Emotional and psychological help available on Arran

Emotional and psychological help available on Arran

No-one need feel alone whether with Covid anxiety, life issues or the deep pain of bereavement amid the confusion of pandemic. There are many of us working locally as therapists to bring support quickly.

Statutory NHS services can find it difficult (especially now) to deliver mainland-based interventions and support. We are happy to have a very good working relationship with our NHS island-based colleagues. If you feel you would benefit from a referral to an island counsellor/psychotherapist, speak to your GP about it. With such a recommendation, the Mary Davies Trust (MDT) will make funding available. With a cancer diagnosis comes automatic funding from Arran Cancer Support (ArCaS) for any complementary therapy.

Heather Lodge, a holistic therapy centre in Brodick, has become the base for many of the island therapists. It was founded with the intention of becoming a good local resource for health and wellbeing. While therapists are all private practitioners we work co-operatively. We are grateful to ArCaS and MDT for supporting our work and through us, our fellow islanders.

The Arran Ear 01770 649 505. Listening from 9am to 5pm.
This is a free, local service intended as a low-grade, short-term intervention. Run by trained listeners with tried and tested interventions to offer. We will lend a friendly ear and help you manage fears and anxieties.

The cancer support group
Sponsored by ArCaS the group meets weekly via Zoom. Hosted by Jan Attkins and Susan Knox it provides a safe space for chat, discussion and sharing experiences, for example, what are hospital visits like during a pandemic? The group is reassuring and fun! To join the meeting contact Jan (jan@heatherlodge.scot) or Susan (susan@heatherlodge.scot).

The Last Waltz Grief Circle
Meeting on the last Sunday of the month via Zoom, this is a space dedicated to sharing memories, honouring personal experience and feelings and offering support. Somewhere to laugh and cry. The circle is run by Jan and Susan (contact as above) and supported by ArCaS.

Longer term psychological and emotional support
Island therapists are working on-line, by phone and by email. We can help you to address unhelpful behaviours or patterns. If you feel your life is not working for you, give yourself the opportunity to address this in a supportive, non-judgemental environment. Step forward with clarity and purpose. Therapists’ profiles may be found at www.heatherlodge.scot or at their personal website.

Chris Attkins www.help-yourself.net

Susan Knox www.rowanarran.com

Steve Merritt www.arrancounselling.co.uk

Shona Redmayne www.heatherlodge.scot

Funding for therapy
Funding for therapy may be available from ArCaS or MDT as discussed earlier.

If you wish to access funding and are eligible or think you might be, contact Jan Attkins (janattkins@mac.com or T: 302546) who will advise you and link you to a therapist.

Support for under 18s
Both Chris Attkins and Shona Redmayne are experienced in working with under 18s. Both are involved with the Arran Youth Foundations. Shona is an Art Psychotherapist and has been working on-line. Steve Merritt will work with clients aged 16 and over.

Support at end of life from Caim
Caim (Scots Gaelic for sanctuary) is an end-of-life planning and support service delivered by Jan Attkins and Susan Knox. Currently fully funded by ArCaS. Sadly, we are unable to be with you in person while we are under Covid restrictions, however we can meet by phone or Zoom. Hearing you, we will work with you to determine how we may best help.

Alcoholics Anonymous
Alcoholics Anonymous still exists on the island; we cannot have face to face meetings but we do have meetings on Zoom.
If you are struggling with drink and want help, or information, then you can get in touch using AA’s national free helpline 0800 917 7650. This will give you support and information; online Zoom links; and telephone connections.
We are alcoholics in recovery, a day at a time, we support one another to stay sober and anyone is welcome.

As you can see, we have a wealth of support available on Arran and mostly funded by islanders. More information can be found on the Heather Lodge website or on the Heather Lodge Facebook page where you will see updated information on who is working and how. It’s not only the psychological therapies that help you feel good!

With many thanks to Susan Knox and Chris Attkins for contributing this article to the Voice this month.