A FREE, weekly Mental Health Information Station opened its doors for business at the end of October last year and the innovative drop-in service has been given the ‘thumbs up’ by the increasing number of visitors.
The service is a one stop shop based at the Walpole Hall, next to St Mary’s Cathedral in Palmerston Place, Edinburgh, and it provides support, information and sign posting for anyone affected by mental health and wellbeing issues and is led by occupational therapists from NHS Lothian in partnership with Health in Mind, Volunteer Edinburgh and Outlook adult education project.
Jane Sutherland is lead occupational therapist with NHS Lothian’s South West Community Mental Health Team and she is delighted that people are coming along to the friendly drop-in.
She said: “The number of GP enquiries about mental health has increased substantially over the last few years and since it started last year, almost 200 people have made use of the Mental Health Information Station.
“People can explore a wide range of subjects such as mental health conditions, medication, therapies, self-help, support groups and existing mental health services.
“The drop-in also highlights a wide variety of satisfying and rewarding activities which help to support wellbeing and are either free or low cost and include social and leisure activities, education courses, volunteering and information on returning to work.”
Visitors to the Mental Health Information Station are also given the opportunity to complete a questionnaire as part of a research project which will help NHS Lothian and its partners to determine needs and future services.
Jane continued: “Everyone involved in the Mental Health Information Station are really enjoying meeting the people using the service and look forward to welcoming more every Thursday between 11am and 3pm.”
The following comments are from people who have visited the Mental Health Information Station:
“I thought that the information was pretty extensive, lots of things I hadn’t heard of before – it’s an important service and ‘your people’ were very helpful and positive.”
“This is the beginning of a really important project. It will soon be more widely recognised. GPs must refer!”
“Helpful to talk and to get practical information.”
“Good chat with nurse and good selection of information and leaflets.”
“Everyone was so helpful and more than happy to answer questions-great atmosphere.”
Jane is delighted with the really positive feedback the service has received.
“It is great to give someone opportunity to speak to a variety of professionals informally over a cup of coffee or tea and provide them with information that may make a positive difference to their lives,” she said.
For further information contact Health in Mind communications manager, Doreen Graham, on 0131 243 0137 or firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0131 537 8650.
Notes for editors:
The Mental Health Information Station is a one stop shop acting as a source of support, information and sign posting. Led by NHS occupational therapists, input will be drawn from health and social care staff, peer support workers, volunteers and key Third Sector partners such as Health in Mind.
The Information Station will offer:
- Faster self-service access to individuals;
- Psychological self-help guides and resources;
- Support groups sign posting;
- Provide standardised information on conditions and medication ;
- Support for carers;
- Link with community resources through experts that are very aware of what is out there in different localities or city wide projects;
- Offer access to information on education courses, physical activities, social and leisure activities, volunteering and work;
- Allow visitors to browse information on display or speak directly to advisors on hand, no appointment required;
- Assistance to people on how to connect with others and enjoy social opportunities and meet ups; and
- Benefits advice and housing guidance.
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