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The Signature Project

flexible, specialist support for men with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) in Edinburgh 

The Signature Project works with men over the age of 16, who have experienced either single or complex trauma and who are registered with a GP in Edinburgh. We address the physical, psychological and social impact of trauma and work towards whatever is important to them.  

Trauma affects men regardless of age, race, class and sexuality, but few of the men we support are in work or education, reflecting how socially excluded and marginalised they have become.

Who we support

Men we support tend to face multiple disadvantages, such as reliance on benefits, insecure or inadequate housing and long-term poverty. We advocate with statutory services and help the men maximise their income and benefits, reduce their debts, seek safe and stable housing, and access work, training, or volunteering opportunities.  

Some of the men we support are veterans and this is often what people think about when they hear the term PTSD. However, we have found that the majority of men coming forward have experienced physical, emotional or sexual abuse in childhood, which has led to many years of disadvantage and exclusion. 

Many men have developed coping mechanisms that create further difficulties for them, for example, reliance on alcohol or drugs to manage nightmares and flashbacks or completely withdrawing from social relationships.

“When I fell mentally ill, there was a lot of stigma going on. It was there simmering for years. I fell ill in prison. Some of it was hereditary, some of it was drug-induced and some of it was the stress of life. A lot of people don’t know that there are resources and help out there.

“Having a safe space dedicated for men to talk about their mental health has been a lifesaver. It’s hard to get used to at first because you feel isolated. Coming into the Peer Group at The Signature Project and hearing other men talking about the same things, it’s really raw at first, but it’s like, ‘Woah, I’m not alone!’. Using the Signature Project, I don’t feel labelled as I have done in other services. I feel psychologically safe.”

Rob, supported by Signature Project

Support provided by The Signature Project

The Signature Project explores the effects of trauma with men and support them to overcome feelings of shame and guilt that may have prevented them from meeting their full potential or achieving what is important to them. 

A formal diagnosis of PTSD is not required but most of the men have experienced severe anxiety and depression, and a high proportion are neurodivergent. The support we provide is short-term but men choose where and when to meet, and whether to meet in person, online or over the phone.

We find that being as flexible as possible contributes to feeling safe and valued. It’s important that we give men the support they need when they need it and in a way that works best for them. 

In addition to one-to-one support, the project offers a: 

  • Stress management group,  
  • Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) group, 
  • Weekly Peer Support Group facilitated by men with lived experience of PTSD. 

These groups bring hope. Hearing other men who face similar challenges is an extremely powerful step, especially for men who may not have spoken openly about their experiences for years or even decades.   

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Our expertise and collaboration 

The team is based at the Stafford Centre in Edinburgh and undertakes frequent work in the community, helping men to link into services and activities in order to gain some structure to their days and increase their self-esteem and develop a sense of control over their lives.  

The team has expertise in helping men to better understand the effects of trauma and how to manage their thoughts and emotions,  always moving at the pace of the individual while gradually building trust.  

The Signature Project works closely with clinical partners, helping men feel more comfortable with practical things and situations they find difficult while challenging unhelpful thinking styles and practising self-soothing techniques.  

We also have strong working relationships with staff from drug and alcohol services, with the courts, nurses, housing, social work and the Thrive Welcome Teams in the city. 

contact

The project accepts both agency and self-referrals and can be contacted on 0131 374 7008 or by email at signature@changemh.org 

Our address in Edinburgh is:

The Stafford Centre
103 Broughton Street
Edinburgh
EH1 3RZ

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