Our colleagues in the Mental Health Information Station – part of the city’s Thrive Collective – were recognised at Volunteer Edinburgh’s ‘Inspiring Volunteers Awards’ event last week, collecting the team award for ‘Outstanding Volunteering’ from the Lord Provost.

The service is an integrated team working alongside Volunteer Edinburgh staff and volunteers who are on site to answer questions and promote the benefits of volunteering as one of many pathways of support to those coming into the service.

Katrina Campbell is the South West Edinburgh Mental Health and Substance Misuse Occupational Therapy Team Lead, and one of the team leads. She says, “We were delighted to receive the award and believe very much in the power of volunteering. We like the Mahatma Gandhi quote “Selfless action is a source of strength”.

“Our volunteer Steve puts it well – he usually welcomes people to the hall who look nervous and concerned and then wishes them well as they leave. He can see the difference in how people look after being heard and helped.”

She continues, “For us, our volunteers are integral and essential to what we do at the Mental Health Information station. Whether they are setting up, putting our visitors at ease or even helping pen our risk assessments, we include them and value them tremendously. We also often have volunteers in attendance to help other people find suitable opportunities. These opportunities enhance the lives of individuals and society as a whole.

“We’d highly recommend other services and departments to look for ways to recruit and include volunteers. They make a valuable difference.”

About the Mental Health Information Station

The Mental Health Information Station is an open access service where people drop in – without an appointment – to have conversations with trained mental health workers and volunteers. It offers support, self-management tools and information about accessing community and statutory resources.

The Mental Health Information Station is open every Thursday at the Walpole Hall, Palmerston Place, EH3. Opening hours are between 10.30am and 3.00pm.

The service is also available for those contacting it remotely taking calls every Thursday during the above hours. Tel: 0131 537 8688.

The team can also be contacted via email at mentalhealthinformation@nhslothian.scot.nhs.uk