Social care charity VSA has launched £800,000 plans to open a new mental health recovery centre to cope with growing demand.
The Aberdeen outfit recently bought Queen Mother House from the British Red Cross, and has now lodged plans to turn it into a 16-bedroom complex.
VSA is the largest provider of mental health support in the city.
And the new plans come months after opening its new £3.2 million facility on Holburn Street.
Less than a year into operating, it is “already at capacity”.
Covid’s dire impact on mental health
And bosses say the former guesthouse on Claremont Place will help deal with the rising demand caused by the pandemic.
John Booth, chief operating officer, said anxiety issues have spiralled since lockdown.
He explained: “The impact of the coronavirus is causing children and adults to feel overwhelmed, and has increased people’s anxiety now.”
VSA says Queen Mother House will help meet demand
John added: “We will potentially be living with the consequences of this outbreak for decades to come.
“The question we now need to ask is, do we have a mental health ticking time bomb?
“And how do we come together to identify and expand appropriate early mental health intervention for children and adults.
Now more than ever, we need the people of Aberdeen to rally behind us to help us get this in-demand facility open.”
How you can help
It is estimated that mental health problems will be the main cause of death globally by 2030.
Jennifer Mitchell, VSA’s director of external relations, said the scheme will only be possible with public support.
She said: “To make this a reality we are launching phase two of our Changing Lives Campaign- ‘Let’s Do This’ to raise the £800,000 required.”
How will VSA’s Queen Mother House centre help people on road to recovery?
The “recovery model” planned for the new complex encourages individuals to make goals such as developing a new hobby or going out on a social activity.
It means each person’s recovery journey is “unique to them”, and should be done at their own pace – with VSA support.
How will building be transformed?
Queen Mother House was built for the British Red Cross in 1995 and put up for sale in January 2020.
VSA will work with the Aberdeen Health and Social Care Partnership to “extensively refurbish” the building.
Blueprints indicate it would have a dining room, lounges and six bedrooms on the ground floor along with 10 more and an extra lounge on the first floor.
Do you welcome the plans to tackle the city’s mental health crisis? Let us know in our comments section below
To find out more about the facility or make a donation, click here, while cheques can be sent to VSA, 38 Castle Street, Aberdeen, AB11 5YU.
You can see the plans here.