Suicide prevention notes make a different as Dundee mum has first success story

Suicide prevention notes make a different as Dundee mum has first success story

A young mum’s bid to bring happiness to someone’s day has had its first major success.

Sophie McCutcheon, 23, from Lochee, struggles with crippling depression and has recently set about helping others in a similar situation.

Just a couple of weeks ago Sophie launched her Love from a Stranger project,

This saw her leaving dozens of inspirational notes around Dundee for those in need.

Now Sophie has spoken out about the first message she has received from a recipient of one of her notes.

The message to Sophie was from someone who also suffers severely from depression.

It said: “I found one of your cards last week. I found it on one of my really bad days.

“I’ve kept it in my memory box to look at when I do have a dark day.

“Just to know that there are people out there that care, and that I can get through this..

“So thank you from the bottom of my heart. I took it as a sign from my loved ones up above that I can keep going.”

Sophie said: “It was incredible to receive the message.

“I  couldn’t be prouder of this achievement.

“It really warmed my heart to know that I was able to help someone who is in the same situation as my own.

“Something as small as my notes of kindness really can make a difference, and knowing that it did have such a big impact on them is the reason why I am doing this.

“I really hope they can lift the spirits of those who need them.”

Sophie’s project began as a result of her own 10-year battle with depression and anxiety.

She recently began her blog The Devious Mind which she hopes will be her own place of sanctuary that could help others.

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Recovery movement and mental health group to join together in a bid to help people ‘on a new level’

Recovery movement and mental health group to join together in a bid to help people ‘on a new level’

A grassroots recovery movement and an online mental health group are set to join forces under a new banner to support locals “on a new level”.

Recovery Dundee and Let’s Talk Tayside will come together to form Let’s Talk Recovery, helping those in recovery from addiction with a friendly and supportive social network.

RD co-founder Sharon Brand, LTT founder Ashley Bonini and personal trainer Mikie McCash hope to give those in the throes of recovery newfound physical and mental wellbeing – and a new network of friends.

Sharon co-founded Recovery Dundee in 2016 to give those dealing with addiction a source of hope to combat the associated mental health issues and loneliness that it can bring.

She later brought Mikie on board to provide free fitness sessions for those in recovery.

Ashley, meanwhile, founded Let’s Talk Tayside as an online group in which people could talk about their mental health openly, drawing on her experience as a student mental health nurse.

Since October last year, LTT’s membership has grown to more than 3,700 members.

Sharon said: “For the last seven months Mikie and I have been in touch with Ashley – we know mental and emotional health are very important so it made sense to come together.”

Ashley added: “It’s the missing link – and together we can try to help as many people as we can.”

The merger of the groups comes after the Dundee Drugs Commission published its report into local services in August.

That report, the result of 18 months of evidence gathering, interviews and both public and private meetings, found there was “a lack of mental health support for those who experience problems with drugs”.

As part of its recommendations, the Commission called on health chiefs to merge drug and mental health treatment, essentially treating them as one issue.

Let’s Talk Recovery’s aims are similar but the group is fiercely proud of its independence rooted in the communities that Sharon, Mikie and Ashley have built up.

Much of what the groups do on a day-to-day basis will not change – the “recovery cafe” nights at Beans and Berries will continue, as will Ashley’s organised group walks.

Sharon added: “We’ve got three years of working in the community and our own personal experience of recovery, of physical health, everything – we all have experience in what we’re working with.

“Coming together means strength in numbers and we can reach more people, and be taken more seriously.

“A community from which people can hear how they got off drugs or improved their mental health, that’s what recovery is about – that lived experience.

“You can’t have that if you are stuck in the system – it’s about feeling you can tackle it yourself.”

Mikie said: “Bringing all three of us together is one massive driving force. We all know what to do – we just need people to let us get on with it.

“We’ve tried it, tested it – what I do, what Sharon does, what Ashley does – but this will be on a level not done before.

“If people feel good, they can keep themselves on the right track – and our job is done.”

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