One-to-One Support

We offer one-to-one support to anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 who is affected by someone else’s alcohol or drug use.

We have two one-to-one support services – Telehealth and Holding On.

Our Telehealth service offers one-to-one support for anyone concerned about someone else’s alcohol or drug use. Our Holding On service is for people who are living with extreme levels of anxiety, stress, exhaustion, chaos, and trauma daily, due to the high risk of drug/alcohol-related harm and death in their family.

We will offer you time and space to explore the issues affecting you, let you express your thoughts and feelings, and help you to come up with ideas and solutions to move forward.

Each support session lasts around one hour and the frequency can be arranged to suit your needs. Most of our sessions are online and by phone, but if you would prefer support in other ways we can arrange this.

You will be supported by a practitioner from our Telehealth or Holding On team which includes Gill Harmon, Sarah O’Hare, and Alison Fleming. You can find out more about our team below.

How can I get in touch?

If you feel one-to-one support is for you, you can get in touch through our National Helpline where you will speak to one of our advisors. They can chat with you about what’s going on and can tell you more about our services.

Call: 08080 10 10 11
Chat on the live help on our website
Or fill out a form here.

What happens next?

Once our helpline advisor has referred you, a member of our family support team will contact you to find out how we can best support you.

In the first session, they will ask for some information about your situation and talk through the different ways they can offer support.

Our one-to-one support is normally weekly sessions, although this depends on your situation. You can decide how often you’d like us to be in touch. We also have evening appointments available if you prefer.

We focus on the CRAFT (Community Reinforcement and Family Training) approach to family support. Our trained practitioners will explain and go through different topics each week such as boundaries, communication skills and self-care. If you feel CRAFT is not for you, we can look at other ways of supporting you.

The Telehealth service usually offers six to eight sessions, each lasting an hour. Once you have completed your block of support, you are then encouraged to join our Telehealth virtual family support group to connect with other families. This group is facilitated by one of our team. If you feel you need one-to-one support again, no matter how many months or years later, you can get back in touch with us at any time. We offer support over the phone, video calls and the opportunity to connect with other families through our online family support group.

Our Holding On service offers a bespoke package of intensive support for the family, depending on their specific situation. Sessions are generally weekly and last around an hour per session.

Sessions might include naloxone training, CRAFT, and specific training that suits the family’s needs. You will also have the opportunity to connect with other families through our Holding On virtual family support group.

Meet the Team

Gill Harmon – Senior Virtual Family Support Practitioner

Gill has been with Scottish Families since November 2018. Gill works on our Telehealth service delivering CRAFT to family members. She also works on our bereavement service setting up counselling sessions for family members. Gill has seven years of experience working in an alcohol and drug treatment service in a Local Authority. Before this Gill worked with young people experiencing homelessness, trauma and addiction.

Gill’s experience to date forms her passion for working with family members. Gill has always felt that families should have the right to their own support. As well as often being an integral part in their loved one’s recovery families have to be recognised in their own right.

Sarah O’Hare – Virtual Family Support Practitioner

Sarah joined the team in July 2021 as a Virtual Family Support Practitioner, delivering both Telehealth and Holding On. Children and young people were at the heart of her previous experience, as well as working in the voluntary sector.

Sarah was a volunteer counsellor at Childline for 5 years and has supported families in a hospice setting, and school/community settings. In a previous role, she delivered an evidence-based family therapy model to young people and their families to reduce the risk of relationship breakdown and accommodation. She is passionate about improving family relationships and empowering families.

Maureen Stewart – Virtual Family Support Practitioner

Maureen joined Scottish Families in 2021 working on our Helpline and bereavement support services. Since December 2023, Maureen has been a Virtual Family Support Practitioner delivering CRAFT to family members. She previously worked as a support practitioner working with people with complex emotional and physical needs. She has extensive experience in phone-based customer service roles. She also returned to university to gain her diploma in community development.

Maureen is passionate about the principles of community and development, and how communities can come together to address issues of social inclusion within those communities. Working with Scottish Families allows her to witness first-hand how much this collaborating work can achieve for the lives of those affected by their loved one’s drug and alcohol use.

‘Thanks again for today, it was a great help to talk to someone with experience of our problem. We both felt a little more at ease after speaking with you and we are both in agreement as to a way forward with this.’ (Husband and Wife Family Members)

‘I was unsure of what to expect and was very nervous but was quickly put at ease, the understanding, empathy and guidance which I was given have made me feel a much stronger and happier person and a lot more able to deal with the pressures within my life.’ (Family Member)

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