News – Local Services

Update on the Freedom of Mind Choir

The Freedom of Mind Choir started life as one of FDAMH’s activity groups. It has been so loved and successful that it has now spread its wings to become a fully fledged, independent Community Choir! This means the Choir is now open to any adults in the Community, so if you’re interested in finding your voice you can get a taster at their upcoming open day on Sunday 2nd June, 2-4pm at Tamfourhill Community Hub. Just pop along or get in touch with the Choir Manager, Emily Simpson, by emailing
Freedom of Mind Open Day Poster

Tag: Local Services
24/05/2019 at 9:02 am

Social Prescribing: Community Workers on the Move!

Our highly-respected Social Prescribing team, currently serving at GP practices in Stenhousemuir and Denny, are on the move!

Funding for our Social Prescribing Service is only sufficient to sustain our three workers, thus, despite repeated requests from local GPs, we are unable to increase capacity without further funding. Therefore, we feel the best way to allow people in other communities around Falkirk District to benefit is to move our two community workers to new bases.

Our community Social Prescribers offer GP patients with emotional and mental health issues, up to 5 one-hour sessions of one-to-one support to help get things back on track. They provide a person-centred and holistic service, working with people to help them identify goals, work out where the problems are and learn and develop techniques to cope better and work towards achieving the things they want to do. And, often, the final piece of the puzzle is directing people on to other sources of support and fulfillment in the community.

The team would like to thank practices at Stenhousemuir and Carronbank Health Centres for hosting our staff over this time. Referrals from these practices will close on 31st March. Staff will complete existing case loads and then transfer to new bases this summer. We are very pleased to announce one of our new partners will be Dr Lim’s practice at Camelon Medical Centre, with our other new location to be finalised. The Service Manager will remain in-house at FDAMH, offering Social Prescribing to clients from across the whole area, referred by FDAMH’s other services.

Tag: Link/Social Prescribing Service, Local Services
22/03/2016 at 12:18 pm

FDAMH-led Project wins Council Award

Partners in the Project

The FDAMH-led project that worked to improve service responses to those affected by complex issues, including mental health problems, has been recognised in Falkirk Council’s Celebrating Success Event. The project won the award for ‘Health Initiative’ at the ceremony on 16th November.

After listening to the needs of staff, FDAMH took on the role of providing mental health training to many frontline staff at Falkirk Council and also within other partner organisations. Thanks to training, staff reported feeling more confident and better equipped to deal with customers facing complex issues.

Another key strand of the project saw our Project Co-ordinator supporting the development and delivery of a Multi-Agency Support Team (MAST) at Falkirk’s Job Centre. The team was focused on supporting customers at risk of crisis through identifying and prioritising additional support requirements and facilitating the take up of support. Partners in the multi-agency team were Access to Housing (Falkirk Council), Scottish Welfare Fund (Falkirk Council) and Falkirk Area Welfare Benefits Advice Support Unit (Citizens Advice Bureau). Outcomes for customers have included increased awareness of benefit entitlements, better support to prioritise issues, introductions to helpful community services and a feeling that they have been properly listened to and supported.

We would like to extend our thanks to the large team of people involved in making this project such a success.

Tag: FDAMH, Local Services
15/12/2015 at 3:00 pm

Involvement Group leads with trailblazing projects

FDAMH’s Involvement Group is making its mark undertaking valuable projects that will help to improve mental health services. Meeting regularly, the group is attended by a very dedicated group of volunteers, all with valuable experiences to draw from to inform their work with the group. As reported previously the main project for the group at the current time is the service-user led audit of FDAMH using the Scottish Recovery Indicator 2 (SRI 2) — to assess how recovery-focused FDAMH is. After reviewing publicity materials and issues of staff training and development, the group is about to embark on interviewing staff.

The SRI 2 project was further boosted recently thanks to a very useful meeting with Robert Stevenson, Network Officer from the Scottish Recovery Network. Robert reported that FDAMH is the first organisation in Scotland that has asked its members to evaluate its services. He is very interested in following the group’s progress and will give support as required. The Network are hoping to learn from the group’s work and it is hoped in the future the Involvement Group will be able to run a workshop at a conference being planned specifically around the SRI2 tool!

In addition to the audit, the group would also like to establish their own identity by developing their own logo, so work on this is underway. Group members have also been evaluating their training needs and are working on a plan to attend to these. Finally the group will be involved in producing a Carers Information Pack to help FVRH Mental Health Unit meet its ‘Triangle of Care’ commitments (see separate news story).

If you are interested in finding out more about the Involvement Group or how to get involved yourself please contact Linda McGonigle at FDAMH.

Tag: Local Services, User Involvement & Consultation
02/09/2015 at 6:45 pm

Supporting the Triangle of Care

FDAMH’s Involvement Group are delighted to have been asked to contribute to a new initiative at Forth Valley Royal Hospital (FVRH). The ‘Triangle of Care’ is an established set of guidance which helps mental health service providers ensure that carers are fully included and supported when the person they care for has an acute mental health episode. Currently the guidance is being tested within Ward 3 of FVRH’s Mental Health Unit before being rolled out further. The guidance lays out a set of standards to achieve better partnership with carers and its intention is to promote safety, support recovery and sustain wellbeing.

Linda McGonigle, Service User and Carer Involvement Coordinator, and Neil Sowerby, Family Support Worker, have met with staff at the FVRH mental health unit to help establish what support FDAMH can offer to ensure that certain requirements of the ‘Triangle of Care’ are met. Consequently FDAMH’s Involvement Group will be using their extensive experience of mental health services to assist in the development of a Carers Information Pack which will be given to carers when their family member or person they care for is admitted to hospital.

FDAMH welcomes this very positive step, our own Family Support Service recognises the huge significance of families in recovery and is also keenly aware of the impact mental health problems can have on all family members.

This is an excellent example of partnership working between two organisations and everyone involved is looking forward to seeing this project develop.

Tag: FDAMH, Local Services, Mental Health, User Involvement & Consultation
02/09/2015 at 6:32 pm

New Service from Forth Valley Advocacy – Support through PIP & ESA

Forth Valley Advocacy have launched a new service offering advocacy support to people going through the PIP and ESA assessment processes. Ian Dunsmore is the new worker taking on this role and here he explains what his post is about:

“I am a benefits assessment advocacy worker. I am part of an independent and free service that works for vulnerable people. Essentially, my job is to attend disability benefit assessments with clients, while making sure that they are educated on the assessment and are supported throughout the process. As an advocacy worker, I can also speak during assessments when required, to make sure clients are treated as fairly as possible, and can also prompt them to speak if they have forgotten to mention any details of their condition.

I hope to make the often degrading process of benefits assessments as painless as possible for people with mental health issues, learning difficulties or persons aged 65 and over, and will ultimately attempt to help people receive the benefits they deserve.

If you think that you or someone you know could benefit from this service, please don’t hesitate to contact me, as I want to help as many people as I can!”

Many thanks to Ian for popping out to FDAMH to explain his role to our staff. If you feel Ian could be of assistance, you can contact Ian on his mobile — 07812 666413 (text or call) or by calling the Forth Valley Advocacy Office on 01324 574301.

Tag: Benefits, Local Services
01/07/2015 at 11:49 am