A GLASGOW-based mental health charity has said that they expect an increase in referrals in the coming months, as people come to terms with life post-lockdown.

Glasgow Association of Mental Health has told of how the service will become vital as people across the city come to terms with the impact of coronavirus post-lockdown.

GAMH’s CEO, Jaqueline Croft, said: “We absolutely expect an increase of people coming to us and referrals to us.

“Lockdown has affected everyone in different ways, with things like loneliness and social anxiety heightened by the situation.

“The thing about mental health is that, in the same way you would go to the doctors for your physical health, sometimes you need emotional support at different times in life.”

While the way support is given has had to be adapted, Jaqueline has said that this has not impacted the quality, with the charity even implementing a new service during lockdown.

The ‘Compassionate Distress Response Service’ is a telephone support service that can be reached from 5pm to 2am, with referrals coming from first responders such as police and ambulance service

She said: “We’ve not so much adapted as we have moved forward. We have had to move some services onto things like Zoom but we still have vulnerable people who we need to visit at home.

“The staff have PPE and protection to make sure they are safe when visiting homes.

“The Compassionate Distress Response Service was actually a plan that was in place before coronavirus, with a scheduled launch of April. That was pushed back to May but it was really important that we started it when we did.”

The charity was recently helped out by staff at Glasgow’s Royal Infirmary, who completed a mammoth fundraiser.

Staff at the hospital’s ICU department have been cycling a distance of 583 miles, equivalent of Land’s End to John O’Groats, to raise money.

They have already raised an incredible amount of over £17,000 for Glasgow Association of Mental Health.

Jacqueline said: “To find out that they were doing that fundraiser, what an incredible thing, it’s so heartwarming and I can’t thank them enough.

“It means a lot coming from people would are working so hard every day on the frontline. I couldn’t imagine having to do a backshift then coming home and doing 26 miles on the bike.

“Mental health has such a strong link with physical health and they have obviously recognised this through their own work.

“I hope they get a chance to look after their own mental health too. The things they see every single day, they must be so resilient to then come home and help others even more.”