Providing care and support in loving memory of Gemma Jones
Gemma Jones experienced mental health difficulties since childhood and was later diagnosed with Emotionally Unstable Personality Disorder (EUPD). Sadly, Gemma regularly struggled to find the correct support for her ongoing problems and unfortunately, the treatment Dialectical Behaviour Therapy (DBT) that she required was not available on the NHS in her area. She died on 17th September 2017, just before her 30th birthday.
Following Gemma's death, a group of her family and friends organised a charity night in her memory and to raise awareness of mental health. The success of this event, and recognition that a local space to support those experiencing mental health problems would be welcomed by the community, resulted in You Are My Sunshine (YAMS) being established (Scottish Registered Charity #SC048442). Recognising that long waiting lists and referral times can be challenging for those needing immediate support, we wanted to open a drop-in hub in the local area, serving Scotland.
YAMS is a small hub with a huge heart and our dedicated team aim to make a difference through education, support, advice and therapies. We provide a drop-in hub at Newarthill Library, open Monday evening from 6.30pm until 9pm. The confidential support we provide is not only for those who might be experiencing mental health problems, but also for family and friends looking for advice and support.
Our volunteers have received SafeTALK, Mental Health First Aid and ASIST training, and counsellors and therapists are trained in their relevant qualification, including BACP membership. Every member of our team is vetted and holds PVG membership for adults and children. We are OSCR regulated and members of Voluntary Action North Lanarkshire (VANL) and pride ourselves on the level of professionalism and operational conduct we conform to through our delivery of charitable services.
We provide a range services from guidance to signposting individuals, family members, and friends to appropriate services and other charities, along with self-help materials and recovery-focused resources required for their needs. In addition, we also offer 1:1 counselling and alternative therapies in-house. We can also offer support on a wider range of practical issues such as help with completing forms; benefit checks; employability issues, or just everyday stressors.
Our educational sessions cover a wide range of topics and are free to attend. We advertise these through our social media pages (Facebook and Twitter) our website and via Eventbrite. All our educational sessions are facilitated by qualified professionals and are certificated upon attendance. In partnership with Choose Life, Lifeways, LivingWorks, North Lanarkshire Council and NHS Lanarkshire we have already trained over 1500 members of the public in SafeTALK and SuicideTALK to enhance their confidence, knowledge and awareness of reducing the stigma around mental ill-health and suicide.
We have also been fortunate to work alongside our local schools, engaging with pupils through assemblies on the subject of mental health awareness and stopping the stigma. Our local GP practices and pharmacies have also agreed to display leaflets within their surgeries to help us promote other 3rd sector services and support offered through YAMS.
We are grateful to the many individuals and organisations who have donated and fundraised for YAMS and we welcome any contributions to aid our valuable support service. Our hub is open to anyone in Newarthill Library, every Monday evening from 6.30pm until 8:30pm.