Local politicians have thrown their weight behind plans for a new 24-hour crisis centre, as mental health issues in the city continue to worsen.
Some of the best-known elected officials have voiced their support for the proposed centre, which would provide in-person support for those struggling with their mental health.
The renewed push comes as mental health issues and suicides continue to appear across Dundee and Tayside, drawing scrutiny to the way that counselling and support are provided to those in need.
We need to take a new approach to mental health.
Dundee City Council’s health spokesman, Councillor Ken Lynn, said that it was time for the area to take a “new approach to mental health”.
He said: “We were discussing the idea of a crisis centre in a meeting that I was just in, it’s an idea that we have already been talking about for some years now.
“Planning for the centre was ongoing last year but the Covid first hit and it wouldn’t have been practical to focus on an in-person service at the time.
“Now it’s clear that this can’t wait and while I can’t give an exact time scale, we are looking to get things running as quickly as is practically possible.
“The line would definitely be to watch this space.”
Widespread support for centre
Other councillors, such as Maryfield’s Lynne Short, are also advocates for the centre.
Ms Short expressed her support for the proposal last year, and has continued to stand firm on the issue.
She said: “I’m very much in favour of the idea, even more so now as it becomes clear that we are spending much longer in this sort of Covid world.
“It’s so important that our mental health and wellbeing are always at the forefront of our minds.
“It’s something that we’re definitely going to keep on the agenda.”
The SNP councillor also highlighted the importance of providing support for those who are having trouble with their psychological health before the issues become too severe.
She added: “Ideally, we don’t want people to get to the point were we need a crisis centre.
“There is no silver bullet for this kind of thing, but just having something physical like the centre would be incredibly helpful.”
The idea has even garnered the support of national politicians, such as Dundee East MP Stewart Hosie.
The SNP politician called the idea “sensible”, saying: “There is no single politician out there who is not aware of the recent increases in mental health issues.
“In terms of proposals, a crisis centre where people can access help is evidently in itself a sensible idea.”
Chris Law, MP for Dundee West, said: “I know that the last year has been especially tough on everyone in our city and across the country.
“Lockdowns and other restrictions have been necessary to help slow the spread of Covid-19 and save lives, but these decisions will undoubtedly have a knock-on effect on people’s mental health.
“The Scottish Government’s announcement of an extra £120 million for mental health support, bringing total support to over £1.2 billion across the country, will be extremely welcome and will go some way to helping those in our local communities.
“I have also been heartened by proposals put forward by the Dundee Alcohol and Drug Partnership on mental health and I hope that councillors will carefully consider them.”
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