Wishes for mental health...
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September 2017

Hello <<First Name>>,
What would your one wish for mental health in Forth Valley be? This month, read what people had to say when we posed just that question! We also have an update on our Ben Nevis fundraiser, a whole host of events for this year's Scottish Mental Health and Arts Festival, and some brilliant news for everyone who wants to volunteer with us!
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- - NEWS - -

Wishes for Mental Health

Thanks to everyone who joined the conversation on our Open Day

Linsay gathers up the day's wishes
We had lots of great conversations during our Open Day this month with people from a wide variety of backgrounds, including Education, the NHS, Social Work, local businesses and local and national Government. We’d like to thank everyone who took the time out of very busy schedules to visit.

A big thank you goes out to all of the volunteers who did a brilliant job helping us out on the day and making sure everyone was made welcome, and, not least, to those who came along to share their personal experiences with our guests.

On the day we asked people their ‘One wish for mental health in Forth Valley’, here's a small selection of 'wishes':

“I wish you weren’t so much needed”
“For there to be a greater awareness of how mental health affects everyone – it isn’t just people suffering at the extremes”
“Funding would be solid and continue and we can work together”
“That people who need services can access them promptly”
“I would want everyone with mental health issues to benefit from FDAMH”
“Sufficient funding especially for children and adolescents”
“Services to support under 14s”
“That professionals would listen to family members who are with the ill person day in day out”
Read more

Investing in Volunteers

Did you know that FDAMH's brilliant team of volunteers supported 848 people last year?

There's no questioning the immense value that our volunteer team brings to FDAMH, which is why we were very keen to show our commitment to them by submitting ourselves to the process of achieving the Investing in Volunteers standard.
After undergoing a rigorous assessment, including the random selection and interviewing of staff and volunteers, we achieved the award at the end of July. This is great news for our volunteers and anyone thinking of joining us, showing that we're working hard to provide a great volunteer experience. We're absolutely thrilled to be able to proudly display the Investing in Volunteers mark!
Read more

Scottish Mental Health Arts Festival

They may have dropped an 'F' but this year's national mental health arts festival is bigger than ever...

FDAMH has made sure there's plenty going on in Falkirk for this year's SMHAF, kicking off with a brilliant exhibition of art and a performance by our Choir on World Mental Health Day (10th October) and finishing with a day of film screenings at Falkirk Library on 16th October. We've also got a nice line up of workshops all around the theme of 'reclaim', so get booked in and reclaim your sense of self by celebrating the importance of creativity in all our lives. Yes, that includes YOU!
Get Details / Book a Free Workshop

Can you help our vital Support Group?

It's well known that space at FDAMH is a bit of an issue these days. The Bereaved by Suicide Group is looking for a new venue. The group meet on the last Monday of every month in the evening. We are looking for a calm, welcoming and pleasant space in Central Falkirk that can comfortably hold at least 15 people.

Being bereaved as a result of suicide can be extremely distressing and support can be vital in saving more lives - do you have it within your power to help?

If you think you can, please get in touch with Neil Sowerby at FDAMH by calling 01324 671608 or email

No Men Nevis - Men Too

Many congratulations to all of the amazing people who tackled Ben Nevis on behalf of FDAMH on the 7th and 8th of August, including members of local Fire and Police services who climbed in full work gear (phew, we were IMPRESSED!).

To all our intrepid walkers, we hope all lost toe nails are close to being replaced and any aches and pains have subsided, ready for whatever challenge you're taking on next! We hope you think it was worth it, because so far the event has raised in the region of...
Thank You!
Top up the Total - Donate Now

FDAMH Training Academy

You've asked and we've done it...another COSCA Counselling Skills course will start in the New Year!

Interested in taking part in the accredited course but couldn't make the August dates? Our Training Academy is running a condensed COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills course in Cumbernauld town centre over six months, starting on Tuesday 9th of January and finishing on 30th June.

Taking place on a Tuesday and Thursday evening each week between 6-9pm, with a two week break between each module, you could gain a new qualification by the summer!

Other courses coming up this autumn:

Introduction to Counselling Skills, Understanding Self-Harm, Understanding Eating Disorders, Managing Anxiety, Keeping Yourself Mentally Well and more....
Enquire about COSCA Certificate in Counselling Skills
Find out more about other courses

Senior Voluntary Vacancy

Our current chair, David McClements, plans to step down from the Board in 2018, by which time David will have served 3 full terms - a fantastic 9 year commitment to FDAMH.

