We are developing an Outreach Service within specific high-risk groups in our community and numerous organisations that come into contact with persons experiencing emotional distress, because of their circumstances.
Our Outreach volunteers visit and work with schools, college and youth groups to deliver presentations to young people.
These focus on Emotional Health and Mental Wellbeing, the value of listening, coping strategies (including self-harm and exam stress), being aware of their own peers who could be in distress.
We provide information about GibSams, the importance of accessing support and where this is available to them. They can ring GibSams at any time, for whatever problem is worrying them, no matter how small. It is anonymous and confidential, therefore, safe to talk; they have a Friend in Sam!
Students who are leaving for university will benefit from knowing about the Samaritans in UK and the number they can call (116123) if they are feeling distressed when away from home is the same.
We have given Awareness Presentations to all RGP officers so they can identify and deal with distress and support for them in the event of a suicide or other traumatic incident.
All officers on the beat now carry our Gibsams information card with them to give to persons they feel need to call us.
We are in the process of rolling out these awareness presentations to the other Essential Services
We work well with Minister for Health and Mental Welfare professionals to improve the services presently provided.
GibSams is a service that is very relevant to their patients. They need their outpatients as well as those who have been inpatients and have been discharged to know that they can call GibSams at any time they need to speak to someone as they are often reluctant to open up to the mental welfare officers or revisit the mental facilities. The families of their patients also benefit from knowing about the Sams as they are also under stress.