One thousand people use Mental Health Information Station in first year

NHS Lothian’s Mental Health Information Station will today (Thursday 27 October) celebrate its first anniversary in style after welcoming more than one thousand visitors in its first 12 months.
Staff and service users will gather for tea, coffee and cake at the Walpole Hall in Edinburgh to mark the first year of the innovative new mental health service in the capital.
The Mental Health Information Station is available every Thursday from 11am until 3pm and offers a one-stop-shop providing support, information and sign posting for anyone affected by mental health and wellbeing issues.
The service is led by Occupational Therapists from NHS Lothian in partnership with services such as Health in Mind, Volunteer Edinburgh and Outlook adult education project, among others.
Jane Sutherland, Lead Occupational Therapist, Community Mental Health Services, NHS Lothian, said: “Our first year has been fantastic and we’ve been delighted with the numbers of people we’ve been able to support. We help people to explore a wide range of subjects such as mental health conditions, medication, therapies, self-help, support groups and existing mental health services.
“The drop-in service highlights the wide variety of satisfying and rewarding activities which help support wellbeing. These activities are either free or low cost, and include social and leisure activities, education courses, volunteering and information on returning to work.
“It’s great to give someone the opportunity to speak to a variety of professionals informally over a cup of coffee or tea and provide them with information that may make a positive difference to their lives.”
Graeme Walker attended the Mental Health Information Station shortly after it opened and admits it has helped him to get back into work quicker. He said: “I was at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital and as part of the information the occupational therapist gave me, there was a leaflet for the Information Station.
“I came here on the second week it opened and since then, it’s helped me to be involved in some amazing projects which I would never have found unless I’d turned up on that rainy day in October”.
The Mental Health Information Station led Graeme to a variety of projects which he says gave him hope, where no hope existed before.
 “I had a notion that I wanted to work in the mental health sector,” said Graeme, “but didn’t really know how my skill set would fit or how to find jobs in this area. I met a couple of people from employability services and without them I wouldn’t have found the new job I now have now with Penumbra.”
For further information contact Health in Mind Communications Manager Doreen Graham on 0131 243 0137 or or call 0131 537 8650.
Notes for editors:
  • The service recently achieved recognition when becoming finalists in NHS Celebrating Success Awards, where they were nominated for the Best Example of Quality, Innovation and Productivity Award. They were one of 10 finalists to make it through a vigorous judging panel which saw hundreds of nominations being submitted.
  • The Mental Health Information Station is a one stop shop acting as a source of support, information and sign posting. Lead by NHS Occupational Therapists, input will be drawn from health and social care staff, peer support workers, volunteers and key third sector partners such as Health in Mind. The Mental Health Information Station is available every Thursday from 11am until 3pm at the Walpole Hall in Edinburgh.
  • The Information Station offers:
    • Faster self-service access to individuals;
    • Psychological self-help guides and resources;
    • Support groups sign posting;
    • Provide standardised information on conditions and medication;
    • Support for Carers;
    • Link with community resources through experts that are very aware of what is out there in different localities or city wide projects;
    • Offer access to information on education courses, physical activities, social and leisure activities, volunteering and work;
    • Allow visitors to browse information on display or speak directly to advisors on  hand, no appointment required;
    • Assistance to people on how to connect with others and enjoy social opportunities and meet ups, and
    • Benefits advice and housing guidance.