A young dad felt forced to post a video of himself on social media having a panic attack in the hope he’d get the help he needs for his mental health.
Chalmers Hill, 26, has been experiencing depression and anxiety since the summer and almost took is own life in October last year.
After suffering multiple panic attacks, the dad-of-one, who lives near Grangemouth in Falkirk, says he took to social media with his fiancee, Dionne Hickey, to find out where they could turn for help.
Due to the pandemic, he said seeking help through the NHS was hard.
He said: “I wasn’t able to have face-to-face consultations, everything was over the phone.
“One day the phone calls just stopped with no explanations. I felt like I was banging my head off a brick wall.”
He added: “It was October, the day I was going to take my own life, and Dionne phoned and the nearest appointment was the 22nd of December. That was from the start of October.”
Mr Hill continues to experience depression but with medication and the support of a private therapist, he’s hopeful it’s something he can overcome.
Carolyn Lochhead, a spokeswoman for mental health charity SAMH, said: “What we’ve seen is that people that already had mental health problems before the pandemic are one of the hardest hit groups.
“We are seeing that people are finding it hard to access services, they are finding the response in a crisis isn’t always there, that their usual support is not always there when they need it and they are not always being told what’s happening.
“The mental health service system had a huge demand being placed on it even before all of this – it was struggling.
“We really need to see it being treated as a serious national priority.”
Mental health minister Clare Haughey added: “Throughout this difficult year, mental health has continued to be an absolute priority for this government, and we’ve invested £6m of dedicated funding to support the whole population.
“The Clear Your Head website contains a variety of resources and tips to help people take care of their mental health and wellbeing.
“For those who need more support, we expanded the NHS24 Mental Health Hub so that it is now available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, and increased the capacity of the Breathing Space telephone helpline and web service.
“Given the pressures on many people at this difficult time, I am glad that those who need this support have ready access to it.
“Our Transition and Recovery Plan for Mental Health reflects how fundamental this issue is.
“The plan is comprehensive, containing over a hundred actions, and is designed to support mental health needs across Scotland as we move through the phases of this pandemic.”
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