Partnership working in Fife to support suicide prevention

Fife is supporting National Suicide Prevention Week and working in Partnership with local organisation we are encouraging people to reach out for support in times of distress and crisis.

Fife Health and Social Care Partnership Health Promotion Service has partnered up with Fife clubs (Dunfermline Athletic FC, Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts, Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), well known Fife sports figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman and local support services (Andy’s Man Club, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe, Samaritans and CARF) to encourage anyone who is struggling to ask for help and more importantly, know what support is available in Fife and how to access it.

Suicide Prevention is everybody’s business and in Fife we are supporting the national action plan ‘Every Life Matters’, which is working towards a vision where suicide is preventable in Scotland. Where help and support is available to anyone contemplating suicide and also for those who have sadly lost a loved one to suicide.

It is anticipated the impacts of the Covid-19 pandemic on individual mental health and wellbeing will be felt for some time to come and that adverse effects on people with mental illness, and on population mental health in general, are likely to be exacerbated by fear, self-isolation, and physical distancing.

At this time of overcoming the Covid-19 pandemic it is important that we all have those we can talk to openly and honestly, be that family, friends or professionals.

Nicky Connor, Director, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership said, “Suicide can affect us all and as a community we all have a part to play. It is so important to know that you are not alone and there is support out there. It is by working together at a national, local and individual level that will help to prevent suicide ensuring every life matters in Fife.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn #EveryLifeMattersInFife

Raising awareness of suicide prevention and giving the public information is vital. Fife Health and Social Care Partnership is fully supporting the 2020 Suicide Prevention Awareness Week through the promotion of the “#YoureNotOnYourOwn” video across local social media and Kingdom FM. The Health Promotion Team has worked closely with Dunfermline Athletic Football Club to bring together Fife sporting figures Caroline Weir and Jim Leishman along with representatives from all major sporting clubs (Raith Rovers FC, East Fife FC, Cowdenbeath FC, Inverkeithing Hillfield Swifts Kelty Hearts and Fife Flyers), and support services in Fife (Andy’s Man Club, CARF, mental health charity Penumbra, SAMs Cafe and Samaritans) to support this year’s campaign.

Eddie Martin, Mental Health Ambassador for Dunfermline Athletic FC said “Dunfermline Athletic is very proud to be involved as a partner in this project. Suicide is a community health problem that affects everyone. This association with Fife Health & Social Care Partnership came from the successful mental health awareness sessions that we’ve delivered at East End Park, not just for the fan base, but for the wider community as well. The message of the campaign is very important and this shows that help and great support groups are out there.

The video contains contributions from many support services available across Fife and they had this to say about their involvement in this year’s campaign:

“Citizens Advice & Rights Fife is delighted to support this suicide prevention campaign. We recognise that one concern or problem is usually linked to others and can become overwhelming, contributing to mental health wellbeing. Our team of specialist advisers can provide advice and support on a wide range of subjects including welfare benefits, debt and money, housing and employment and would urge anyone who is worried or unsure to contact us rather than issues or concerns escalating. We won’t tell you what to do but we will explain your options and possible outcomes so you are empowered to make the right choice for you”.

“Penumbra, is one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities and each week, we support 1800 adults and young people experiencing mental ill health. Here in Fife our self-harm team support people in a friendly and non-judgemental way. We provide a space for people to explore their self-harming behaviours and alternative coping strategies. We know that self-harm is too often misunderstood and so this week of suicide prevention awareness is an opportunity to bust some myths and let people know we’re here.”

“Samaritans vision is that fewer people die by suicide. We want to make sure there’s someone there for anyone who needs to talk about how they’re feeling, whatever they are facing, which is why our volunteers provide 24/7 support, 7 days a week.”

