Re:Connect and Time and Space

Re:Connect and Time and Space are unique peer support projects established for mental health carers

Partners: Action in Mind and GAMH

Quick fact: Three out of five Scots will become a carer at some stage in their life and 1 in 10 are already fulfilling a caring role [i]

The programme was developed by the Mental Health Foundation, in partnership with the Glasgow Association for Mental Health and Action in Mind, with funding from The Big Lottery.

The programme won a Quality Award from the Scottish Mentoring Network and runs across two areas in Scotland: Stirling and Clackmannanshire, and Glasgow.

Re:Connect and Time and Space match mental health carers with another person who has been through a similar situation. The projects offer flexible and responsive support that is provided on a one-to-one basis and regular time out to talk and focus on one’s own health and wellbeing.

Lucia Wyatt, mentee with Time and Space

“I think the secret to coping with life is to live in the moment but we're expected to plan, do and review as part of our daily lives so much so that we're left with little time to just be. Time and Space does what it says on the tin - we must not underestimate the value of taking time to talk things through and actively listen to each other. The sweet taste of good company can help steer you through some painful events. Meeting others who have similar experiences brings a sense of solidarity which leaves you stronger and more able to cope with your caring role.”

Robbie, mentor with Time and Space

“I had a few unanswered questions after my mother past away from Alzheimer’s and being able to talk to my mentee about our similar situations has been revelationary. The relationship is so different to that of a counsellor and patient, there’s far more give and take, and I find that if advice becomes instructional as opposed to informative then the mentee will tune out. My mum used to say that problems are best solved in the daytime, so I usually take my mentees out for a walk in the country with my border collies. I’m a keen walker and I know all the nooks and crannies of rural Stirling. Being out with the dogs seems to change the dynamics because dogs just live in the moment and it encourages us to be there too.”

George, mentee with Re:Connect

“I received mentorship through the Re:Connect project and I found the experience rewarding and constructive. I enjoyed building the meetings into my schedule and having those couple of hours of conversation to look forward to each week. I suffer from anxiety and depression and being able to talk to someone who’s had similar experiences can really put things into perspective.”

Mark, mentee with Time and Space

“I have been using Time and Space for the last 6 months. My wife is suffering from depression and anxiety and I was in need of support to help me manage as a carer. I was matched with a peer mentor, who I have been meeting on a regular basis. This gave me the opportunity to have some time focused on my wellbeing, as well as discussing the best ways to support my wife. This has made a massive difference; my relationships have improved and I feel better equipped to cope. On top of this, I have made a good friend in my peer mentor! I would like to thank Time and Space for this support, and would recommend this to others who find themselves in a similar situation.”

For more information, please contact:

Brian Combe (Volunteer Co-ordinator – Peer Support)

bcombe@mentalhealth.org.uk

Or

Julie Cameron (Head of Programmes – Mental Health Foundation)

jcameron@mentalhealth.org.uk

[i] Carers Trust Scotland (2017) About carers in Scotland. Retrieved from https://carers.org/country/carers-trust-scotlan