A leading Scottish mental health charity breaking down barriers to help adults with suicidal thoughts, has reached 100 people in Angus in the last 10 months.
Penumbra opened its Arbroath office in January and is directly supporting people through its Angus Suicide Prevention Support Service.
The service is managed by Penumbra staff and commissioned by Angus Health and Social Care Partnership (AHSCP).
It is available to all adults living in Angus who experience thoughts of suicide or who may have attempted to take their own lives. Support is also available for family members, carers or friends.
Penumbra Angus Support Manager, Ashleigh McLeod, said they were proud the service had been able to directly support those in crisis.
She said: “We’re not medically treating someone or trying to fix them, we’re working with them to identify and plan support systems that will keep them well and avoid feelings of crisis and distress.
“The expectation of recovery guides everything we do, we want to encourage people to look after their mental well-being just as they would their physical health.”
Support is provided by freephone, email and face to face appointments to those aged 16 and over.
Recovery practitioner Ann-Marie Anderson acknowledged people can be scared about what to expect in contacting any mental health-related support service.
She said: “We know from feedback the people we’ve supported have really benefited from compassionate support and the fact they can talk openly in a safe space.”
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The life-saving support has been recognised by Angus councillor Julie Bell.
The SNP member for Kirriemuir and Dean, a mental health, resilience and suicide awareness trainer and therapist, urged anyone needing the service to contact them.
She said: “The success of the service reflects the need in our communities for different levels of help for people experiencing challenges with their mental health.
“People need or choose to access a range of holistic services based on a number of factors, not least of which is their level of comfort and, often, trust in the practitioner.
“Those services work best when designed and delivered in partnership with each other.
“That’s why, as a member of the AHSCP, I am keen to ensure we continue to build on this degree of partnership across the public sector and the third sector so no one falls between a rock and a hard place when seeking support.”
Bill Troup of the AHSCP added: “This project demonstrates the real impact that happens when services work together.
“People at risk of suicide must feel able to ask for help without feeling stigmatised.
“People who want this help in their local communities can now get it.”
The Angus service can be contacted Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm on freephone 0800 135 7899 or email firstname.lastname@example.org