New scheme launched in Moray to help ease pain of people experiencing suicidal thoughts

Nigel Henderson; Jennifer Maclean, Moray service manager, Penumbra; Kevin O’Neill; Karen Howard, psychiatric liaison co-ordinator, Moray Health & Social Care Partnership; Constable Chris Page, partnership development officer, Police Scotland.
Nigel Henderson; Jennifer Maclean, Moray service manager, Penumbra; Kevin O’Neill; Karen Howard, psychiatric liaison co-ordinator, Moray Health & Social Care Partnership; Constable Chris Page, partnership development officer, Police Scotland.

A potentially life-saving new scheme has been launched to help people in Moray who are in deep distress and experiencing suicidal thoughts.

The Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) programme will seek to assist people in a state of crisis at the earliest possible point, finding ways to bring them back from the depths of despair.

DBI is a short-term scheme aimed at helping people in distress or emotional pain who do not need emergency medical treatment, but visit places like accident and emergency departments, doctors surgeries or to the ambulance service in obvious need of help.

The project will bring together front-line staff including paramedics, police officers, GPs and mental health support teams to provide the first stage of a two-phase intervention plan.

The second stage will involve charity volunteers contacting the person within 24 hours to discuss their problems with them.

Mental health charity, Penumbra, will roll the programme out in Moray following the success of a pilot project in Aberdeen and after receiving government funding to expand.

Penumbra chief executive, Nigel Henderson, said: “We will train other agencies in the Moray area to provide the connected, compassionate support which DBI provides.”

The scheme helped nearly 700 people in Aberdeen and will go live in Moray this month, with funding coming from the Moray Health and Social Care Partnership.

Pamela Cremin, integrated service manager for mental health services in the partnership, said: “We’ve heard lots of positive things about DBI and we’re delighted to continue our collaborative relationship with Penumbra to make DBI available to people in Moray.”

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