An MSP has praised a local charity for its work helping those with mental health issues manage their conditions.
SNP member Joan McAlpine led a debate in the Scottish Parliament last week on the importance of volunteering and peer-support to help people self-manage long term health issues.
Ms McAlpine highlighted the work of local group Support in Mind, and volunteer Mo Connelly, who was recently nominated for ‘Inspirational Person of the Year’ at the Self-Management Awards held at the Scottish Parliament in October.
The term ‘self-management’ is the name that is given to a set of person-centred approaches that aim to enable people who are living with long-term conditions to take control of and manage their own health.
Commenting, the South Scotland MSP said:
“Those who work with Mo think she is an absolute inspiration. When she was in recovery, she felt that it was important that others with a similar diagnosis should benefit from the support that she had received.
“With the help of Support in Mind, she began raising awareness of her condition, helping others to find sources of support and how to use self-management techniques, including by briefing health professionals and social workers on dealing with the condition.
“Mo says that that volunteering is an important part of her own recovery and she is even developing a peer support group and training with the wellness and recovery college in Dumfries.
“Mo’s story shows that reciprocity is an important aspect of self-management. People who have been supported by volunteers or peer workers are often inspired to volunteer themselves.”
Self-management is a critical part of the Scottish Government’s 2020 vision for a safe, effective and person-centred health service.
The financial investment in self-management activity has been undertaken through the Scottish Government’s Self-Management IMPACT fund, which is managed by third sector umbrella body the ALLIANCE. In the past three years, the fund has provided small grants, totalling nearly £6 million, to third sector groups to encourage the sharing of good practice and the development of new approaches to self-management.
Ms McAlpine said:
“There are examples of good practice from across Scotland but it’s great to have such a fantastic example right here in Dumfries”