A Glenrothes project taking the pressure off struggling GPs and helping boost positive mental health has been voted a huge success.
The “Positive me Positive you” project has been running since 2017 in the town, where there is a higher than average number of people struggling with mental health issues.
It is hoped the approach it takes to treating people dealing with mild to moderate mental health issues in the town – parts of which are among the most deprived in Scotland – can be expanded to other areas of Fife.
Fife Council has worked in partnership with NHS Fife to develop the community-based approach helping people manage issues including anxiety, depression and social isolation.
Community development manager JP Easton said: “Positive me Positive you is sometimes described as a ‘social prescribing’ project which means it uses community based solutions to help people struggling and in need of support.
“Rather than going to the doctors for medical treatment, Positive me Positive you helps people through conversation and community support.”
Some 4,367 people per 100,000 in the area suffered from mental health issues compared to the Fife average of 4,116.
Link worker Hannah Grubb, taking referrals from three local GP practices, can offer a bespoke service to each user.
>> Keep up to date with the latest news with The Courier newsletter
She said: “My aim is to promote and build resilience, empowering people to ‘do it’ for themselves rather than creating dependency on workers, agencies and services.
“Since the start of the project we’ve supported over 240 people and feedback from those involved has been really positive.
“It would be amazing to see this approach rolled out to other areas of Fife.”
It has helped people like Client C who had been severely affected by years of abuse.
C would not leave the house or speak to anyone to the extent that she had nearly given up on life.
It was Fife Women’s Aid who felt that she might benefit from more holistic and community-based support to help with her anxiety.
Finding it difficult to trust anyone, it took further meetings and discussions before C became open to further support.
Gradually C started going to the Auchmuty Learning Centre and meeting other people.
She is much more confident and while she can still become anxious at times, overall Positive Me Positive You has brought her out of her shell and improved her self-confidence.
Meanwhile client D “just needed someone to listen”.
He was referred by his doctor for his severe anxiety issues in the hope that it would help him better cope with the stresses in his life.
Following meetings and courses, D’s anxiety has improved greatly which has enabled him to better manage his life and finances.
He identified the initiative’s flexibility and person-centred approach as the most praiseworthy aspects of the support he received.