A Traveller’s Tale

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I came to PLUSPerth in June 2013, when I was going through a period
of confusion in my life, not knowing what I wanted to do or in what
direction I wanted to go.

I started to volunteer at the garden project (Horner’s Plot) which
was in its infancy, as it gave me something to do and a sense of
involvement. As the project grew, there was the opportunity to
become employed as a part-time project worker, and at the same
time I was able to undertake training as a WRAP workshop facilitator
– I had previously participated in WRAP sessions as a means of
looking after my own mental health and wellbeing, and found it to
be of enormous benefit.

Due to the success of the garden, PLUS was awarded funding
to expand the project to create further city centre green spaces
providing meaningful activities for those who were perhaps feeling
socially isolated or simply wanted to do a bit of gardening, and I was
able to take up a full-time position as a project worker.

It is largely thanks to PLUS – its vision, its staff and its volunteers, that I find myself in
a position to fulfil a long-held ambition to become a language teacher, using my skills
and interests for the benefit of learners in other countries.

I am off to Greece to train for a month, then will be back here for a couple of months
whilst I decide on the next step.

What is for sure, though, is that PLUS will always be a part of me, and I of PLUS.

Richard Ryan

Do We Really Need Mental Health Professionals?

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An interesting piece by Gary Sidley, PHD on madinamerica, popular
mental health blog site poses the question ‘Do We Really Need
Mental Health Professionals?’

This question is very relevant to us at a time when NHS Tayside is
redesigning their Adult Mental Health and Learning Disability
In- Patient Services. The closure of 3 General Adult Psychiatry units
including Murray Royal and a centralised unit at Carseview, Dundee
one of 4 options. Relevant because the rationale for this course of
action is due to “How can we maintain safe services as we don’t have
enough nurses and Dr’s on the ground”.

Perhaps the question to be asked first of all is ‘what are the best ways
to help people in mental distress’ and then get the answers and some
alternative suggestions from those people who have received mental
health care and treatment. People say they just need to be cared
about and listened to – more often than not they are having that need
met by the ward cleaner, student nurse and other people in the ward.
So maybe a different type of workforce using different skills – skills
needed for human development such as listening, understanding
and empowering are what is needed. The Soteria Houses approach
includes primarily non-medical staffing; preserving resident’s
personal power, social networks, and communal responsibilities;
finding meaning in the subjective experience of psychosis by “being
with” clients; and no or minimal use of antipsychotic medication. So
the question is ‘Do we really need mental Health professionals? We
would like to hear your view on this.

If anyone would like more information on the NHS redesign of
services contact PLUS and we can send you the most recent NHS
Tayside Update.

Surviving Christmas Wallet Card

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PLUS launched our Surviving Christmas helpline card this week. The handy wallet size card offers practical tips on how to cope with the added stresses the festive season brings and provides telephone numbers for when extra help is needed.  We have also gathered a range of Christmas fact sheets including Depression at Christmas, Bereaved at Christmas and Coping with Eating disorders at Christmas, Scottish Families Affected by Drugs Festive  Booklet available to download at our information website Mental Wealth Perthshire.

PLUS manager Susan Scott said;

“If you have a mental health issue Christmas is a difficult time because many organisations and services close down for the holidays. Having access to information on what you can do to help yourself means people aren’t left not knowing where to turn.  We are very thankful to P&K council for their financial support for this very valuable resource

This year we have also produced a Polish version of the card.

Pop into your local library to pick one up or visit www.mentalwealthperthshire.org.uk for an online version and other resources to help get through the festive season. Phone PLUS 01738 626242.

(Pictured from left Grant Muckart volunteer, Susan Scott manager and Claire Thomson project worker)

“Talking About Our Rights” Focus Group

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Wed 4th November 2015

1.15pm – 4pm

Salutation Hotel, South St, Perth


Guided by your lived experience of mental health issues the discussion will contribute to a new declaration on human rights that the Scottish Recovery Network and see me campaign are creating. The event will also give you the chance to hear what your rights are and how other people are ensuring their rights are being upheld and respected. Judith Robertson director of see me will facilitate the afternoon which will start with the chance to chat and meet others over a nice lunch.


Lunch 1.15pm – 2pm

Discussion 2pm – 4pm


 Travel expenses and other personal costs such as childcare will be reimbursed to you


Book a place on 01738 626242/plusperth@msn.com