Our History

FDAMH has providing mental health support to the Falkirk community for over 40 years…

40 Years of FDAMH

When Joyce Cottle rallied the community leaders together and started a lunch club in 1981, her mission was to provide a safe space and to support people within the community, this remains our mission today.  

We’re proud of our beginnings and excited about the future! 

1981
FDAMH established as a lunch club by a small group of volunteers keen to alleviate the isolation and loneliness of people with mental health problems
1981
1982
FDAMH gains its first proper base and starts to offer a Drop-In Centre along with the ongoing community lunch clubs, all delivered and managed by volunteers
1982
1984
The Committee obtains funding to recruit FDAMH’s first full-time staff member to develop and manage FDAMH’s services
1984
1987
FDAMH moves to its first long-term base – a shared converted cottage in Thornhill Road
1987
1989
New funding supports the introduction of a Befriending Service but a difficult period of staff changes places a heavy burden back on FDAMH’s volunteers
1989
1990
Staffing settles and the ‘Victoria Centre’ is born as FDAMH takes over all the cottage, allowing existing services to expand
1990
1992
FDAMH becomes a registered charity
1992
1997
Increased statutory funding brings significant expansion to existing services and the introduction of the Link Service (now Social Prescribing)
1997
1998
Grant funding becomes essential for further growth and delivers a permanent Counselling Service
1998
1999
With the Victoria Centre aging and cramped, Trustees and staff begin the 8-year long struggle to create a more suitable home for FDAMH
1999
2001
Informal support given to carers leads to the creation of the Carers Project (now Family Support), but pressures on space see the staff team split as some head off to rented accommodation
2001
2007
The new purpose-built Victoria Centre opens – the staff team (now 10) are back together at last! Thanks to a massively improved centre and visibility, significant increasing demand and organisational growth follows
2007
2009
Staff readiness to help people arriving at the centre in distress is supported by the introduction of a ‘cover’ rota in the face of growing demand, eventually called the ‘Immediate Help Service
2009
2010
Multi-agency discussions lead to the establishment of a Bereaved by Suicide Group at FDAMH with support from NHS Pastoral Care Team, serving people from across Forth Valley
2010
2011
Wellbeing Groupwork courses commence with an ‘Anxiety Management’ course, topics expand considerably in the years to come
2011
2012
Grant funding introduces Third Age Befriending for older people, whilst our new and exuberant Media Group will enlighten the public on mental health issues over the next 6 years
2012
2013
FDAMH launches its new logo with the strapline created by people using the services – ‘Light in a Dark Place
2013
2014
Over the next few years more staff are introduced so that many single-person services become teams, by 2016 there are 25 staff
2014
2015
The recruitment of a dedicated Arts & Media Coordinator sees an increase in the use of creativity as therapy, including the establishment of the now independent ‘Freedom of Mind Choir
2015
2016
FDAMH is proud to win the GSK Impact Award and is boosted by the massively successful ‘No Men Nevis’ community fundraising initiative
2016
2017
FDAMH Training Academy is launched, providing mental health education to the wider community
2017
2018
FDAMH’s two befriending services merge to become ‘Social Spark‘ and ‘Drop-In’ soon joins them to complete this multi-stranded, socially focussed service
2018
2020
Pandemic lockdowns bite but FDAMH’s services move rapidly to remote models, attendance rates improve and counsellors, freed from space constraints, deliver record numbers of sessions
2020
2021
FDAMH proudly celebrates its 40th Birthday and the lives of its founders, Joyce Cottle and the Rev. Duncan McClements
2021

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