Our staff team have been hard at work coming up with solutions and new ways of working, so that we can still run our mental health support services despite the new restrictions in place during the Coronavirus outbreak.

We're really proud of our team and all their ideas. Take a look at some of them below!

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Like much of the rest of the country right now (nay, world!), we've started to have our usual meetings as video conferences. One plus is that now we finally know what our colleagues' tastes in decor are like (no woodchip spotted... yet!).

We've also started daily Virtual Coffee Breaks over zoom for any staff members to drop in each day to have a chat and catch up with their colleague's, now that we're missing that face to face contact. 

Edinburgh

Our staff at our Edinburgh service, the Stafford Centre, have set up a chat box for users of the service to access Mon - Fri, 12 -2pm.  It is moderated by staff and is meant as a space for anyone who wants to have a chat - and we're heartened to see lots of peer support already going on:   https://staff1.wixsite.com/staffordchat 

They've also started weekly Zoom catch ups for group support, and had 14 people join for their last meeting! If you'd like to find out more, just contact the centre or email [email protected]

Fife

Jean Daisley works in Support in Mind Scotland’s Fife Hearing Voices Network. Jean normally provides one to one and group support to those experiencing psychosis across Fife. In these challenging times she has moved to providing remote support via the telephone, text or internet. Jean told us that:

"After many discussions over the last week with people I support as well as family and friends - the main topic has been CovId-19 and how to cope. I decided to consolidate my advice and make a wee list of tips that I hope is helpful..." 

We love the tips Jean's put together, and think you will too. Find them here: www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk/jeans-wee-tips/ 

Perth & Kinross

Sandra our Carers Support Worker in Perth & Kinross is offering people phone calls, texts, emails and video calls so she can continue to support Carers in the area.

Annan

Wendy, our Project Worker in Annan, has found the news way of working a bit peculiar, but is taking the challenge in her stride:

"It's so strange keeping in touch with service users via the telephone rather than face to face.  The thing is, that one telephone call every couple of days is more than likely the only call they are getting.  Some of the conversations have been serious, but a lot of them are fun and planning for the future.

Today a local charity in Annan released news that they will support vulnerable people with hot meals twice weekly and I contacted a 3 of my service users who I knew would benefit from this.  They are absolutely delighted with this offer and were keen to take this up.  I have now arranged this with the charity.  One of our service users is Gluten free and they were more than happy to accommodate them.  I have also arranged for a food parcel to be delivered to a gentleman who is struggling financially.

Via the local ward worker, Jaime Nicholson, for Annandale and Eskdale (#supportDG)  I have made contact with a member of Eastriggs resilience team and arranged for one of our service users who has multiple underlying issues, to have her shopping delivered.  She is delighted with the response from our service and the local community."

Mental Health & Money Advice Line

Mental Health and Money

Our Mental Health and Money Advice line has always been a telephone service, however the recent developments have see a spike in calls. Our amazing team have taken this in their stride, and have continued doing great work. They have already received this glowing piece of feedback from a client:

“I can't even begin to explain how much you have helped me. Doing this sort of thing is the very hardest thing for me to overcome anxiety paralysis and consequent procrastination in order to get it done. It probably is unbelievable to you but this week has been so difficult. It is you that has made this possible. Without you, I can't begin to imagine how I would have coped. You are literally a life saver.

Thank you so very much”

Kevin, our Advisor that helped this client, said:

"I had been encouraging the client to gather required information and submit it online for a DHP application and she’d struggled with it until I gave her wee targets and broke it down into smaller tasks for her to manage and come back to me. It worked."

A huge well done to Kevin and the rest of the Money Advise team for continuing to give stellar support to clients during this difficult time.

The service manager Sarah-Jayne has also written some great guidance you might find useful here: https://www.mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org/scot/top-tips/

Stewartry 

Note of Hope is a new project launched by Leanne in our Stewartry service, that aims to help spread positivity and reassurance through letters. We're looking for people to submit any words of support or encouragement, a favourite quote or poem, or just a wee hello to so that we can show our service users that they aren't alone during these worrying times. 

If you'd like to take part, please email [email protected]. We'd love to hear from you!

Dumfries/Open to all

John, our Life Skills Service Manager in our Dumfries, saw that service users were badly missing their usual activity groups. Many were continuing them in the comfort of their own homes on their own, but they had no one to show their work to. This is what led to our new Support in Mind Arts & Crafts Flickr account being made. We have opened the group up for anyone to join, and we hope it'll give you a bit of inspiration and encouragement to get creative, a tried and tested way to keep on top of your mental wellbeing.  Share your paintings, drawing, photography - whatever you like. Seen something that made you smile that you want to share, but it's by a different artist? Just be sure to credit the source. Sign up here: www.flickr.com/groups/simsart/ 

Steve, who uses our Next Step programme, has written this inspiring poem that he's happy to share with you:
Looking Forward by Steve Mathieson
Who would have thought the restrictions would result in opportunity, 
Allow me extra time to call and to chat to those in my community,
Let us use the time to reach out and connect,
Listen deeply, share, pause and reflect,
The time will come again when we’ll congregate,
Together using new ideas, refreshed vigour, we will create!

Our Volunteers

Fraser Sneddon, one of our loyal volunteers, uses his writing to help others

Our lovely volunteers have continued to get in contact to offer their support. One of our volunteers is currently writing a blog with their own reflections on looking after their mental health during isolation, we have a volunteer radio DJ continuing to broadcast, volunteers writing messages of support and lots of learning going on behind the scenes to benefit services in the future.


Now more than ever, we need your help. We've launched an urgent appeal to help us to continue to support people with mental illness during the coronavirus outbreak. Please visit the appeal page here for more info: https://www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk/coronavirus-appeal

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