Experience – FDAMH

Free health checks at FDAMH providing real benefit

(Thanks to the NHS’s Keep Well Project FDAMH has provided free health checks for clients and volunteers)

“I signed up for the medical in FDAMH because I thought it was a good idea and I hadn’t had a cholesterol check and blood pressure check in a long time.

Whilst doing the check the nurse noticed that my blood pressure was extremely high. She asked me to return in a weeks time to re-do the test, just incase it was a one-off. I went back, and again, my blood pressure was very high. Due to this, I went to my GP and told him about the health check and the results. He checked my blood pressure and immediately prescribed medication for it. He said that he was very pleased I had gone to the health check and then come to him, as my blood pressure was very high indeed. He was pleased we had caught this early on, as there is a history of both heart disease and strokes on both sides of my family. My blood pressure was so high that he said if it hadn’t been caught, I was at very high risk of a heart attack or stroke and that if it had been only a little higher, he would have sent me straight to hospital. He was very pleased it had been spotted. I’m now on medication for my blood pressure and we have also looked at one or two other things that the health check pointed out.

I think these health checks are a great idea. I would never have known about my blood pressure if I hadn’t gone along. I’m definitely pleased I went, relieved, in fact, that she spotted it. It’s a great service”

28/05/2014 at 11:09 am

Reflection by a Social Prescribing Practitioner

About 4 and a half years ago when applying for a Community Psychiatric Nurse post I was required to do a presentation – the topic was the future of community psychiatric nursing. In this presentation I envisioned a role for a mental health worker based in a community setting with the potential to outreach other community resources. Well as luck would have it, this vision was offered as a job vacancy with the new Link/Social Prescribing project at FDAMH last December and I seized the moment and applied for this job. To my delight I was successful and here I am today.

Moving to FDAMH to work as a Social Prescriber fits in with my values of using a client centred approach to look at the difficulties people are experiencing, not just in a medical way but within the client’s social environment, enabling the client to manage their recovery in a way that is unique to them. The benefit for the client is that they stay totally in control and dictate not only the pace at which their journey moves along, but also the route their recovery journey will take.

I am able to draw from a vast resource of experience and knowledge gained from 26 years of psychiatric nursing within Forth Valley Health Board. I feel I have a freedom of practice in this role as it is more flexible, set as it is in a smaller organisation, than in a larger organisation where ownership of a role is more difficult.

Yet I also find this smaller organisation is no less professional in its care delivery, indeed the lack of bureaucracy has meant I can more readily access the various activities and services which my clients have indicated that they need. I enjoy working within the fluidity our service offers, which can change course to meet the demands of the users.

Looking at community resources to assist, means the clients have a sense of ownership of their local community and can be influential in shaping what their community looks like quite literally as well as metaphorically. The normalisation of some anxiety symptoms and reactive depression in the Social Prescribing Service lessens the dependence on medical models and I have found this to be an empowering experience for the majority of my clients.

Benefits of the Social Prescribing intervention must also extend to more specialist services that can then devote their skills and time to people who need them. I also find that I can use my previous contacts, acting as a bridge between GP services and the more specialist services, so that the client can benefit – simplifying the journey to recovery for the person experiencing the distress.

This move to the third sector has been a positive development for me and has increased my awareness of the variety of good work being done out with statutory services.

Tags: FDAMH, Link Service, Social Prescribing
20/05/2014 at 1:32 pm

The lengths people go to for FDAMH…

Tommy Hamilton let us know how his hugely successful sponsored walk up Ben Nevis with the Yorkie Boys went in September 2013 –
“Well the weather was horrid. Driving wind and rain from the bottom to the top. We picked up a few Injures but everyone made it up and down and we had a good laugh. I found out after years of saying my skin was water proof that it’s not – lol I think my bones were wet as well!”
Tommy, it was worth it, your team did a tremendous job!

Tags: FDAMH, Fundraising
08/04/2014 at 1:12 pm

A recovery journey with FDAMH

I was recently asked this question what does FDAMH mean to you my answer is so totally simple – everything.

Several years ago I was made redundant after serving 40 years in various junior and senior management positions. The effect this had on my life was indescribable I just went into total emotional melt down, I spent the first two years isolating myself in my own home not wanting to speak or see anyone, I never even went beyond my front own door. I could never put into words how black life felt for me at that time.

I was eventually persuaded by my family to see my local GP, he in turn referred me to my local hospital psychiatric department for treatment and after receiving over two years of intense counselling I slowly started to get my life back together. It was decided by the hospital consultants it was time for me to try to get back into a more out door social environment.

My hospital consultant made contact for me with a local help centre called FDAHM this was the first time in more than 4 years I had ventured out into the public domain. On my first day I was welcomed with open arms by the very friendly staff and volunteer members at the FDAHM centre they were so good to me. I was very gently introduced to other members of the drop in group.

One of the first things I noticed about the FDAMH centre and at that time it was so very important to me was I was never made to feel I had to stay there or partake in any group activities. It was so important and reassuring to me at that time knowing that I could come and go and join in as and when I pleased. After the first few weeks of attending the day centre and mainly due to the kind and understanding staff members I slowly started to get my confidence back and started joining in with the many group activities spending a little longer with each time I was there.

After attending the day centre for a short while I asked a member of staff would it be possible for me to receive one to one counselling has I was still finding it hard to deal with my worries and feelings of anxiety and panic attacks. Over a two years period at the FDAHM centre I received two twelve weekly therapy sessions, each of these sessions were of a tremendous help to me giving me both the strength expand my new found confidence and also helping me to feel that I could go on to put my past broken life back on track.

I have always felt even from my early days at the day centre how can I help to repay their kindness. I owe so much to FDAMH and its fabulous full time and most generous volunteering staff, for with their help and understanding they have helped me to turn my life around.

Last year I was asked at the centre if I would like to consider taking part in a short volunteer training course at the centre, I said that I would be very happy to attend. I was thinking that maybe this could be a way of not only helping myself getting back some of my own self-belief but I could also in some little way give help and support to the other day centre drop in group members.I completed this excellent training course which I found to be most interesting and informative.

I have now for several months been running a weekly family history and genealogy group within FDAMH. The members of my group love talking about the old times, it’s a great way to get them communicating to each other, they also love finding old family photos and genealogical records and sharing family history details with each other. I have also found that my family research group is a great way to getting older group members interested in using computers some for the first time, they may find it slow going at first, put are quickly delighted when they find some interesting family details via the Google search engine system.

FDAMH thank you so much for helping me to find my own self confidence and self-belief.


Tags: Activity Groups, Anxiety, Counselling, Drop-In, FDAMH Training, Isolation and Loneliness, Panic, Volunteering
26/11/2013 at 9:12 pm