Parents of tragic Dundee musician Lee help raise money for mental health charity

Parents of tragic Dundee musician Lee help raise money for mental health charity

MAY 23RD 11.00 – 1PM MAY 23RD 11.00 – 1PM MAY 23RD 11.00 – 1PM MAY 23RD 11.00 – 1PM MAY 23RD 11.00 – 1PM

DUNDEE WEST CHURCH 

 

A Dundee mental health charity is to benefit from funding raised in the year ahead by the parents of Lee Welsh, who took his own life in 2017.

Phil Welsh and Lesley Nicoll said they will continue to raise money in Lee’s name in 2020 and this year the money will go to the Hearing Voices Network.

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.”

He added: “A 24-hour crisis centre in Dundee is our ultimate goal.

“Until then we’re committed to raising awareness and funds to assist with the costs of small local self-funded mental health charities.”

The first event will be a soup and pudding lunch which will be held in May.

‘One-stop-shop’ mental health hub for youngsters opens in Dundee

‘One-stop-shop’ mental health hub for youngsters opens in Dundee

New safe space for vulnerable youngsters in Dundee

New safe space for vulnerable youngsters in Dundee

Dundee’s youth mental health charity, Feeling Strong, has opened its new community hub in Stobswell.

It aims to deliver a number of services for the young people of the city and the hub is also designed to be a one-stop-shop for those who have mental health challenges.

Among the services available to youngsters are an area to chill out and escape the pressures of day-to-day life, plus the chance to learn about services for more help and referrals to other organisations.

There are also opportunities, depending on the young person’s specific needs, such as counselling, support with employability plus education and access to other mental health activities available in Dundee.


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The hub is open on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-6pm.

Peer support is also on hand from staff or volunteers and all in a safe space to talk about mental health, recovery and self-care.

The hub’s facilities and events assistant, Nicole Don, said: “It is a safe space for young people to come to chill out, play some games and meet new people.

“It’s important to create a space that feels safe where vulnerable young people can access the support they need.”

Mental Health services in Dundee are ‘the worst in Scotland’ according to one patient

Mental Health services in Dundee are ‘the worst in Scotland’ according to one patient

Dundee’s Carseview Centre under fire again over treatment

Dundee’s Carseview Centre under fire again over treatment

Tayside mental health review hampered by ‘workforce challenges’ as objectors predicted

Tayside mental health review hampered by ‘workforce challenges’ as objectors predicted

Mum of Dundee student who took his own life speaks about her ‘gentle’ son

Mum of Dundee student who took his own life speaks about her ‘gentle’ son

In early 2018 the friends and family of Conor Steel were left heartbroken when they learned the 24-year-old had taken his own life.

The Abertay University gaming student had been racked with severe depression for most of his adolescence and adult life.

But despite this it still came as a massive shock to those who knew him when he was found by a friend in his student accommodation in Dundee.

Now his mum, Frances Beck and university friends, are working hard in his name to ensure that no other young person feels so alone again that they feel there is no other way out.

In particular the city charity Feeling Strong, run exclusively by young people for young people is launching its Mind, Body and Goal campaign on January 2nd.

Although aimed at every young person it will be focusing particularly on boys and young men, because they are generally speaking less likely to be open about their mental health problems.

Stephanie Carney, a fourth year student at Abertay, and close friend of Conor is Feeling Strong’s campaign and lobbying lead.

Stephanie Carney is behind a mental health support group for students at Abertay.

The 23-year-old psychology and counselling student said: “Conor’s death was dreadful.

“It left us all heartbroken. It was at that time that his mum and I decided to do everything we could to provide support for other young people.

“We didn’t know how to go about it initially but in November last year  Feeling Strong was developed, led by Brook Marshall.

“We have been involved with many young people ever since and although we couldn’t provide counselling we point people in the right direction.”

Stephanie added: “It’s a very sad fact that young men are much less likely than young women to speak about their mental health worries.

“Our latest campaign is aimed at getting the message across the boys that it is okay to ask for help.

“Conor had tried to ask for help. He did go to the doctor but he was just given medication.

“What he really needed was someone to  listen to him.”

Conor’s mum, Frances, said that while she had been aware that her son had gone through many difficult times with depression while growing up she believed that when he came to Dundee to study gaming he had really turned a corner and was happy and felt at home in the city.

“His course was going well and he had made a lot of good, like-minded friends.

“He was the happiest I had ever seen him.”

Frances said that when Conor was at  school he was an easy target for bullies with his gentle nature, red hair and glasses.

He struggled through his primary years  and things became even worse when he went to secondary  school in his hometown in Stewarton in Ayrshire.

While he was in Dundee Conor went to the doctor to talk about his worries.

She said: “He was given medication and when that didn’t work he was given more stronger medication and basically sent away and told to get on with it.

“I have no doubt Conor would have benefited from being educated about mental health and how to effectively cope with that stress.

“His story could have been so very different if he’d had that support at that key stage of his life.

“Had his mental health problems been prevented or had he been given targeted early intervention support, it’s highly unlikely that he would have taken his own life.”

She added: “It’s important for schools to involve children and young people in leading their peers in mental health programmes to encourage them to support each other and help break down the stigma surrounding mental health.

“Schools should also embed a system of regularly measuring the levels of wellbeing of the whole school community to identify problems at an early stage.

“Support should be provided by mental health support workers who work within each school community.

“Heartbreakingly, none of this will bring back my son, but it will go a long way in ensuring that the lives of other young people are not so tragically ended.”

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.

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.”

Young Dundee mum confronts depression by leaving ‘dozens’ of inspirational notes across city

Young Dundee mum confronts depression by leaving ‘dozens’ of inspirational notes across city

A young mum struggling with crippling depression has launched a campaign to spread love and kindness throughout the city.

Sophie McCutcheon, 23, from Lochee, plans to leave dozens of inspirational notes.

She began her project, called Love from a Stranger, last week and she will continue to leave random notes around the city on a weekly basis.

Sophie writing one of her notes at home.

Sophie said: “Love from a Stranger is a project that is close to my heart and hopefully I’ll find some of my own happiness and hope from it.

“Every week I’ll be leaving handwritten notes with inspirational and kind messages on them around Dundee for people who need them the most, in the hope that they realise that they are not alone and there is more to our lives than the darkness.”

She added: “I often wish people were kinder to those surrounding them, especially children, whether they know them or not. I wish people were more supportive of one another, then perhaps we would be kinder to ourselves in adulthood.”

Sophie said she knows a lot of other people also struggle with their mental health and they don’t always feel like anyone understands what they’re going through.

She said “It’s for that reason I decided to introduce Love from a Stranger – it’s amazing how just a little note of kind words and encouragement can make a huge difference to someone’s life.”

Sophie said that among her messages were “be kind to yourself, you deserve it” and “never give up on yourself”.

“It would be great to find out if the note made a difference to someone’s day, life or mindset, and whether they kept it or passed it on to someone else.”

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.