“Being part of the Fife suicide prevention campaign is in line totally with the values of Sam’s Cafe. The Sam’s team recognise there is a genuine, shared commitment within Fife to working together towards easily accessible support and a Kingdom-wide learning strategy for mental wellbeing. When it comes to awareness raising and supporting people with regards to suicide prevention, Sam’s simply and diligently endeavours to always be true to our project statement: ‘we believe in making a difference’. The team at Sam’s is passionate about suicide prevention and work tirelessly to be there for people. The team offers down to earth, understandable support that just makes sense in situations where people need access to meaningful support immediately.”

#YoureNotOnYourOwn can be accessed here:

Additional information:

Social media toolkit suicide prevention

BSL signed information video

Care Home Day 2020 – thank you to our care homes

To support Care Home Day 2020, Fife’s Health & Social Care Partnership wanted to shine a light on the care homes in Fife.

Care homes are communities within communities and every member of staff, every resident and families and friends all play a valuable role.  It really is an extended family. As an integral part of our communities, care homes provide high quality person-centred care to support the health and wellbeing of residents.

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health said:

From left Cllr David Graham, Nicky Connor, John Cooper, Service Manager, FHSCP, David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, FHSCP and Ostlers House staff Kirsten Wilkie, Helen Oliver, Eddie Hepburn and Elaine Patrick. Kneeling is Elaine Siggers with the star of the show Ozzie the home’s therapet.

“Our care home staff really are amazing, and I would like to thank every care home worker for the commitment and passion they show in supporting residents and their families, not only through this pandemic but every day. Staff have come up with so many different ways of keeping residents entertained and families and friends have been very supportive of the care and attention that their families have received, and they continue to receive.”

Cllr Graham joined Fife’s Health & Social Care Director Nicky Connor and Divisional General Manager David Heaney at Ostlers House Care Home today in Kirkcaldy.

Nicky Connor, Director of Fife HSCP added: “It really was very humbling speaking to staff. They are an inspiring group of people and what they have done to keep families connected throughout this period whilst visiting was cancelled has been really innovative. Having the ability to use iPads to connect with families and friends has made a huge difference and residents adapted well to using Facetime. Visiting has now resumed, although this looks a little different with physical distancing measures and PPE now the norm. I can’t thank care home staff enough for their commitment to keeping their communities safe and well”.

Scottish Care’s Paul Dundas and Fiona Mckay, Head of Strategic Planning, Performance and Commissioning. FHSCP also popped along to Bandrum Care Home in Saline to catch up with staff.

From left Fiona Mckay, Paul Dundas, Rachel Payne (Bandrum), Jacquie Stringer, Service Manager, FHSCP and Katherine Spence (Bandrum)

Fiona added: “We work closely with our independent care providers and relationships have been enhanced throughout the pandemic, supporting each other and working together has been key to everything we have achieved. The generosity also received from local organisations who have helped out during this crisis has been appreciated. This really is partnership working at its’ best”

Paul also added: “Care homes are an essential part of our communities and staff demonstrate their commitment and compassion every day, always putting those they care for at the heart of everything they do. Their dedication and professionalism are inspirational, and I can’t thank them enough.

Care homes in Fife – visiting restrictions easing

From today, families and friends can now visit their loved ones in care homes.

Over the past few months, care home staff in Fife have been supporting residents to keep connected via phone and face time calls while in person visits were suspended.

Cllr Rosemary Liewald, Chair of Fife’s Integration Joint Board said:

“I would like to say a huge thank you to all Fife’s care home staff – they have been amazing throughout this period. It hasn’t been an easy time for residents and their families not being able to visit in person. Care home staff have really stepped up to the challenge to ensure other measures were put in place to keep families connected.”

Visiting care homes will be a bit different. There will be a phased approach and in this phase before any visits resume, the care home needs to be covid-19 free for 28 days. Each phase of the approach will be dependent on guidance from Scottish Government based on scientific advice.

Initially, it will be essential visits and garden visits with a designated visitor that will be permitted. Physical distancing measures will be in place and visitors and residents must wear PPE. Care homes have been contacting families and friends of care home residents with information on how to arrange a visit and what to expect.

