent reports that Dundee’s suicide rate is at its highest in 21 years.

A total of 37 people took their lives in 2016 — more than three every month.

n If you feel suicidal, or just need someone to talk to, volunteers at the Samaritans are on hand to help 24 hours a day.

Contact them by calling 116123, or by emailing jo@samaritans.org.

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New health inequalities system to help Dundee’s most deprived

Drug abuse was one of the key issues identified as affecting Dundee’s deprived communities.

Original Courier article here 

 

A revamped system to deal with health inequalities in Dundee has been launched after it emerged that the city has the second lowest life expectancy in Scotland.

Alcohol-related emergency admissions, substance-related deaths and suicides were identified by the Dundee Health and Social Care Partnership as some of the biggest health problems facing deprived communities.

The newly-streamlined system to tackle those issues aims to integrate health inequalities teams, budgets and management, which were previously separate.

Community groups and activities are also being actively targeted at vulnerable individuals, rather than having open access.

In addition, health checks are being offered on a locality basis and pathways between different components of the health inequalities team are being improved.

The new system will be discussed at a meeting of the Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) on Tuesday.

A report released in advance of the meeting explained: “The Dundee HSCP identified health inequalities a a priority theme.

“Dundee has the second lowest life expectancy in Scotland with a variation in gender and deprivation.

“The life expectancy of a female living in the most affluent part of Dundee is 10 years higher than a male living in the most deprived area.

“Dundee has a marked difference in lifestyle behaviours and resultant poor health across socio-economic groups.

“The patterns of some behaviours are not straightforward but the harm caused is disproportionate within disadvantaged populations.

“Drug misuse is concentrated within socio-deprived communities and is associated with other mental health and social problems.

“People with long-term conditions and mental health problems live disproportionately in Dundee’s disadvantaged communities.

“Alcohol related emergency admissions, drug and alcohol deaths and suicides are high in the city and are closely linked to deprivation.”

The re-designed system aims to target adults living in the 20% most deprived areas and who fit one of the following additional criteria: offenders, homeless, substance abusers, carers and people on low incomes, people with poor mental health.

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