Bus service just the ticket for mental health and well-being

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Forfar will be among the first stops today (Thursday) for a new service being run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).

Angus is the launch point for the organisation’s Wellbeing on Wheels service, which will provide locals across the county access to weekly drop-in sessions designed to boost mental health.

Launched at Brechin’s Community Campus earlier in the week, the sessions are held aboard a specially-branded Stagecoach East Scotland bus and offer peer-led support from SAMH-employed mental health practitioners who bring direct experience of mental health issues and recovery. No appointments or referrals are necessary although attendees should be over 16.

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Partnering with the Co-op, MIND and Inspire, Wellbeing on Wheels aims to help build community resilience through access to vital information, tools and resources.

Pictured (l-r) Susan Neilson, WoW; Maria Dryburgh, Cindy Morris, Kathy Calderwood (Co-op), Iain & David (Stagecoach), Judith Deacons.Pictured (l-r) Susan Neilson, WoW; Maria Dryburgh, Cindy Morris, Kathy Calderwood (Co-op), Iain & David (Stagecoach), Judith Deacons.
Pictured (l-r) Susan Neilson, WoW; Maria Dryburgh, Cindy Morris, Kathy Calderwood (Co-op), Iain & David (Stagecoach), Judith Deacons.

Ross Reilly, one of the staff, said: “The team at Wellbeing on Wheels are available on a drop in, no appointment required basis on board the Wellbeing on Wheels bus offering mental health peer support.

“We aspire to reach as many people as we can with the message that we all have mental health and the Wellbeing on Wheels project is there for people in Angus to connect, learn with regards to well-being and access mental health support.”

With funding from the Co-op National Charity Partnership, the service will be brought into the centres of Brechin, Arbroath and Forfar. There will also be additional ‘Wellbeing Pit Stop’ services in Kirriemuir and Carnoustie, which will provide the same service in an indoor setting.

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The bus will be available at the following locations and times: Brechin - Tuesdays between 9.30am – 12.30pm at Brechin Co-op; Arbroath - Tuesdays between 1.30pm-4.30pm at Arbroath Bus Station; Forfar - Thursdays at 9.30am-2.30pm at Forfar Community Campus; Carnoustie - Thursdays at 10am-12pm at Co-op, 3 High Street; Kirriemuir - Thursday at 3pm-5pm at the Guide Hall, 43 Roods.

Maria Dryburgh, Co-op Large Store Regional Manager, said: “It is so amazing to see our fundraising in Angus being put to great use locally. I was overwhelmed when I visited the bus recently as it is such a friendly, warm, safe, and inviting place to go."

I’m always blown away by the professionalism of SAMH who are so welcoming and easy to be around.”

Kirsty Scott, Marketing and Communications Manager for Stagecoach East Scotland, said: "Our local communities are at the heart of everything we do at Stagecoach, so we are delighted to have the opportunity to be a part of such a vital initiative in Angus. We can't speak highly enough of the SAMH team, they really are out there saving lives, and it's wonderful to be able to support their work.

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“We feel it's important to recognise Susan, Ross, and Chelsea from Sam's Cafe, who originated the idea of Wellbeing on Wheels. We're very grateful for all that they do, and for their trust in us to help deliver the service."