Dundee team off to a good start with the new self-harm service

We recently launched a new self-harm service in Dundee. It’s being funded by Inspiring Scotland as part of a Scotland wide initiative that brings together, and supports organisations to provide, a range of support services across communities. People can self-refer to the service and can also be referred by other agencies. Three months after it started, Spotlight caught up with Penumbra Support Manager, Emma, to hear how the new self-harm service is being received.

Image: DCT Media

We’re really excited to bring this new self-harm service to Dundee. Even in these early days the feedback is showing that it’s been well received and is a much needed service for the city, particularly as our team is so accessible.

We know it can be hard to deal with traumatic life events and that self-harm can feel like a way to cope, so our approach to support is guided by compassion and non-judgement.

We always hear from people who say that they benefit from an element of peer support and crucially our self-harm team here in Dundee is peer led, meaning our team brings the unique insight and empathy of their own lived experience of managing mental health challenges to support people who access our service.

What’s especially exciting is that the support we offer is tailored to each person, where our team will work in partnership with the person accessing the service to find out what works for them. But as well as exploring self-harm as a coping strategy, we take a whole-person approach to mental health and wellbeing by supporting people to look at other areas important to that person, like for example social connections, self-esteem and confidence.

There are so many misunderstandings about self-harm and people can often find it hard to talk about it so in addition to our direct support services, we’re also aiming to bust some myths around self-harm through awareness raising and information sessions for other agencies, parents and carers.

Inspiring Scotland Chief Executive Celia Tennant said,

We are glad to be able to work with Penumbra to help bring this vitally important new service to Dundee, particularly at a time when mental health and wellbeing services are needed more than ever.

The factors involved in self-harm can be complex, and we know the team’s significant expertise and compassionate, person-centred approach will have a major impact in supporting who are most at risk.

Read this article in The Courier.

If you have a story for Spotlight, please drop us a line communications@penumbra.org.uk