Immediate Help Service (IHS)


In March 2018 Falkirk’s Mental Health Association was awarded a £4000 grant from The Pixel Fund towards our Immediate Help Service (IHS).

This will enable us to continue to deliver an unique service to people aged 16 years + who are seeking immediate support for poor mental health when they are in crisis without the need for long waiting lists. Most potential clients are seen within a couple of days although if the concern is grave they will be seen straight away.

By being easily accessible the Immediate Help Service can provide hope and comfort to individuals at a critical moment. Our Initial Assessment Practitioner, take the time to listen and attend to the people that come to us for support, actively involving individuals in identifying ways forward that will work for them and promoting self-management and coping skills to help people stay in control of decision making. This form of supportive consultation allows the thorough assessment of the level of risk to the individual of self-harm or suicide so that appropriate steps can be taken. For many individuals it is the first time they have been able to speak openly about such issues. The Immediate Help Service can provide hope when people feel there is none: for many people the simple opportunity to discuss issues with an understanding professional can be a huge relief and provide a spur to move forward:

“S, age 16, was brought down to Immediate Help by his High School guidance teacher who had become increasingly concerned about his wellbeing. The young person was seen straight away and explained he had been feeling depressed on and off for a few years and had attended CAMHS, age 14, for one year due to issues at school. Over the last few months his mental health had deteriorated considerably, his mood was very low, he was finding schoolwork stressful, was arguing more with his parents and his self-harming had increased in frequency to multiple times a day, including during school time. As he was experiencing overwhelming suicidal thoughts we applied STORM Suicide Prevention training to assess his level of risk, which was medium to high, so we also used a CORE 34 assessment to gain an objective view of his risk level. We were able to discuss coping strategies and safety planning. It was agreed with the young person that our worker call his GP surgery as he had not felt able to disclose his suicidal feelings or increased self-harming behaviour to his doctor on a recent visit. His GP agreed to see him later that day. Subsequently he was referred to our Young Persons Counselling service and fast tracked for counselling the following week. In his evaluation he said “it was the immediate support that made all the difference.”

On behalf of Falkirk & District Association for Mental Health