MEMBERS of the South Side community have united to launch an online support network for those struggling with their mental health during lockdown.

We-Care was established three weeks ago with the aim to provide a safe online environment for people to share their feelings while raising awareness and breaking the stigma attached to mental health.

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The group was created by Deborah Mcdonald, from Pollok, after she noticed a spate of sudden deaths in the area among young people.

She said: “I couldn’t believe what was happening with the kids, because they’re all such big characters.

“Before I started the group, I spent a full weekend crying. I was asking myself again and again, what can I do to help?

“I spoke to one of my son’s friend’s parents and they were concerned too. We both decided to start a page where we can reach out and offer help. I asked my 15-year-old boy what his views would be on starting up a page and he said to me, ‘mum, please do it’.

“It’s hard right now given the coronavirus lockdown but if we can help at all through any means, even if it’s virtually, then it’s worth it.”

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More than 1500 people have joined the group since its launch, with multiple members certified in mental health aid able to offer solace to those in need and point them to services that can help.

Members have also been pinning hand-made posters in areas around the South Side with helplines and messages of kindness for the community.

Deborah said: “We’ve been putting them up in places where youths hang around, so in parks and whatnot, to get the message out there that help is available.

“I think it’s just an issue that needs more awareness and I don’t think it’s anywhere near ending any time soon.

“We’ve covered bus stops with posters all the way from Pollok to the Quay. There needs to be more advertising of helplines to adults and children who are suffering. It’s a pandemic in itself.”

The 39-year-old told the Glasgow Times that in the past three weeks, seven young people in the area have sadly died.

Deborah said: “We’ve been trying to reach out to the young ones to see what they want in the area that could help them.

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“We’re finding that a lot of kids who get in touch with us don’t feel like they can speak to their parents about how they’re feeling and a lot of them don’t want to speak on the group itself, they want to speak


“Over the past three weeks I’ve found myself crying my heart out. I just can’t believe how many children are finding things difficult right now and there’s nothing for them.”

Members have been sharing interactive videos on the page to ease feelings of loneliness throughout the lockdown and to put a smile on faces.

Deborah added: “We share motivational pictures and we have local DJs come on to play tunes.

“We’ve had people play piano and sing too. It gives everyone an opportunity to chat and gives a nice bit of local entertainment too.”

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We-Care has since been sponsored by a local dentist who has supplied the group with a printer and laminator for their awareness posters.

We-Care can be found here.

Meanwhile, Samaritans’ 24-hour helpline can be reached on 116 123.