MEN­TAL HEALTH

Glas­gow char­ity in call for ac­tion to pro­vide train­ing

Evening Times - - NEWS - BY CATHER­INE HUNTER

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

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