As we move further into phase three of lockdown, things have changed slightly in some of our support services. Our helpline, bereavement support and telehealth support all continue to be available by phone and online. Our Routes young person’s group have had some socially distanced meetings that are mainly one-to-ones, and our support groups are still online but are hoping to start meeting for socially distanced activities. As we have all seen, government guidance can change fairly quickly and we will continue to follow the guidance.
- 717 wellbeing packs (one every fortnight) have been delivered to the young people we support in East and West Dunbartonshire and their siblings
- 57 digital devices (tablets, mobile phone and top-ups) have been delivered to young people
- 331 food parcels have been given to families
- 95 takeaways have been delivered to families!
- And there have been 51 Zoom groups (including TikTok classes, cooking, relaxation, mindfulness and make-up classes)
Since phase three began, Routes has had weekly groups in both East and West Dunbartonshire where they play football, rounders, board games and do arts and crafts. Group numbers are currently under six in line with government guidance and we are regularly supporting young people in one-to-one meetings. We’re hoping in the next few months that community centres will open up again. When they do we will be able to book activities (so we’re not so weather dependent). We’re hoping to do cooking, make-up lessons, a trip to Laser Quest, and hopefully a driving experience.
We continue to see young people for one-to-one support, we go walking with them or find somewhere quiet to sit outside. We need to stay in touch with our young people because so many of them have become anxious and isolated during lockdown, and going back to school has filled them with dread. But we’re continuing to support and look out for them.
Forth Valley Support Service
Our Forth Valley Support Service continues to offer one-to-one support and take in new referrals. Face-to-face groups are sadly not possible yet, but we have an online alternative through WhatsApp, Zoom Family Support Meetings, one-to-one support, and hopefully will meet for some socially distant walks.
Additional wellbeing activities such as Guided Meditation and Distance Reiki can be accessed through our amazing Virtual Project Balance, facilitated by Miss H Yoga.
Forth Valley – Story from Family Member
We’d like to thank the family member who shared their story with us to include in this newsletter.
‘When my son left home it was one of the worst times of my life, I didn’t know where he was or even if he was still alive. My mental health really suffered and I found it hard to get through the day.
‘He came back to live at home in 2018, and although I was relieved to know where he was, his cocaine use had gotten so out of control that I was still living with the fear that he would die. I was so scared that I spent every waking moment worrying about him and doing anything I could to support him, all my other relationships suffered but at that time I didn’t care.
‘All I could think about was him and I’d have done anything to get him better. My family was in pieces and I couldn’t see how that would ever be repaired.
‘I started to speak to Lynne at [Scottish Families] and she tried to help me look after myself a bit more, explaining to me that any changes my son made had to come from him and that if I could get better at looking at myself, I would be in a better position to support my son longer term. I really struggled to take that on board and I stayed available to my son 24/7.
‘I had some very low points where I felt that I couldn’t go on anymore, but with continued support from [Scottish Families] and my CPN, I made some changes and I started to put my own health first. The relationship with my son broke down completely and I was heartbroken, but I had started to realise that it didn’t matter what I did for him, he had to want to make the changes for himself.
‘We found a way to stay in touch but it wasn’t the same, and although I still wanted to support him, I concentrated on learning how to look after myself and he started to engage with supports of his own.
‘On 10th August 2020, we celebrated as a family, as my son was 365 days alcohol and drug free. I’m so proud of him, I never thought this day would ever happen. My son is becoming a handsome, kind and caring human being. I love him to the moon and back. Words can’t really express the feelings of joy I have.
‘Finally, I feel my family is together again. I never thought I would ever have that again.
‘Thank you Lynne. I couldn’t have got through this without your kindness and support. The support group was my saviour, to sit with people who really understood what you are going through. Thank you to you all.’
Our Aberdeenshire Support Service continues to offer one-to-one support and taking new referrals. Face-to-face groups are not possible yet, but Carly has been arranging Zoom meetings for one-to-one support and group meetings.
The East Dunbartonshire Support Service continues to offer one-to-one support and currently has two family support meetings online via Zoom. These meetings take place on a Thursday. Colin continues to provide one-to-one support over the phone or by Zoom calls.
Over the last few months, the East Dunbartonshire group has had online make-up and beauty treatments facilitated by Gemma from Lipstick n Lashes. There’s also going to be fitness classes very soon!
Since lockdown, ten family members from the East Dunbartonshire group have take-up and completed (got the certificate to prove it) two MOOC (Massive Open Online Courses) through Monash University in Australia and Reading University in England. The first course was ‘Understanding Mindfulness, Wellbeing and Peak Performance’ the second ‘Understanding Anxiety, Depression and CBT.’
Apart from the achievement of completing the courses and getting the certificate, the knowledge and understanding gained from the courses cannot only be used in our day to day lives but provide more knowledgeable peer support within the support groups.
We hope to take on further courses from universities around the world in the not too distant future!
Our new family support service ‘All In The Family’ is currently meeting for one-to-one support and group support. For fast updates and information, you can follow them on Twitter @FamilySouthLan