Buckhaven mental health service celebrates 25th anniversary

editorial image

A Buckhaven drop-in space for people struggling with mental health problems has marked its 25th anniversary.

The Barony Contact Point on Lawrence Street opened its doors in 1994, providing a welcoming and comfortable space for people over the age of 18 with mental health problems or who are feeling isolated and vulnerable, to relax.

The aim is to improve the mental health of its users and help reduce hospital admissions and re-admissions.

The Contact Points in Buckhaven and Kirkcaldy help around 300 people, some of whom attended a celebration of the service last week.

Staff, service users and guests, including Provost Jim Leishman, were able to look back at moments from the past 25 years and share memories.

“We want to get them to come in and relax,” explained support co-ordinator Mandy Foley. “Some of the problems people can have can be so overwhelming.

“They can feel it’s so overwhelming. But to be able to sit down with people and concentrate on something, I think you can leave a stronger person and feel renewed.

“The ethos is supporting people, being non-judgemental, accepting of everyone.

“That’s for everyone – staff, visitors, users. It is to make it a safe and comfortable place for everybody.”

The service is user-led, with the users helping to choose what groups are run out of the Contact Point, and even having a say in decisions.

Groups are run throughout the week, offering a range of activities, from gardening and art, to fitness and relaxation.

Users, once referred, are also free to come and go as they please, giving them the confidence to know that the service will be there for them even if they don’t attend it every week.

Mandy, who has worked at the centre for around 18 years, said there was a “great deal of satisfaction and pride working here”.

The service has been hugely successful, even winning the Mary Leishman Award at the recent Kingdom FM Local Hero Awards for its Roads to Success Art Exhibition.

The exhibition provided a place for Fife artists and creative writers with mental health issues to express themselves and showcase their work.

For more information about the Barony Contact Point in Buckhaven, visit www.baronyha.org.uk/care-and-support/contact-point/contact-point-fife.