Natalie Don MSP has praised the efforts of Recovery Across Mental Health (RAMH) staff and volunteers in providing much-needed support for Renfrewshire residents experiencing mental health challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic.
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During a meeting with RAMH’s Chief Executive, Stephen McLellan, and recently appointed Operations Manager, Claire Gallagher, the MSP for Renfrewshire North and West was informed that the charity, which usually supports around 7,5000 people across Renfrewshire and East Renfrewshire in their recovery from mental ill health each year.
The organisation saw an increase of 10 per cent in the number of individuals contacting them during the last 18 months.
Stephen McLellan, Manager of RAMH, said: “We were pleased to speak with Natalie Don MSP to highlight the valuable one-to-one support we are providing to people throughout Renfrewshire during the pandemic – including to many individuals who were previously not known to Renfrewshire Health and Social Care Partnership’s Adult Community Mental Health Team.
“Unsurprisingly, we have been contacted by an increasing number of Renfrewshire residents who are experiencing COVID-19 related anxiety both in terms of the social isolation being suffered during times of restrictions as well as concerns relating to the prospects or reality of unemployment and debt issues.
“Anyone in Renfrewshire aged 16 or over who is experiencing a crisis in their mental health can reach out on an anonymous basis to our FIRST Crisis service which operates out of hours and offers essential personalised support.”
Natalie Don MSP said: “It’s vitally important that we all look after our mental health as much as we can and don’t hesitate to reach out for confidential support offered by dedicated services such as those run by RAMH.
“Through correspondence and conversations with my constituents, I am acutely aware of the range of difficulties and everyday challenges facing a lot of local people during the COVID-19 pandemic and offer RAMH staff and volunteers my heartfelt gratitude for making themselves available to provide life enhancing person-centred support to residents across Renfrewshire.
“I encourage anyone struggling with their mental health to make immediate contact with RAMH’s FIRST Crisis service and give the charity’s trained staff and volunteers the opportunity to gently talk you through steps which can help improve your wellbeing and recovery.”
Renfrewshire residents can contact RAMH’s FIRST Crisis service between 9am-8pm Monday-Friday or 9am-5pm Saturday-Sunday on freephone: 0800 221 8929 (or standard rate 0141 848 9090) seven days a week, 365 days a year.
Main photo: (Left to Right) Claire Gallagher (RAMH Operations Manager), Natalie Don MSP and Stephen McLellan (RAMH Chief Executive)