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Supporting Adults and Young People Experiencing Emotional Distress 

Published: | Mental Health

The beginning of September saw the Compassionate Distress Response Service (CDRS), a support service for adults experiencing emotional distress, celebrate the first anniversary of its daytime support service. The service operates from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday with referrals from General Practitioners (GPs) and their multi-disciplinary teams. 

As well as celebrating supporting over 2,000 people, the CDRS was delighted to announce the launch of a new service for young people aged 16 – 25 years. The service supports young people experiencing distress who are referred to the service by General Practice staff, first responders and a range of organisations working with young people.

The CDRS service is operated for Glasgow City Health and Social Care Partnership (HSCP) by Glasgow Association for Mental Health (GAMH), and it supports Glasgow City residents to manage their distress at their initial point of crisis. This is followed by short-term support, providing coping strategies and signposting where appropriate.

Beth Wiseman, Specialist Children’s Services Manager, Glasgow City HSCP said: “The success of the Compassionate Distress Response Service for adults and the launch of a service for young people aged 16 – 25 years is both exciting and encouraging. It’s easy to see how this service will be of benefit across every agency and service.”

Rena Ali, GAMH’s Service Manager for CDRS said: “This is an exciting development within CDRS, to be able to reach out to young people in distress, give them a voice and respond accordingly. It’s an opportunity to be creative and innovative.” 

These new routes into the service are being developed and supported by a dedicated Pathway Development Worker. The routes are based on the experience of GAMH’s Young Adult Wellbeing Service (YAWS), recent evidence about the impact of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic on young people’s mental health and current research being undertaken by the University of Exeter and University of Manchester on young people’s experience of mental health, loneliness and isolation. 

Jacqueline Croft, Chief Executive of GAMH said: “We will continue to work with the HSCP on pathways into CDRS to ensure that individuals in distress continue to have the option of receiving a non-clinical, non-medical intervention where this is more appropriate.” 

Susan Rendell, In-Hours Coordinator for CDRS at GAMH, has delivered a number of information sessions at GP clinical / cluster meetings as well as their multidisciplinary teams to highlight the role of CDRS.

Susan said: “Only one individual who was referred to CDRS was escalated to emergency services. For the vast majority of individuals, a non-medical service is exactly what they need, when they need it.”

Comments from people who have used the CDRS include: “The service has been a total lifeline. It couldn’t be more simple… a voice on the telephone that gives me support and is easy to engage with” and “I have been doing your breathing exercises and sleeping a bit better. I’m glad we made contact.”

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