On Thursday 7th April, I had the honour of spending the day with the staff and services users at the Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health centre in Falkirk, to gain some insight into the services and support they offer and just how important their work is.
My day started off with a cup of tea and a chat about my petition with Angela, the centre manager. Angela contacted me via the blog asking would I like to come along and of course I couldn't say no, after all it is an area I am very passionate about.
After our chat it was time to meet the women's group and take part in some arm knitting, yes you read that correctly arm knitting. It was such a giggle and funnily enough ended in me being rather tangled with someone having to rescue me! I spoke to the ladies who attended the group and they were all so lovely and welcoming. I felt at home and as if I had known them for ages!
Over the course of the day I met the people who work with everything they have to provide the help and support that those in attendance need. Hearing about the different services on offer it made me rethink my original petition and I am now looking to ask the government to fund and create services like FDAMH. At the moment I am currently trying to familiarise myself with existing organisations and what they offer.
FDAMH offer the following (please forgive me if I miss any out!)
- Third age befriending
- Social prescribing
- Drop in service
- Family and carer support
- user involvement
- support groups
The biggest one for me and this really opened my eyes, the immediate help service. You can just walk in off the street and can be seen within minutes of arriving. You do not need an appointment. This to me is such a crucial element and I firmly believe that this service should be made compulsory in all health board areas. Surely the government can see how much this will not only help so many people but it takes away from the long waiting times which usually mean the person is left in limbo until they can be seen!
I plan on raising funds for the centre later this year and I am currently in the planning stages. Once I have something organised I will let you all know!
Head over to their website to find out more about this incredible organisation.