A SUPPORT team in the Borders have been commended by the country's Minister for Mental Health.

Clare Haughey MSP met with Borders DBI representatives in Galashiels last week to commend them in helping the national project win a prestigious Scottish Health Award.

DBI provides an ‘ask once - get help fast’ early intervention for people in distress or emotional pain who do not need emergency medical treatment.

After an individual’s immediate distress is tackled, the person is asked if they would like further support and if they agree, they are referred to the DBI service with a promise of contact within the next 24 hours.

Ms Haughey said: “I want to congratulate the whole team on the fantastic work they do to support people who are experiencing significant challenges in their lives.

“This work supports our broad vision on mental health, of a Scotland where people can get the right help at the right time, expect recovery and fully enjoy their rights, free from discrimination and stigma.”

Data gathered so far shows on average, the level of distress of those who have received DBI support, has halved.

Welcoming the minister to The Hive last week was Borders DBI programme manager Haylis Smith.

She said: “Almost 1000 people in the Borders have been supported to manage their distress since the pilot began.

“The support given to these individuals is the real reward for all of us, but we were delighted the Minister recognised the efforts of the area’s hospital emergency department, Police Scotland, Scottish Ambulance Service, primary care and third sector staff.”

The Scottish Government funded pilot picked up the Care for Mental Health award at the Scottish Health Awards in November.

DBI programme manager Kevin O’Neill, said: “We were delighted the Minister paid a visit to the Borders DBI team to hear and see for herself how their efforts are making a real difference to people’s lives day in and day out.

“It is the sensitivity of our staff to those in distress that inspires us all to work together to improve the outcomes and experiences of these people when they need help most.”