BBV Mental Health Team

RIDU since its inception has taken pride in having a holistic approach in its care for its patients, and this has included prioritising mental wellbeing and providing for mental health needs. We know that mental health problems are generally quite common and can affect anyone. However, receiving a HIV diagnosis and the challenges of living with HIV can understandably result in a substantially higher rate of psychological difficulties. If these emotional and psychological difficulties continue over time, it can not only impact on general well being and quality of life but can also make adherence to HIV treatment difficult. So getting appropriate help and support is important, and the earlier the better.

Who are we?

We are a multi-disciplinary team of mental health professionals and include nurse counsellors, specialist mental health nurses, clinical psychologist and consultant psychiatrist.

Most of us are based in RIDU, while our specialist mental health nurses are based in Spittal Street. We work around individual needs, with regard to appointment dates and times, and some of our nurse counsellors and mental health nurses are also able to see patients at home if and when required.

How can we help?

Our team can help with emotional distress and difficulties that can arise from being diagnosed with HIV and dealing with HIV-related stigma which can leave many people feeling more isolated and losing confidence.

We know from surveys of people living with HIV in UK that high numbers of HIV positive people report experiencing depression, anxiety and trauma. We can help manage that through talking therapies and medication.

Our team can help those people living with HIV who have developed a harmful or dependent relationship with alcohol and drugs.

We also assess, manage and provide support to HIV positive people suffering from more severe spectrum of mental health problems including bipolar disorder, psychosis and dementia.

If you have Hepatitis C infection and are looking to get it treated in RIDU, we may be asked to see you before and during the treatment with regard to any mental health issues.

Our resources extend to offering support to families affected by HIV. And we work closely with our colleagues in social work department, as well as voluntary sector agencies.

How can you arrange to see us?

If you attend RIDU and have any mental health concerns, please speak to your HIV and Hepatitis C doctor or nurse and they can arrange a referral to our team. You can also contact our nurse counsellors on 0131 537 2864.

Further information

Please follow the link below for more detailed information on HIV & mental health

HIV, mental health & emotional wellbeing

Last Reviewed: 28/11/2012