Mental health staffing concerns as medics fear for future of Tayside psychiatric services

The Carseview Centre

 

Link to Courier article here

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Lord Provost opens Dundee Therapy Garden

Lord Provost Ian Borthwick

 

Link to Courier article here 

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Tay Road Bridge q&a

 

 

Vulnerable People on the Tay Road Bridge – Your Questions Answered

 

Updated date: 23/08/2018 – 16:02

The public will be aware that, from time to time, incidents involving people in distress unfortunately take place on the Tay Road Bridge.

Bridge management takes this issue extremely seriously, and a number of measures are in place to support vulnerable members of the public. Fortunately very few incidents end in tragedy, and most people in crisis are quickly and safely supported by the appropriate agencies.

However, every situation is different, and sometimes longer bridge closures are required to ensure that a vulnerable person gets the help they need.

We are, of course, conscious that closures also have an impact on bridge users and other traffic. This Q&A has been created to help broaden understanding of the issues involved and the work that the bridge team does with its partners to minimise disruption while providing support to people in distress.

What do you do to stop suicides?

We have a state-of-the-art CCTV system monitoring the bridge 24-hours-a-day, every single day of the year for the purposes of public safety. This allows our experienced Control Room Supervisors to monitor all bridge users and take appropriate action quickly.

Our staff are all trained to speak with vulnerable persons, and have undergone accredited Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training (ASIST). This means our staff have the confidence to help those at risk whilst keeping all other bridge users safe.

We also have a direct line to the Police Scotland control room and work closely with other agencies, including all the emergency services, to attend quickly and safely to all emergencies on the bridge.

Why do you have to close both carriageways of the bridge during incidents involving vulnerable people?

There are a number of reasons for this. One of our primary concerns is ensuring the safety of both the person in distress and members of our staff or partner agencies, including emergency services, who are providing support to people on the bridge.

We also have to be aware of the potential for collisions should drivers be distracted by an ongoing incident. Another important consideration is road noise – we must ensure that a person in distress can hear, and be heard by, those providing support during what could be a life or death conversation.

Why don’t you put up barriers along the bridge?

We have looked into this, as we have with an exhaustive range of suicide prevention measures, but unfortunately the 1960s construction of the bridge means this is not practical.

The bridge deck cantilevers, while safely supporting the weight of traffic, would be unable to take the additional load of barriers, with the strain that the wind would create on them.

Couldn’t you put up a net at the edge of the bridge?

This has been thoroughly investigated, but unfortunately rescue of persons from a net would be very difficult and risky and it would likely have some structural implications on the safety of the bridge. It would likely be difficult to maintain the net safely, particularly in winter months and in high winds.

We continue to look at other locations for measures which are effective and could be adapted to the specific requirements of the Tay Road Bridge.

Why aren’t the walkway railings higher?

Unfortunately this would not be an effective deterrent. We are aware that not everyone who goes onto the bridge uses the central walkway as a point of access. Also, if we need to attend to a medical emergency with a pedestrian or cyclist on the walkway then access must be achievable by the Emergency Services.

Why do you have ladders at various points on the bridge that lead to the carriageway?

We need these ladders to access the walkway for maintenance purposes. The ladders also enable stranded motorists to exit their vehicles and use the walkway as a place of safety, and if preferred use our emergency phones, which are placed at regular intervals.

If you do break down in your vehicle on the bridge, then please telephone us on 01382 433044 Option 0. In most cases we will have already spotted you and will be on our way with our specialist protection vehicle and we will arrange your safe recovery from the bridge.

Have you looked into signs with “inspirational messages”?

When signs on the bridge appear our staff must check them all to make sure that no one is put at increased risk by what any messages might say or how they might be interpreted. It is for this reason that we always ask that people don’t install any signs or messages. Signs can also pose a distraction or are at risk of being blown onto other bridge users which might cause an accident.

It would be beneficial for any group or individual interested in this type of project to do so through service user/support groups who are able to support this in the safest way.  Dundee Voluntary Action and Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH) could help with this.

We already have fixed signage to signpost to The Samaritans for help, and we recognise that other agencies are also available to help in a crisis. The Samaritans in Dundee can be contacted on 01382 832555, or for free on 116 123. Breathing Space can be contacted on 0800 838587, or NHS 24 on 111.

 

Link to Tay Bridge Website here 

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Scarlett Moffatt hints at ‘sh***y mental health battle’ after taking a break from social media

 

Scarlett Moffatt returned to Twitter this week after a self-imposed social media ban. Scarlett Moffatt has indicated that she’s experiencing a ‘constant battle of emotions.’ Following a self-imposed social media ban, the vivacious TV personality, 27, agreed with a Twitter user who said that balancing a bubbly personality with ‘shitty mental health’ was confusing. Scarlett is believed to be going through her second break-up with ‘pathological liar’ Lee Wilkinson and deleted her Instagram for a week at the end of July saying she was ‘[honestly so done] with every aspect of social media.’ On her return this week, Scarlett wrote ‘agreed’ with two supportive kisses under a tweet that said: ‘Having shitty mental health but your personality being naturally bubbly & outgoing is theeee most confusing thing. Constant battle of emotions.’ Scarlett has previously spoke about how being in the spotlight affects her mental health. At the end of last month, she vented her frustration at Twitter users who insulted her appearance on Love Island: After Sun. She wrote: ‘I wanted and felt like I had to write that tweet to let you know at the end of the day I’m a 27 year old girl with feelings & a family who get upset also when they see vile comments about my appearance. Something needs to change with our society!!’ She also hinted that pap pictures were beginning to bring her down, warning that unflattering photos can affect people’s mental health. Before finding fame, the former Gogglebox star said that experiences of anxiety and dizzying panic attacks affected her on a daily basis. Writing in her autobiography Sofa, So Good, Scarlett confessed: ‘When you talk about it, it becomes less stressful. I don’t think anyone should feel like it’s a problem, because it’s not something you can help: that’s just how our brains work. ‘There’s such a stigma attached to anxiety, so it’s good to brush that away, nobody should feel embarrassed or alone. The more people talk about it, the more people will understand it and know how to act.’ ‘I still have bad days. What people need to understand about anxiety and panic attacks is that it isn’t necessarily the big things that can make you feel nervous, it can be little things too.’

 

Link to Metro article here

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Inverness charity to provide active lifestyle to aid mental health sufferers

Malcolm MacSween of NessActive, Inverness with some of the sports equipment his charity is lending out for people to try a sport and become more active. 

 

Link to Press and Journal article here

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