Successful Mental Health Support Project Extended

Distress Brief Intervention  (DBI) an intervention project which supports people in distress is to be extended to 16 and 17-year-olds in a pilot  across Lanarkshire, the Borders, Inverness and Aberdeen.

Julia Stachursk, 19, Lanarkshire, was referred to the 14 day support programme.

Distress Brief Intervention

(l-r) Andy Pender, DBI trained emergency department staff nurse at University Hospital Wishaw, Roseanne Collins from Lifelink who provide DBI support, and Julie Stachurska, 19, Lanarkshire.

Julia said:

“I didn’t realise it at the time, but I was under a lot of stress as a result of my job and exams at university.

“I was also experiencing racist bullying as a result of my Polish background and there were folk in my local community who were making my life a misery which forced the family to move.

“As a family we were also struggling financially and it all just got too much for me.

“I just couldn’t see a way out and tried to do what I did.

“I wasn’t sure what to expect, but I was very impressed with the rapid response I received. It was really helpful having someone to talk to and help me work through all the issues that were making me feel the way I did and better understand them.”

DBI training has been developed by the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health & Wellbeing. The trained staff help individuals manage difficult emotions and problem situations early on, and come up with a ‘distress plan’ to prevent future crisis. So far it has helped over 3,000 people and will soon also be available to 16 & 17 year olds in the 4 pilot areas.

Clare Haughey, Mental Health Minister  in the Scottish Government,  said:

“Mental health is an absolute priority for the Scottish Government and our ten-year mental health strategy clearly sets out our vision to address a number of challenges, including the provision of more efficient and effective mental health services and supporting mental health in primary care.”

Working together to deliver the DBI programme are  NHS Health Scotland, Police Scotland, the Scottish Ambulance Service and NHS 24.

Kevin O’Neill,  DBI programme manager said:

“It’s fantastic news that the connected, compassionate support which DBI-trained staff provide to those in distress is being extended to 16 and 17-year-olds.

“While this innovative project is still in the pilot phase, the extension is also testimony to the hard work and commitment of  health, police and Scottish Ambulance Service staff, as well as the other organisations providing support.”

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