Glasgow charity in call for action to provide training
AGLASGOW-BASED mental health charity has declared more training is needed in communities to help people overcome suicidal thoughts. Theatre Nemo, at Bridgegate, believes urgent action is required to tackle the city’s mental health crisis and spot the warning signs of those considering suicide.
The charity aims to support people in recovery from poor mental health by providing creative workshops that have a focus on mental wellbeing. It recently completed a two-day course with 17 participants to teach people coping strategies while developing a greater understanding of their own mental health, where to get support and how to support others.
Out of the seven courses held this year 81 per cent of participants strongly agreed they were better able to identify with a person with thoughts of suicide.
A totally of 85% strongly agreed they were better able to help a person at risk and 94% strongly agreed they would recommend the programme to others.
In the last financial year, Theatre Nemo has supported 772 individuals, delivered 319 creative sessions and held 14 events that collectively reached audiences of 734.
Hugh McCue, who became chief executive of the group last year, spoke at the Newlands and Auldburn Area Partnership about the work the charity does.
He said: “In our courses people learn the practical skills of being confident enough to intervene when someone presents as having suicidal thoughts.
“There has been a lot of training to help people with mental health problems in public service jobs, but we need more training in communities.
“Neighbours, friends and family are more likely to intervene if they notice someone is acting unusually.
“We have been trying to teach people the warning signs. We have done a few courses this year and want to do some next year as well.
“You will be aware of the huge issues within Glasgow. This is a crisis we have to deal with.
“The only way to get this message is to provide more training. Urgent action is required.”
Mr McCue was asked what signs of suicide members of the community could look out for.
He replied: “They suffer increased anxiety and depression and want to be alone. They will tidy up their lives so they are not leaving things behind for other people to deal with.
“It is complex. We want to give people the skills to open up a dialogue about mental health – that way people are more likely to talk about it.”
Concerns were also raised there were not enough places for people to meet and discuss their feelings.
Those experiencing depression and anxiety find it hard to travel to another community to get help because they don’t feel welcome.
Mr McCue added: “Some people are under pressure financially. Communities are screaming out for more group activities to help people come together.
“The number of young people suffering from mental health is increasing dramatically. We work with fifth and sixth year pupils at school.
“Most people we work with in the community are aged over 30. They are unemployed and most live on their own.”
Theatre Nemo will continue to bring people together and help them talk about mental health.
Theatre Nemo helps support people in recovery