David's excellent leadership will be sorely missed, however we are looking to bring someone new onto the board with a view to them taking on the role of Chair when David steps down. This will offer the new trustee a transition period allowing them to get to know FDAMH and understand the role of Chair before taking it on.
This is an excellent self-development opportunity for anyone interested in providing leadership to an energetic charity at the forefront of community mental health.

Interested? More information is available on our website. The deadline for applications is 9th October 2017.
Find out more


Current members have received their invitation to our Annual General Meeting (AGM) in October in the mail. The event is only for members. If you are interested in becoming a member please find out more on our website.
Please note: you do not need to be a member to use any of FDAMH's services.
Find out more / Get membership form

Sorry, we need to mention the 'C' word

Of course we're talking 'Christmas'. Well we know some of you are super organised and may be thinking about starting your shopping for the festive season!

Sadly, FDAMH can't deliver any of the work it does without money, but you can add to the pot, AT NO COST TO YOU, when you shop online. Please sign up to either of the services below and use them when you shop online and you'll be up on our shopping leader board in no time!

- - SERVICES - -

Family Support

New Funding Secured

We are absolutely delighted to announce that the mental wellbeing of families and people in our community has received a fantastic boost! Our Lottery funding bid of £129,779 (installments over 5 years) has been kindly approved by the Big Lottery Fund, Medium Grants Funding Body to guarantee the continuation and development of the existing Family Support Service.

...And core service costs have also received a big help from the Bank of Scotland Foundation, with an award of £14,132.

“I came during a storm and was taken to where a rainbow ends”
(Person who has benefited from the Family Support Service)

Read more

Free Mindfulness Practise for Carers

Free Six Week Respite Mindfulness Practise

This programme is specifically for carers who have previously attended our 'Mindfulness for Carers' course. (Not suitable for those with no previous Mindfulness training)

Whether you have been using Mindfulness regularly or would like to pick it back up, join other carers in a supportive and friendly environment and improve your practise together.

Practising Mindfulness can help you:
  • Learn to handle your thoughts, moods and emotions more effectively
  • Be better able to deal with your physical, mental, social and emotional difficulties
  • Finding new and effective ways of managing your stress, anxiety and pain
Mindfulness skills have been shown to be highly effective in reducing stress and enhancing wellbeing. Courses are facilitated by experienced practitioners and trainers who use personal meditation as a way of life.
Sessions are each 2 hours for 6 weeks and will begin on Tuesday 10th of October from 6.30 pm to 8.30 pm in the Victoria Centre

To find out more, note your interest or book a place contact:
Susan or Neil on 01324 671 600 or email or

Carers Education Course

Family Support will be running the next Carers Education Course in the New Year. The evaluation for the last course is now available on our website and offers terrific insight into the benefits the course can bring for carers. If you are interested in attending this course in the future please don't hesitate to get in touch with Neil or Susan at FDAMH.
Read latest Course Evaluation

Register now for Carers Scotland's Annual Summit

This year’s Carers Summit will be held in Glasgow City Chambers on 24 November 2017. Speakers will include the Minister for Health and Sport, Aileen Campbell MSP (tbc) and the event will explore a range of current issues for carers in Scotland.  

The event will begin at 10.30am with registration and, following speakers, will continue with lunch at 1pm.

If you require further information, please contact Rhonda Fitzpatrick at Carers Scotland on 0141 445 3070 or email -

Register for the Carers Summit

Being Heard: a self-advocacy toolkit for carers (from Carers Scotland)

The Carers Self-Advocacy Toolkit is a group of integrated resources produced by Carers Scotland to help carers get their voices heard.

At its centre is the Being Heard guide, which provides information and suggests techniques to help carers advocate for themselves. It also offers signposts and links to other elements of the Toolkit for carers to access for more information.

The Being Heard guide

The first part of the guide looks at you and ‘the system’ and offers information on the external environment you may find yourself in and the rights that can help you get your voice heard.

The second part looks at skills around communication, assertiveness and negotiation and offers practical advice on getting the best out of interactions with others and how to make a complaint.

