Penumbra welcomes DBI extension

Penumbra is pleased to be one of the third sector partners as part of the additional measures to help people look after their mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus which were announced this week. The charity is already a partner in Aberdeen, Inverness and Moray DBI.

Early support like this is such an important part of how we look after our mental and emotional health. DBI is all about equipping people with the skills and support to manage their own mental health and wellbeing and to prevent future crisis.

Nigel Henderson, Chief Executive of Penumbra

The following is an extract of a Scottish Government news release, but you can Watch the Penumbra video to find out more about DBI or you can find out more about Penumbra’s work with DBI in Moray, Aberdeen and Inverness.

Penumbra is already a DBI third sector partner in Aberdeen, Inverness and Moray

Additional support to help people look after their mental health and wellbeing during and after the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has been announced by the Scottish Government.

The support includes an investment of more than £1 million towards the expansion of the Distress Brief Intervention (DBI) programme to help people in distress, and the launch of a new mental health marketing campaign across television, radio, print and online.

The DBI programme, which was previously operating in four pilot areas, will roll-out across Scotland, giving people over the age of 16 who are in emotional distress due to COVID-19 the opportunity to speak to specially trained staff. People who are in distress but do not need clinical intervention will be referred to the DBI programme by frontline staff, including NHS 24.

The first phase of the new mental health campaign will launch this month and provide people with practical advice on coping with the current restrictions. Signposting to existing advice will be included and those who need extra support will be directed to NHS Inform as a key information resource and helplines operated by NHS 24, Breathing Space, SAMH and Samaritans.


 The DBI programme which launched in 2017 currently operates in Lanarkshire, the Borders, Inverness and Aberdeen. Around £1,038,000 will be invested in recruiting staff to expand and develop the Distress Brief Intervention programme nationwide. Funding will be distributed to NHS Lanarkshire and NHS Borders, third sector partners Penumbra, Support in Mind and SAMH, and to Stirling University for evaluation and Glasgow University for training.

The nationwide DBI programme will mean that people in distress related to COVID-19 who have no need for clinical intervention will be either linked directly by phone to NHS 24 by the first responder, or directed to phone NHS 24 if they are able to. Once through to NHS 24 an initial assessment will be made as to next steps, and whether they should then be referred to the DBI programme. If they are referred the distress responder will follow up with a phone call within 24 hours of referral.