Skye and Lochalsh Mental Health Association “determined” to maintain support

Am Fasgadh’s business manager Alex Jones has said that the staff are doing everything they can to help members amid the coronavirus emergency.

The Skye and Lochalsh Mental Health Association (Am Fasgadh) is “determined to keep support going” for as long as it can.

That was the message from the association’s business manager in response to growing pressures placed on the service by the coronavirus.

Portree-based Am Fasgadh. which last year celebrated its 25th anniversary of service to the community, shut its doors on Tuesday 17th March for a period of at least 12 weeks as part of its plans to protect its vulnerable members and the vulnerable family members of its staff.

However, the staff are continuing to provide support to its members over the phone, by video call, home visits, and through social media. They are also providing takeaways to people at home — to those in need — as well as shopping and prescriptions pick-ups.

Speaking to the Free Press, Am Fasgadh business manager Alex Jones said that restrictions imposed during the current lockdown were very challenging for many people — including its members — who live with mental health problems.

He said: “Loneliness and isolation are bad for anyone’s mental health and bringing people together has always been the most important part of what we do. The current lockdown situation is particularly difficult for people living with a mental health problem. Many of our members also have physical conditions that place them at greater risk during the pandemic.”

Commenting on the efforts by Am Fasgadh staff to continue helping members amid the lockdown, he said: “Although we can’t meet them face to face at the moment, we’re keeping in touch with our members by phone and using social media.

“Our staff are working really hard to make and deliver meals and help provide prescriptions, shopping, and essentials. It’s tough because we only have six staff, two of whom have had to self-isolate, but we’re determined to keep this support going for as long as we can.”

For information, links and resources to help keep you informed and protect your mental health, you can click on the following link – Scottish Mental Health Association.

Article by Adam Gordon