A new partnership has been formed in Fife to support young people and their families with their mental health and well-being
As part of Fife’s ‘Our Minds Matter’ partnership approach, Barnardo’s, Includem and Togetherall have joined forces and invested in new services for children and young people.
Barnardo’s and Includem have been commissioned to introduce new mental health services for children and families in Fife. The launch of these services coincides with Children’s Mental Health Awareness week on 7th – 13th February 2022.. The services will centre on providing the support, knowledge and skills needed to improve and maintain good mental health. These services will be designed around the needs of our communities working closely with families and local groups within Fife’s seven local areas.
Gail McLeod, Policy Officer, Community Mental Health and Wellbeing, Fife Council commented “We are delighted to see the enhancement of these community mental health supports and services for the young people of Fife. We are passionate about designing these supports based on ongoing feedback from young people and their families to ensure we continue to adapt to offer the right supports to meet communities’ needs.”
The services will also be supporting community groups that frequently work with young people to develop skills and confidence in having meaningful conversations about mental health.
Additional funding has been allocated to the online ‘Togetherall’ platform, which provides an anonymous, digital service which is free for any young person aged 16-26 living in Fife. This provides a supportive online community with peer-to-peer support and access to trained professionals who are available 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. There is also a choice of safe therapeutic supports, including self-help courses. This means anyone who may be struggling can get support at a time that suits them, direct from their IT device. Young people aged 16-26 can sign up to Togetherall at www.togetherall.com
Gail McLeod continued: “It’s important that we improve conversations about how to promote good mental health within our Fife communities and increase opportunities for young people to access support and advice when they need it.”
One parent, who chose to remain anonymous, explained how the support they received as a family really helped.
“My son was finding it hard to manage his emotions, he was becoming increasingly distressed and struggling to connect with other people close to him. Things deteriorated further which resulted in the police being involved adding to the strain of family life.
“The support that we received was really flexible and considered what we needed as a family. Supporting us as a family really helped us all to consider how we express our own emotions and how we understand others.
“Not only did these supports improve our relationship as a family, they also had a positive impact on my son, helping him to recognise his emotions and how they impact on his behaviours. It was also really helpful to be given useful strategies that helped him recognise and manage his emotions.
“It was particularly helpful that staff, worked closely with other professionals which also resulted in us getting a diagnosis of ADHD and ODD for our son. Getting the right support for him really improved my son’s mental health and wellbeing and that of the whole family. For the first time in a while he seemed enthusiastic about his life, the connection he had with the staff and the approach that they took was a huge help for him.”
Who is it for?
Young people aged from 5 years to 26 and their families experiencing:
- Anxiety, Depression, Attachment issues, Low self-esteem, Gender identity, Exam stress, Bereavement, Self-Harm or self-injury, Trauma, Relationship issues, Issues with Body image,
What do we offer?
1:1 direct support
- At times and places that suit you
- Working towards your own identified mental health goals
- Group programmes lead via community needs/feedback
How to get in touch:
Kirkcaldy, Levenmouth, Glenrothes, North East Fife and Cowdenbeath – Contact Barnardos via: Fifeservices@barnardos.org.uk
Dunfermline and South West Fife
Contact Includem via the freephone telephone number on: 0800 037 1069.
Our service is available 7 days a week during the hours of 8am-10pm. Our enquiries line allows you to leave a voicemail with your basic details. A co-ordinator will contact you to complete the enquiry and gather key information from you to agree what steps/support is required.
If you are a community group working with young people and you would like some support to upskill your team in how to have positive and supportive conversation with young people please get in touch at the above number.
Don’t forget you can also sign up to ‘Togetherall’ if you are aged 16-26 for anonymous online peer to peer support. www.togetherall.com
Follow us on our social media pages to keep up to date with what supports are available within your community and how to get involved.
Wellbeing in Fife – On Facebook
Wellbeinginfife – On Instagram
@wellbeinginfife – on Twitter
Rona Weir, Education Manager, Fife Council commented “We recognise that mental health like physical health can be changeable and that children and young people will have a variety of views of what works best for them at different times. We hope that providing options ranging from access to self-help advice, to supports from specialists which can be accessed online, to more in-person local supports will be helpful for the young people and their families”.