A drop-in hub for people with mental health problems is to open in Leven town centre.
Anyone who is in crisis or going through a difficult time can pop into the hub in Forth Street to speak to trained professionals.
They will be given support over a cup of tea or coffee and appointments are not needed.
The Sam’s Cafe service will be staffed by mental health charity SAMH, all of whom have personal experience of mental health problems.
It should open on May 6 thanks to funding from Police Scotland and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership.
Both have been providing virtual support during lockdown but are looking forward to reopening soon.
Got a question about #mentalhealth? We're here to help.
— SAMH (@SAMHtweets) April 13, 2021
Inspector Paul Gillespie said he was delighted to see the service getting off the ground.
“We managed to secure funding really quickly and I’m really excited about it,” he said.
“The services SAMH offer, including counselling, are there for all to see.
“This is an additional support for people in the area, running alongside those offered by the NHS and other agencies.”
One in four people
It is estimated that one in four people will be affected by mental health issues at some point in their lives.
As a result, the police come across many people in crisis during the course of their work.
Mr Gillespie said: “We do come into contact with people who, for different reasons, have mental health concerns.
“We have to go through due process to ensure they are assessed through their GP, the ambulance service or accident and emergency.
“But SAMH is an additional support service we can refer people on to.
“That might just be giving them a leaflet or telephone number or giving SAMH their details.
“It’s important for the people in Levenmouth to understand the police are taking their mental health seriously.
“We don’t just look at criminality – we look at the wider picture.”
A safe and accessible space
Alex Cumming, assistant director of delivery and development at SAMH, said the cafe at Leven Baptist Church’s Forth Street Hall will offer a safe, accessible and mindful space.
“It’s vital that people can quickly and easily get help for their mental health so we are very happy to be expanding or Sam’s Cafe service in to Leven,” he said.
“Staffed by trained professionals who have their own personal experience of mental health problems, this SAMH service is there for everyone, whether you are in crisis, struggling with suicidal thoughts or simply going through a difficult time with your mental health.
“We’re grateful to Police Scotland and the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership for enabling us to be involved with this brilliant new mental health hub.”
It’s important for the people in Levenmouth to understand the police are taking their mental health seriously.”
Inspector Paul Gillespie.
Leven Labour councillor Colin Davidson described the Leven mental health hub as a good news story.
“It’s going to help the community as well as GPs, the police and others who offer services,” he said.
“People can just go in and have a coffee and talk through their problems.
“That’s often enough to stabilise them until they can access more specialist help if they need it.”
How to access help
The Leven hub will be based in the Forth Street Hall, with a target date for opening on May 6.
It will operate from noon to 8pm on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.
Phone support is also available from the Sam’s Cafe staff from 2pm to 10pm Wednesdays to Sundays – call 07725 214 012 or 07971 892 886.