Mental health affects us all and the demand on these services is increasing. At Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership we have made a commitment to challenge stigma and provide joined up accessible services for the people of Fife at a time when they need it.

Opening its doors on Friday 19 April for the first time is SAM’s café, delivered in partnership with the HSCP, SAMH and the Linton Lane Centre. The café is a safe place where people can pop in and get mental health support and information from support workers who understand that every day is different.

SAMH’s Ross Reilly, SAM’s Café Project Peer Development worker talking to guests, representatives and volunteers at the launch

The community style café is open to everyone 16 and over – you don’t need an appointment, you can just pop along. Here, you will have an opportunity to talk, in an informal setting with people who have experienced mental health issues and will work with you to look for solutions or additional support.

Julie Paterson, Divisional General Manager commented, “The implementation of Scotland’s National Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027 has provided additional funds for mental health support including peer and support workers. We have made a real commitment in Fife to look at innovative ways to support people, at the right time and in the right place. SAM’s café aims to do this and will ensure that support extends to weekends and out of hours. The café is part of the community, all are welcome and if people need some additional support, it will be provided by people who know exactly what that feels like.

SAM’s café is open on Wednesday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday from 2pm to 10pm at Linton Lane Centre, Kirkcaldy with support available from SAMH trained staff.

At the official launch, colleagues were joined by people seeking support as soon the doors had opened, there were people offering their support as volunteers and community representatives from Ambulance Service, (Julie Shields and Neil Gillies), Police Scotland’s Sgt Ian Poolman (Kirkcaldy) and Cllr Judy Hamilton showing their support for the project.

Cllr David Graham, spokesperson for Fife’s Integration Joint Board said, “The Health & Social Partnership is continually looking at ways to deliver health and social care services to meet the needs of Fifers. Mental health is a key priority for us and the launch of SAM’s café will add to the services we currently provide. Having an informal environment in a café setting, which offers mental health support will be a great benefit to the community and will go some way to alleviate the discrimination and stigma associated with mental health.”

SAMH’s Ross Reilly, SAM’s Café Project Peer Development worker passing the ‘See Me’ anti-stigma badge to Cllr David Graham