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Making Recovery Real - support for mental health in Moray

By Chris Saunderson

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THE Making Recovery Real Partnership has shone a light on some of the organisations supporting positive mental health and wellbeing in Moray.

The partnership is a network of people, organisations and events that has been running since 2015.

Partnership members enjoy an online Zoom meeting.
Partnership members enjoy an online Zoom meeting.

It includes members from Health and Social Care Moray, local services like the Wellness Centre, Aberlour Youthpoint and Quarriers, as well as groups and lived experience via the Moray Wellbeing Hub and tsiMoray.

Despite the challenges during the Covid-19 pandemic they are still working hard to meet up online.

During Mental Health Awareness Week,which ran from May 18-24, they collaborated to get the message of this year’s theme of ‘Kindness’ to as many homes as possible in Moray.

Eilidh Brown, tsi Moray's partnership lead, said: "You may be a person who provides support or delivers a service, you may be a champion, a professional, no matter your role, we connect and work together to create change.

"The tools and the training that the Making Recovery Real partners bring to each other helps us to reach beyond traditional mental health settings.

"Making Recovery Real is a diverse partnership and is guided by the principle that everyone has mental health, so not a silo or service-driven

approach," she added.

Eilidh says that direction is needed now more than ever.

There has been a great community rsponse the Coronavirus crisis but looking after people has its own stresses.

"We have been encouraging Covid-19 response volunteers to look after their own mental health and take advantage of training at Moray Wellbeing Hub," she added.

Here are some of the organisations able to offer help as part of the Making Recovery Real Partnship:

Mental Health and Wellness Centre

The staff team are there to listen and work with you to find meaningful ways of managing your current situation to improve your mental health and wellbeing.

The service is provided by a team, all of whom have a personal lived experience of poor mental health or wellbeing, and can share elements of their own recovery to inspire and give hope that recovery is possible for all.

For example, this might include things like sharing insight, looking at things from a fresh perspective or different wellness tools and techniques.

The primary focus is on self-management, the staff will utilize Penumbra’s own tools as well as others to guide you to a place of self-managing your distress.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, distressed or are simply finding it hard to cope, then the group's 1st Response service can offer some short-term support to help you manage your mental health and wellbeing.

Due to concerns about Coronavirus and the nationwide lockdown the Mental Health and Wellness Centre is currently closed for walk-in access. However, staff are still able to provide a telephone-based support. Like everyone, they are trying to adapt and find new ways of working to ensure that they continue to meet the needs of the people of Moray.

They are currently in the planning stage of developing virtual group workshops, details will be circulated and shared on the Facebook page.

Anyone over the age of 18 years can contact the Mental Health and Wellness Centre.

You can contact them to help you manage your own distress; if you are worried about a friend or family member to get advice on how you can best support them.

If you have a general enquiry or would like to access the 1st Response Service please call0800 234 3490.

Staff are currently available Monday to Friday between 10am and 5pm, alternatively you can email moraywellnesscentre@penumbra.org.uk

Keep a close eye on the Mental Health and Wellness Centre Facebook page - @MorayMentalHealth

Aberlour Youthpoint - Moray

It helps children and young people in Moray who may be struggling with their emotions and behaviour, prompting concerns about their well-being.

The team is there for children and young people who need extra support. Due to their circumstances, they may be at risk of exclusion from school or struggling with their emotions.

Some feel they have no-one to turn to for help. Some might have a chaotic home life, for example, other family members misusing drug and alcohol.

This part of the service is known as Intensive Community Support, supporting young people aged 12 to 18.

The youth workers provide individualised help for children and young people in a safe and relaxed setting. They help them to understand that consequently, the issues affecting them can sometimes be the cause of their behaviour.

They help them take steps to overcome their difficulties at home, school and in the community.

The team also work with other family members, parents and carers to improve relationships at home.

The team at Aberlour Youthpoint understands that when children and young people deal with difficult circumstances at home or school, it can lead to complex feelings. The staff are sensitive, compassionate and build positive, constructive relationships with young people and families.

Italso offers a mentoring and group work service which matches trained and committed volunteers with young people who would benefit from extra support.

Young people may need extra support from a Young People’s Worker 1:1 or group work if they struggle to make and sustain friendships or are at risk of social exclusion. In general, mentors can provide relief to young people experiencing difficulties in life. The mentors give them someone to talk to about their worries, allowing them to practice their social skills.

For some young people, a mentor offers a great way to boost their confidence and help them develop employability skills after they have left school.The mentoring service supports young people aged 12-25.

How to access help

Anyone can make referrals to the mentoring and group work service. Requests are regularly received from teachers, social workers, police, housing staff, parents and young people themselves.

Requests for support from the Intensive Community Support Service can only be made by the social work department.

If you would like to refer a child or young person for help, you can contact Aberlour Youthpoint - Moray at 7 Parade Spur South, Pinefield Industrial Estate, Elgin IV30 6AJ. You can also email the team at morayyouth@aberlour.org.uk or phone them on 01343 546214.

