First, I need to make a confession.  I am Katie’s uncle.  That might make you think I am biased. And you would be right to think that.  But I am not biased because I am Katie’s uncle; I am baised because I know, from my own experience, that Katie is a wonderful listener who really can make people’s lives better.  When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2018, I was devastated.  My life turned upside down in the course of a few seconds.  I then suffered extreme anxiety although I was not in any physical pain.  Katie offered to call me weekly from Perth to my home in Glasgow.  She called me every Sunday (except one when she was on holiday) for three months; each call lasting about an hour.  Each week she gave me the chance to talk to her about my fears. Katie listened and gave encouragement and helpful suggestions for my next steps.  Over the three months, my mental wellbeing improved so much that I was able to return to work; free of the paralysing thoughts that had plagued my mind for months.  I am a HUGE fan of the NHS who are treating my ongoing cancer condition.  But the reality is that the NHS doesn’t have the resources to provide the mental and emotional support that is needed by so many people, of all ages, in facing their own personal struggles.  I put my trust in Katie and I am sure you can too.

Stuart MacDonald

August 2020

From primary school pupils using the ‘Time to Talk’ service…

“I found ‘Time To Talk’ so helpful because I could talk about my problems”.

“Before, when I was in a sad place, I didn’t want to do any work. Sometimes I still get sad but I know how to handle it more. I sleep better.”

“I don’t think kids have the opportunity to talk about what’s going on for them. I think it’s really important so they don’t hold it all in”

“I think it should be in all schools . Other kids in other schools might have similar problems and they might just hold it in like I used to. If they have ‘Time to Talk’ in other schools they can let it out and feel so much better.”

“I know if I follow the strategies I got told about I’m not going to get as stressed”

“I can concentrate on my work more”

“It’s good to have in school incase anything happens again,I know I can come and talk about it”

“It really helps how you feel and not to get stressed and angry”

“I do the 5,4,3,2,1 exercise after breakfast, after lunch and after tea and it helps me concentrate and keep me happy”

“It helps me focus more and give me some strategies”

It’s a good idea to have in schools “because they might have a worry and might not want to say it to their friends or their teacher”

“It makes me have a really good day because when I get to express my feelings to someone that actually listens it makes me feel a lot better because it lets me get my problems out and I’m not just keeping them to myself”

“It helps me because when I get all my problems out it helps me focus on work rather than being all worried.”

“It is good to talk about what it bothering you”

“It’s good because I have spoke it out with someone”

“When I talk to someone I don’t feel stressed anymore”

“Since I have came here I have moved up learning levels because I’m not as stressed”

Do you think TTT should be in other schools?

“It helps me so it will help others that are so painful inside and so you’re not feeling ignored”

“definitely, to help lots more kids like me”

“I hope other kids who go through what I go through and what I went through get the help they need”

“It’s really good for children to let out their feelings”

“It helps me get out bad feelings and memories”

“It just helped me think”

“It is super helpful”

“It calms you down”

“It helps me concentrate”

“I think Time to Talk is good because it’s good to talk to someone if you have a problem”

“It helps you get worries out so we can concentrate”

“It helps us with worries and problems”

“If any people have no one to talk to they can come here”

“When I get worries I can come here and clear my mind”

“It helps me concentrate more because everything’s out my head”

“It is helpful because if someone has bullied you you can come here and talk about it”

“It helps you stop worrying”

“It is helpful because it helps sort stuff out…some people might not have anyone to talk to”

“It helps me get on with my friends”

“I get on with my work because I don’t stress”

“I think it should be in other schools because it will help everyone”

“When I came here I felt I could concentrate more and be more independent”

“It just helps me”

“I love it”

“It might help other pupils if they’ve had something emotional happen they can just let it out and it might help them”

“I’d like more Time to Talk”

“It helps when you know you’ve got someone to talk to”

“It helps to get things off your mind”

“It helps to get things off your mind”

“I have a loving family and good friends but I’ve never talked to anyone about this and it feels good to get it out.’

“It helps me to be happy when I’m upset”

“It’s the first time I’ve really talked about it properly. I’m learning there’s a lot of stuff just in my head and it’s really helping me.”

“It helps me with my challenge of feeling sad and happy”

“I don’t think my challenge will go away and it’s good to talk to someone about it.”

Would you like to see TTT as an available service in school next session?

“yes, not just next year, next year and next year and next year, and next year because I really like ‘Time to Talk’”