NHS Tayside launches online mental health support as part of ‘Living Life Well’

NHS Tayside has launched a new online self-help mental health directory to support wellbeing, as part of its ‘Living Life Well’ initiative.

The new information directory contains a list of mental health support and advice organisations, resources and helplines. It focuses on both national services and local ones in Tayside, Scotland and hopes to direct people to support channels.

It was developed by public health staff, third sector partners and representatives from mental health special interest groups.

NHS Tayside Interim Director of Mental Health and Learning Disabilities Kate Bell said, “We hope this online directory will be a valuable resource for anyone in Tayside so that they know where to go to seek support or access to services, and also what is available to support them look after their mental health and wellbeing.”

According to NHS prescribing data, there are currently around 93,000 people in Tayside who are receiving medication for mental health conditions.

The directory was produced as part of NHS Tayside’s Mental Health and Wellbeing Strategy and Change Programme, ‘Living Life Well’. Its aim is to provide a ‘lifelong approach to mental health’, including strategies that cover everything from key growth periods in infancy, childhood and beyond, through to older age.

Plans to improve services are wide-ranging but include enabling equal access to support, boosting life chances and health outcomes for people with mental health conditions, reviewing urgent care, focusing on staffing issues and tackling the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health.

A final draft version of this new, collaborative mental health strategy is already available online, with approval and final publication expected in early 2021.

In the draft, the impact of COVID-19 is addressed, as well ‘Trust and Respect’, a report on the Independent Inquiry into Mental Health Services in Tayside, which found that there had been a ‘loss of trust in mental health services’.

The report states that it aims to ‘build public confidence’ with the ultimate aim to ‘improve the health of the population and to reduce the unacceptable variation in life expectancy that exists across Scotland and Tayside’.

The list of support services is available on NHS Tayside’s new Living Life Well website. The final draft strategy is also available online.