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Celebrating 30 years of support in Lochaber

30 years ago, we opened the first mental health facility of its kind in Lochaber and still support people in the community to this day.

30 years of Lochaber mental health services

Change Mental Health is celebrating 30 years of delivering mental health support to people across Lochaber this year.

On January 12th 1994, we opened the doors to our former Lochaber home, The Glengarry Centre, when we were named National Schizophrenia Fellowship (Scotland). It was the first mental health facility of its kind in Lochaber and doors were officially opened by Ronnie Hughes, a local Community Psychiatric Nurse (CPN), who played a major role in the creation of the centre.

Since then, the service – now called Cothrom Centre, which is Gaelic for opportunity and equality – has moved beside Nevis Centre since February 2017 and continues to support hundreds of people in the Lochaber community.

30 years of supporting people in Lochaber will be commemorated with a number of events at local venues throughout 2024, which will continue to raise profile and showcase the support that is still delivered to the community to date. These events will demonstrate how we are still very much proactive in fighting stigma to give people who are supported confidence and a platform to have their voice heard.

Pete Harrop was manager of The Glengarry Centre and worked for us for 19 years, starting shortly after the centre opened and eventually succeeded first manager Kristine Glen.

Pete said: “It’s fantastic that the service is still there. It was very interesting working there during the 19 years because it saw big changes in provision of support for people with mental health issues and a great development in the support we were providing.”

Looking back to 1994

Ellen Nicolson, Senior Project Worker, joined the team in 2001 and continues to play an integral role with Eilidh Campbell, Project Worker at the service, in delivering mental health support in the community (both are pictured at the top of this page).

Ellen said:

“The service has undergone many changes and has evolved over the last 30 years but the foundations of the service and how we deliver support to people remains person-centred and holistic, and a vital community resource that people value and look up to in the area.

“We are looking forward to celebrating this milestone and what has been achieved over the past 30 years with these events. Watch this space!”

Change Mental Health provides non-clinical and person-centred support, as it has done since it started as a charity 51 years ago, ensuring everyone has access to the support they need, when they need it and in a which works for them.

At Cothrom Centre, one-to-one and group activities help people to develop skills, increase confidence and integrate with their community more. There is also outreach support within Lochaber, based out of Cothrom, that ensures people get support with their mental health wherever they are and are not being left behind in remote areas.

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