The third part takes a look at the ‘inner’ factors that may affect the ability of you to get your voice heard. Issues like difficult emotions, stress and family relationships are explored and ways to cope with these feelings are offered. It also explores how new ways of thinking and greater self awareness may help you to be heard more easily.

Workers' Resources are also part of the toolkit.

Being Heard Toolkit on Carers Scotland

Carers Forum - Next Meetings

Carers Forum meetings take place quarterly in Falkirk and Clackmannanshire. Join other carers and representatives from health, social care and the third sector to discuss current issues and hear the latest updates. The Falkirk Carers Forum will meet at the Carers Centre in Falkirk from 11 am to 1 pm, followed by lunch. The last meeting for this year takes place on Wednesday 29 November 2017.

Health and Wellbeing Drop-In

Oh bliss, time to embrace some seasonal silliness, it's the Drop-In Hallowe'en party! As we all ask....what will Julie Law be wearing this year???


New Counsellors

The team at FDAMH wish to extend a warm welcome to our new volunteer counsellors Jane Ryder and Lorraine Petrie. Volunteer counsellors make a generous commitment to offer their professional skills, free of charge, to people in need of support. Like all of our volunteers, you're amazing.

Activities at FDAMH

Art at the Fire Station

Our latest Art Group came to a close with an inspiring exhibition at Falkirk Fire Station. Our volunteer, Linda McFarlane, has introduced the group to a variety of techniques, allowing creative self-expression that undoubtedly supports recovery. One participant says “I built confidence and I am now actually drawing outside class! I find it relaxing and therapeutic. I have loved trying out different techniques.”

We were delighted to be visited by artist Karen Strang who was impressed by the standard of the work on show, saying “Lovely variety of work – something for everyone to connect with and appreciate.”

A big thank you to the generous people at Falkirk Fire Station who provided a welcoming and much appreciated space for our group.

Screen writers

Our brilliant Screen Writing Group, led by volunteers Katie White and Janet Crawford, were thrilled to be visited by one of the chair people of Scottish Screen Writers - Christina Littleson - chatting to us about Scottish screen writers and screen writing in general!

Inspiration to continue

As our latest Art Group came to a close they sought inspiration at the Kelvingrove Art museum in the form of the work of Frank Quitely and others. The group have been inspired to continue meeting and go on more outings together. Many have now joined other community groups to keep their new passion alive!

Nature in pottery

The pottery workshop in August was a fantastic success with our potters creating their own hedgehogs and garden flowers. The group had lots of fun and a very relaxing time was had by all who came. Thank you to Susan Wade French (pictured) who took the class at her studio in Bean Row Pottery. You can see some of Susan’s beautiful work at our upcoming SMHAF exhibition.

Larissa - artist in the community

Our new props assistant in the Drama Group is also a wonderfully talented artist, Larissa Turnbull. Larissa creates landscape Art and Garden sculptures based on the theme of Alice in Wonderland as well as her own journey through recovery. Fabulous work!


New songs for the choir

The choir have been very busy learning new sets for upcoming performances and we are pleased to welcome 6 new people to the group! The choir have recently performed at Strathcarron Care Home and Harley Court each time giving much enjoyed concerts to the audience and a real buzz for our performers!
FDAMH Insta-Gallery for latest Activity Group images


Freshly trained volunteers ready for action!

Congratulations for our latest batch of volunteers to successfullly complete their induction training course (some of whom are pictured below). They will all now be heading off to their chosen services and we wish them all the best as they begin their volunteering roles.

New opportunities coming your way...

Find out why you should volunteer with FDAMH

- - EVENTS - -

Get All Event Details on FDAMH's Website
Full details and event information is available on our website!
Please get in touch with us before attending any of the groups for the first time: it helps to make sure you're accessing groups that are best suited to your needs and we can let you know which groups have a waiting list.


Good HQ

Did you know SCVO run a website listing charities all across the country? Dip in to find out what community resources are available to you and where you can find local volunteering opportunities. You can also leave a review of FDAMH if you like!
Copyright © 2017 Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health, All rights reserved.

FDAMH is known as Falkirk's Mental Health Association.
Our registered name is Falkirk and District Association for Mental Health.
Registered Scottish Charity: SC011889
Company Limited by Guarantee: SC151357

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