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Peer Support Phoneline as COVID-19 Response to Help Mental Health in Dundee

 

Making Recovery Real in Dundee have launched a local peer supported phone line for those struggling with their mental health during the COVID-19 crisis. This project is in partnership with Dundee Volunteer and Voluntary Action (DVVA), Penumbra, SAMH and Wellbeing Works.

At the end of March this year, the UK Government raised maintaining mental well-being as an important issue during current circumstances. With the guidance to socially distance and stay at home to protect others, they mentioned this may cause many to feel bored, low and anxious. According to the UK Government and NHS it is important to find ways of connecting with others and talk about worries in a way which adheres to COVID-19 safety guidelines. The Peer Support Phone Line aims to provide people with some calm during times of distress by allowing callers to share their thoughts and feelings, talk about mental health, recovery and what works for them. This line will also allow callers to find out what other services and support is available in Dundee.

The calls will be covered by trained Peer Support Workers and Volunteers themselves, who will use their own lived experience of mental health issues to support others who are struggling. Peer support is an emerging practice within the mental health sector and is largely beneficial as it inspires hope.

Louise Yannetta, Mental Health Network Coordinator said, “We are delighted within the Making Recovery Real Partnership Network to coordinate and facilitate a real response to people’s needs within Dundee. This new telephone support line service will allow people to access peer support on a regular basis and receive an emphatic and caring response.

We are thrilled that the partner services are collaborating and utilising the experience of the peer support workers and volunteers to offer a service to people affected by the current lockdown. This new initiative will offer people unable to access the normal ‘face to face’ mental health support an alternative way to be supported and to access information.”

Wendy Callander, Wellbeing Works Executive Director said, “We are delighted that Wellbeing Works are involved in the new Peer Support Phone Line.  I think this resource is testament to the strong collaborative approach of the ‘Making Recovery Real in Dundee’ movement in the city. While the current lockdown measures are slowing and limiting the spread of the coronavirus, these measures are having a negative impact on the mental health and wellbeing of some people in our community.  The Peer Support line will hopefully provide a friendly voice and a bit of reassurance to those who might be struggling at this time.”

Emma Wilson, Support Manager for mental health charity Penumbra, commented:

“Around 20% of our colleagues across Penumbra are employed in peer support roles, so we’re delighted to be involved with the new Peer Line initiative in Dundee. This will ensure an easy way for people across the city to access information and support to assist them during these difficult times. The Peer support element will bring an added benefit as callers will receive a compassionate response from workers and volunteers who have their own lived experience of mental health challenges”.

The phone line (01382 305735) will run Monday-Saturday with varying hours shaped to local needs.

  • Monday 12-8pm
  • Tuesday-Friday 12-6pm
  • Saturday 12-2pm