BBC, artists, and many more donate to Edinburgh Crisis Centre fundraiser!

From the penumbra web site. Dundee needs a similar crisis centre.


A host of amazing items have been donated to the Edinburgh Crisis Centre for a fundraising event being held in the capital later this month.

The Edinburgh Crisis Centre is one of only a handful of mental health crisis centres in Scotland. It provides a 24 hour helpline for people in the capital aged 16 years or over and a safe private space for people in distress to receive support, including overnight accommodation if required.

The event at the Leith Ex-Serviceman’s Club (7 Smith’s Place, EH6 8NT) on Friday 25 August hopes to raise money which will go towards maintaining and refurbishing the Centre.

A number of amazing items have been gifted to the centre to auction off, including:

  • Eastenders 18 signed cast photos (3Ft by 2ft)
    Starting bid £100
  • ‘Summer, Tulloch Moor’ painting by Ann Vastano (an artist commissioned to produce artwork for the Scottish Parliament)
    Starting bid £100
  • Signed Bradley Walsh CD and photo
    Starting bid £10
  • Framed car sketch by Keith Leslie, local artist
    Starting bid £20
  • Amber Arts painting
    Starting bid £20
  • Flight light aircraft (two people for an hour)
    Starting bid £10
  • Don Cayote Outdoor Centre and Fox lake Adventure Centre vouchers
    Starting bids £10
  • Relish Scotland Cook book signed by Chef Mark Greenaway
    Starting bid £10

Bids for any of the above items can be submitted in advance by emailing

In addition, vouchers for top Lothian attractions and meals at some of Edinburgh’s finest bars and restaurants will be raffled off. The night will also feature a disco and buffet.

Tickets for the event are £7 and can be purchased by emailing or

Download fundraising flyer.

Images of auction lots


Calls for Dundee to have its own mental health ‘crisis centre’

A Courier article covering Phil, Lesley & Kirsty’s call for a crisis centre to be set up in Dundee.


The family of a Dundee man who took his own life have called for cross party talks to address what they see as political failure to address mental illness effectively.

Talented musician Lee Welsh died on August 8 this year.

Lee’s parents, Phil and Lesley, and sister Kirsty are campaigning for improved mental health care in Dundee and Tayside.

The family have already set up a website in Lee’s honour and are calling for cross party talks to be held on mental health provision.

Lee’s dad, Phil, has written to politicians and councillors throughout the region to urge them to put party differences to the side and address provision.

Phil would like to see a mental health crisis support centre, similar to a facility opened in Edinburgh, established in Dundee.

The centre in Edinburgh is funded by NHS Lothian, Edinburgh City Council and mental health charity Penumbra.

Phil said: “Something like that here would be fantastic. It simply isn’t good enough at the moment.

“The closure of the Mulberry unit in Angus is going to have a horrendous affect on Carseview.

“It’s disjointed as well, the GP doesn’t know what Carseview are doing, it’s all separate. Hopefully the politicians will begin to sit up and take notice.”

In his correspondence sent to politicians, Phil asks:  “Should we idly stand back while predominately young men and women needlessly take their own life?

“I urge you to work together to campaign and secure a resource such as the Edinburgh Crisis Centre here in our city.”

The move to host cross party talks has been welcomed by representatives from various political parties.

Scottish Conservative MP Kirstene Hair said Phil’s crisis centre idea deserves ‘”serious consideration”.

She said: “This is exactly what my Scottish Conservative colleagues and I have been warning about for some time now.

“The crisis centre idea deserves serious consideration, but it may not be necessary if we stop cutting local services.

“The closure of the Mulberry Unit not only prevents people with mental health problems in Angus from accessing help locally, it also puts huge pressure on staff and resources at Carseview in Dundee. ”

Scottish health secretary Shona Robison said: “I’ve replied to Mr Welsh offering to meet with him along with Council Leader, John Alexander and others to discuss his call for a local crisis centre. It’s important to hear what Mr Welsh has to say and to discuss what progress could be made to further improve local mental health services.”

Labour councillor Richard McCready said: “The Labour Group is going to look at the suggestions put forward.

“It’s very clear that all of us, councillors and members of the public, have a duty to do more to prevent suicide.

“For far too long mental health hasn’t been taken seriously enough.”

West End Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson said: “The first point I would make is that this has been an absolute tragedy for the family.

“What I am anxious to see is that the best possible mental health provision is offered.

“To that end, I’m very keen to speak to other group leaders across the council.”

Scottish Health Secretary Shona Robison, said: “I’ve replied to Mr Welsh offering to meet with him along with council leader John Alexander and others to discuss his call for a local crisis centre.

