Mental Health Awareness Week 2020 is focusing on how acts of ‘Kindness’ improve lives and communities. Mental Health Foundation research shows that ‘Kindness’ strengthens relationships, develops a sense of community and deepens feelings of solidarity. It is essential to our individual and collective mental health. 

Nicky Connor Director of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “I welcome the focus on ‘Kindness’ during National Mental Health Awareness Week and have been humbled by the many examples of kindness shown by individuals and communities across Fife during Covid 19.  Mental Health is a priority and Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is committed to caring for the mental wellbeing of communities in Fife and promoting ways to maintain good mental health.

Mental Health Awareness Week is also an opportunity to highlight how mental health services have responded to the coronavirus pandemic and how it has impacted those who use our health and social care services and our staff. We are showcasing the broad scope of work we undertake to support people and how kindness is a fundamental aspect of improving mental health for individuals and communities.”

Julie Paterson Divisional General Manager of the Fife Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) said: “Our staff provide high quality care and support which is matched to the unique needs and outcomes of individuals whether they are in hospital or living in the community.

The Fife Health and Social Care Partnership has developed a shared mental health strategy for Fife by engaging the people and communities of Fife. Titled ‘Let’s really raise the bar’ 2020-2024 the strategy outlines the importance of continuing to work closely with our partners to promote and support ways to maintain good mental health. There are many examples of the great work being done and how everyone is working together during these unprecedented times.”

The Fife Psychology Service moved very quickly in response to the Coronavirus pandemic and in just a week set up a staff hub and quiet zone for frontline health and social care staff. They are now available at locations across Fife including Maggie’s Centre, Kirkcaldy, Queen Margaret Hospital Dunfermline, Cameron Hospital, Windygate and the Ceres Centre, Stratheden.

Mental Health support in communities is being provided by Sam’s café and other voluntary organisations. Sam’s café is a mental health project that allows people to access help quickly and informally.  Based in KIrkcaldy and Dunfermline Sam’s café is providing help during the Covid-19 emergency by chatting to people by telephone and encouraging anyone who feels alone with their problems to get in touch.

The project is run by employees who have experienced mental issues giving them a unique insight into the problems people may have and enabling them to provide relevant advice and coping strategies. To find out more go to http://www.samscafe.org.uk/.