David Heaney, Divisional General Manager, Fife Health & Social Care Partnership added:

“We know how important it is for the wellbeing of residents and their families to have these connections, so it’s great to see visits resuming. I can’t thank care home staff enough for all they have been doing and continue to do to support residents and the innovative ways they have been keeping residents safe and entertained.

“Our residents and staff are our priority and visits will be managed by the care home to ensure the safety of residents, their visitors and staff. To arrange a visit please contact the care home first. Residents remain at a higher risk from covid-19 because of their age and/or medical conditions so if you have been feeling unwell in any way please do not visit.”

Picture caption:

Cllr Rosemary Liewald (centre) pictured with care home staff from Lindsay House Care Home in Lumphinans. Paula Jackowiak (Senior Social Care Worker) on the left and Dean Reekie (Care Assistant) on the right.

Our pharmacies are doing a great job – please be patient and kind

Throughout this pandemic, the 85 community pharmacies across Fife have remained open to support the people of Fife. As a first port of call for clinical advice and medicines supply, our local pharmacies are providing a vital and valued service.

Physical distancing measures to control the spread of the Coronavirus means that queues are forming outside many of our pharmacies as individuals wait to be seen.

Scott Garden, Director of Pharmacy & Medicines, NHS Fife said: “Fife pharmacies support people across all sections of our communities including our most vulnerable. Pharmacies are frequently extremely busy and physical distancing means it’s very common for queues to form as people wait to be served. This is not ideal, and I’d like to thank everyone for their patience, understanding and acceptance that queuing, for the time-being will become routine when accessing a community pharmacy.”

Cllr David Graham, Fife Council Spokesperson for Health & Social Care added, “There is no doubt these are challenging times and our pharmacy teams are doing all they can to support our communities, access medicines and healthcare advice, while at the same time managing limited space and queue management. I urge everyone to be patient, tolerant and kind to others waiting to be served and pharmacy teams who are continuing to deliver vital services to communities across Fife.”

Latest Adult Support and Protection newsletter available

Here’s the latest newsletter from the Adult Support and Protection Committee. This is available in different formats (pdf and plain text format for those using assistive technology).

We also have an easy read version of the ‘Staying safe, keeping well’ leaflet – a reminder of support organisations’ contact details, information on staying safe from scammers and advice on keeping well during lockdown.


Emma’s raising money for NHS workers

Emma Smart has raised nearly £2,000 for the NHS by selling over 300 special mugs designed to support NHS workers. Emma who is a Home Carer came up with the idea to raise the money when she saw her friends mug which had the eye-catching design, loved it and thought her colleagues and friends might also want one. It turned out they did, and the orders flooded in. 

The mug has been designed and produced by her friend’s sister Theresa Isaac of ‘Believe Designs’ and together they agreed that part of the payment for the mugs would be donated to the NHS. And because they had such a large order and were raising money for the NHS the courier delivered the mugs free of charge.  

Emma says: “Thank-you so much to everyone who has ordered a mug, it is very much appreciated. I’ve not really done much just taking the orders – it’s everyone who has bought a mug that has made the difference by supporting a great cause.” 


Purple Hippo Project

What is the Purple Hippo Project?

It’s about knitting lots of purple hippos to give to young people to thank them for taking part in sessions to learn about dementia. The hippos are a gift that they get along with a certificate to show that they’ve completed a ‘Dementia Friends’ session. During the session they learn about dementia and how it affects people and families and gives them a greater understanding about how people’s lives are changed by the illness. The young people are also encouraged to show others in the community how they can help people affected by dementia.

‘Dementia Friends’ sessions were put on hold during the Coronavirus emergency but preparations are underway to be ready with lots of hippos to give when the sessions can begin again.

During this lockdown period, why not support the preparations by knitting a few hippos yourself? It will really help a great cause. Donations will be collected once restrictions are reduced.

Knitted hippo instructions

knitted hippos

Size: Approx. 2.5 inches long.


  • 2. 75mm needles
  • Oddments of double knitting yarn in body colour,
  • and some black to embroider the face
  • Darning needle
  • Polyester stuffing


7 sts and 10 rows to 1 inch, or close to this. You want nice tight knitting that the stuffing won’t show through.