“It’s important to hear what Mr Welsh has to say and to discuss what progress could be made to further improve local mental health services.”

Please visit the original article for links to other mental health stories.


An email sent to Politicians by Phil

Dear all,

As I am sure you are all aware Sunday September 10th marks the start of Suicide Awareness Week.

With the proposed closure of the Mulberry unit in Angus, Tayside will be under extreme pressure to cope with mental health issues. That’s why I urge you to read over the attached document and consider offering support through your various parties and organisations in an attempt to bring something very similar here to Dundee .

Should we idly stand back while predominately young men and women needlessly take their own life.

I urge you to work together to campaign and secure a resource such as the Edinburgh Crisis Centre here in our city.


Phil Welsh

The following was included as an attachment to the email to highlight the work of the Edinburgh Crisis Centre



Edinburgh Crisis Centre


The Edinburgh Crisis Centre provides immediate support for people aged 16 years+ in Edinburgh who are experiencing intense and overwhelming mental health difficulties, such as extreme anxiety or depression, and who may be considering suicide.

The Centre is unique in Scotland in offering quick-access 1-1 and short-stay residential mental health crisis support, alongside a 24 hour a day, 365 days a year confidential freephone, text and email support service.

People initially contact the service by email, text or telephone. Centre staff then work with the person to support them through their distress. Where safety is an issue for people in distress, suicidal thoughts and feelings are openly discussed and staff support people to make safe plans.

Depending on the outcome of the discussion and review, a person may be offered a 1-1 session. Appointments for 1-1 meetings are made as quickly as possible – sometimes immediately and usually within the same day.

Depending on the outcome of the discussion and review at the 1-1, a person may also be offered an extended or overnight stay at the centre. Up to four people can stay at the centre at any one time.

Length of stay is discussed with individuals on an on-going basis during their support, however the maximum stay is seven days. The average stay for most centre users is two or three days. This period of time has been shown to be effective in allowing centre users to address their immediate anxieties and plan for on-going support after their stay. This can include, if required, follow up 1-1 and telephone support.

Leaflets about the service are available across Edinburgh in GP surgeries, student halls, CMHTs, counselling services and police stations. The Mental Health Assessment Service and Emergency Duty Social Work Team also signpost people to the Centre.

The service has 13 members of staff: a Service Manager, Deputy Manager, six Recovery Practitioners and five Recovery Workers. Five helpline volunteers regularly provide helpline cover in the evenings and at weekends.

People who use the service

The number of people who called, texted and emailed the service rose from 392 between April 2007 and March 2008 – when the service opened – to a peak of 1869 people for the year ending March 2014. This then fell to 1637 people in 2016/17, or around four people making contact with the Centre each day.

Even factoring in this slight fall, the Centre has experienced a rise of over 300% on the number of people calling, texting and emailing compared to when it opened in August 2006.

Reasons for contacting the service

When asked, the vast majority of people who contacted the service in 2016/17 said they did so because of anxiety, which was the same as in 2015/16. Depression and suicidal thoughts were also common reasons for contacting the service.

A 2016/17 survey of people who received support through the service found that 97% said they felt better prepared to deal with the issues that led to their crisis. 87% said the service was an alternative to a hospital admission.

Case study

Binal Lanakhi has used the Centre on several occasions, and says her life has been saved by the service.

Binal, now in her 50s, was 18 years old when she was diagnosed with schizophrenia. She has struggled for many years with mental health difficulties, insomnia and suicidal thoughts. She has been hospitalised because of her mental health several times, but says the Centre has made it easier for her to manage her mental health.

“I have been in and out of hospital so many times, but hardly ever in the last eight years, since I started going to the centre. When you are in hospital they usually treat your symptoms rather than the causes of the problem. At the centre they talk to you before things get really bad.”

Binal says having a 24/7 service is important for her.

“I don’t sleep very well and it is the only place you can call in the middle of the night and get someone to help you. Sometimes you don’t need much more than that but it is good having that safety net.

“It is definitely so much less stressful that being in hospital. You know these people and they know you. When you are really unwell, it is like coming out of the frying pan and into water.”

Binal’s story was published in the Edinburgh Evening News on 6 September 2016 as part of an article on the Crisis Centre’s 10 year anniversary.

Care Inspectorate

The Centre was last inspected by the Care Inspectorate in February 2016. Registered as a Support Service under the National Care Standards, the inspection focused on the Quality Themes of Care and Support, Environment, Staffing, and Management and Leadership.

The service received positive feedback about the quality of provision in each of these areas:
• Quality Themes of Care and Support – Very Good (5)
• Environment – Very Good (5)
• Staffing – Very Good (5)
• Management and Leadership – Very Good (5)

More information