For information go to www.aberlour.org.uk or visit their Facebook page. www.facebook.com/AberlourCC/

The service is open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm.

Circles Advocacy

There are times in everyone’s lives when they feel people just aren’t listening or, more importantly, hearing what they are saying. Independent advocacy is here to support people who are experiencing mental ill health (or many other conditions/experiences eg disabilities, chronic illness, drug and alcohol) to have their views heard.

For people experiencing mental ill health, this may be because they have been made subject to a part of the Mental Health (Care and Treatment) Act; they have been required to stay in hospital for a period of time to receive treatment. In these situations, they are legally entitled to an independent advocate to ensure their views are heard.

It may be that, because of the impact of their mental ill health, they find it difficult to negotiate social care or NHS services and access the support they need. In these situations, and many others, Circles Advocacy can support people.

The service usually offers face to face support but, in the world of Covid-19 restrictions, it is still offering advocacy support via telephone or social media app.

Anyone can contact them, for themselves or on behalf of someone else. If you are not sure if they can help, call them and talk through the issue to see what they may be able to do. There is someone at the office every weekday morning to take calls and e-mails.

The telephone is 01343 559546 or you can email info.moray@circlesnetwork.org.uk

Make Autism Visible (MAV)

Make Autism Visible provides small social activity groups for adults with autism. It is currently running its ladies meeting via Zoom. This group is an opportunity for woman with autism to come together and share their experiences and gain mutual support. There is no pressure to contribute; you are welcome to link in and hear what others are saying. It is also hoped to start a book group via Zoom too.

For more information contact MAV on makeautismvisible@yahoo.com

Quarriers Carer Support Service

Quarriers Carers Support Service is available to support all unpaid carers during the Covid 19 pandemic.They can speak to carers either by phone, text or Zoom, providing emotional support but also where required, the opportunity to signpost for additional support.

It is also holding its usual monthly carers café via Zoom and these are advertised on the Facebook page.

There are also additional group chats to allow carers the opportunity to speak to other carers experiencing the same challenges at this time.

The charity is also doing some work with its young carers around projects to do while they are at home, including an art project and coming soon, a Lego challenge!

For adult carers, the opportunity to speak to a Family Wellbeing Workers lets them know that they are not alone at this time.

You can contact them on 01343 556031 or by email at carersmoray@quariers.org.uk

Children 1st Moray

Children 1st Moray is keeping connected with children, young people and their families by phone, text or video call.The staff are using video sessions for lots of different things, from baking and cooking to family sessions. Young people and their families are able to talk things through to help them cope.

They also offer practical help, cooked meals from the community café, food parcels and vouchers to advice and guidance on coping with the demands of parenting during coronavirus.

Parentline is also available for parents online or at the end of the phone 0800 028 2233. You can chat using the chat element on the website.

Childrens’ Rights and the voices of children and young people are always important and its Rights Advocacy and Mediation service is still working with children and young people to ensure their voices are heard when any decisions are made about their future.

You can join the Facebook group at Children1st Moray for tips on things to do with the kids and positive messages.

Martin Kirwan – Independent Trainer

Martin Kirwan is a Moray-based business psychologist, trainer and mediator. In his former role with the council, he provided training in stress and mental health, self-harm/suicide intervention and prevention. Now freelance, Martin is preparing sessions to be offered from around Autumn, in co-operation with the council, NHS and third sector training colleagues.

Scottish Association for Mental Health – SAMH

Tracy Grant, service manager Moray Services at SAMH said: “Despite the lockdown, we are continuing to accept referrals from across Moray and our team provides expert support to almost 100 people in our community every week. People who need us now more than ever.

“While we have adapted the ways in which we work, we continue to deliver critical face-to-face support for the most vulnerable and are working closely with our colleagues in hospitals to support people to return home.

“We are extremely proud of the tireless dedication shown by our phenomenal staff team, who continue to change lives on a daily basis. We have also been truly humbled by how remarkably resilient the people we support have been during these difficult times.”

SAMH is committed to supporting Scotland’s mental health, especially during this difficult time.

  • It has a dedicated online information hub, providing for advice and information on protecting your mental health during these developments. Visit www.samh.org.uk/coronavirus
  • If you need more information on mental health, you can use the SAMH Information Service and find helpful information on general mental health problems at samh.org.uk/info. Our Info Team can help connect you with local mental health support and information. The team is available Mon-Fri, 9am - 6pm (except on Bank Holidays) on 0344 800 0550 or info@samh.org.uk. The info service is not a crises or listening service. If you need to help urgently, there are a number of organisations like Samaritans, Breathing Space and Shout! that can help. Please seek out support via samh.org.uk/seekingsupport.

Around since 1923, SAMH is Scotland’s national mental health charity.

Visit www.samh.org.uk or follow @SAMHTweets, SAMHmentalhealth on Facebook and samhscotland on Instagram for more information

The Discover Wellbeing in Moray Pathways website is the central place to get up to date information on local help that is available to support mental health. This can be found at www.discoverpathwaysmoray.org.uk

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