  • k – knit;
  • p – purl;
  • st(s) – stitch(es);
  • st-st – stocking stitch;
  • kfb – increase by knitting into the front and back of the next st;
  • k2tog – decrease by knitting the next 2 sts together;
  • kfbf – increase by 2 ex.tra sts by knititng into the front and back, and then front again of the next st;
  • k3tog – decrease by 2 sts by knitting the next 3 sts together.

Body and Head:

  • Cast on 10 sts.
  • Row 1: (kfb) into every st – 20 sts.
  • Row 2: p
  • Row 3: (kfb) into every st – 40 sts
  • Rows 4-26: st-st, beginning p (23 rows)
  • Row 27: (k2tog) to end – 20 sts.
  • Row 28: p
  • Row 29: k7, (kfbf) 6 times, k7 – 32 sts.
  • Row 30: p .
  • Row 31: (k2, kfb) 3 times, k14, (kfb, k2) 3 times – 38 sts.
  • Row 32-44: st-st, beg p (13 rows)
  • Row 45: k3, (k3tog) 4 times, kB, (k3tog) 4 times, k3 – 22 sts.
  • Row 46: p
  • Row 47: (k2tog) to end – 11 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through the remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Seam row edges, leaving about 1 cm open at the cast on edge. Stuff body and head firmly. Close remaining seam. Gather round cast on sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Use a length of yarn to work a line of gathering sts around the neck and pull up to add further shape to the neck. Fasten off and sew in any ends.

Legs {make 4):

  • Cast on 14 sts.
  • Rows 1-6: st-st, beg k
  • Row 7: (k2tog) to end – 7 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off.

Seam row edges. Stuff well. Position 4 legs on base of body, taking care to ensure that hippo can stand unaided, and sew in place.

Ears {make 2):

  • Cast on 8 sts.
  • Rows 1-2: st-st, beginning k
  • Row 3: (k2tog) to end – 4 sts.

Break off a long length of yarn, thread through remaining sts, pull up tightly and fasten off. Using the photo as a guide, position the ears on the head and sew the row edges to the head, leaving the cast on edge to curve upwards.


  • Cast on 6 sts.
  • Cast off.

Sew one row edge of tail just above the gathered cast on sts at the back of the body.


Use black yarn to embroider two eyes and two nostrils, using the photo as a guide for placement.

© Aine Marriott 2011 |

Personal Protective Equipment for unpaid carers and paid personal assistants

The Scottish Government has committed to providing information and advice and appropriate supplies of PPE. Here in Fife we already have plans for making PPE available to unpaid carers/family and paid personal assistants, as well as encouraging unpaid carers to access other support to help with their caring role. You may be entitled to free PPE if you are an unpaid carer.

Unpaid Carers
An unpaid carer is any person who, without payment, helps and supports a relative, child, neighbour or friend who could not manage without their help due to age, frailty, addiction, disability or illness.

You may request PPE as an unpaid carer if:

  • the person you care for has symptoms of or a diagnosis of COVID-19
  • the person has received a shielding letter and you aren't in isolation together
  • any other risk there maybe for both carer and cared for.

To request PPE please email or phone Fife Carers Centre:

  • email:
  • phone 01592 205472

How can Self-Directed Support Personal Assistants access PPE?
Employers of PAs receive a SDS budget or Direct Payment from Fife Council. The employer may not be the person receiving the care.

You may request PPE as a PA employer if:

  • The person receiving care has a diagnosis or symptoms of COVID-19
  • Another member of the same household has a diagnosis or symptoms
  • The person receiving care has received a shielding letter
  • Any other risk for person receiving care or Personal Assistant/s

To request PPE please email or phone SDS Options Fife: 

  • email:
  • phone 01592 803280

The request will be assessed by SDS Options Fife and the urgency/need determined. SDS Options Fife will deliver directly to your home.

Download the poster PPE for unpaid carers here.