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Suicide prevention charity Mikeysline closes its drop-in sessions in Inverness due to coronavirus crisis

By Val Sweeney

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Donna Smith.
Donna Smith.

AN Inverness suicide prevention charity is temporarily closing its drop-in sessions after tonight due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mikeysline said it has taken the difficult decision to close the evening sessions at the Hive in Academy Street.

Chairwoman Donna Smith said the charity had tried to remain open as long as possible but, in the light of current government and World Health Organisation advice, it now felt there was no choice but to stop the drop-in sessions in order to protect service users, staff and volunteers.

Tonight will be the last evening operating as normal until such time as the advice changes.

"We understand that this is a stressful time for all so are committed to finding alternative ways to support those who need it," she said.

The core service, the support textline, will remain in operation throughout and can be accessed Monday to Thursday from 6pm to 10pm and Friday to Sunday from 7pm to 7am.

Texts can be sent to 07779 303 303.

An alternative option using Facebook Messenger will operate to the same hours as the Hive, which are Sunday to Thursday, 6pm to 10pm, and Friday and Saturday, 6pm to 11pm.

"Further, we will be looking at other options which we will advise people of as soon as we are able," Ms Smith added.

"During these extraordinary and what are undoubtedly unsettling times for many, it is more important than ever to ensure that people feel able to talk about how they are feeling.

"It is absolutely okay to not be okay, and we will continue to be there to listen in whatever way we can.

"We would like to assure those that are experiencing difficult times that our staff and volunteers remain fully committed to supporting them. We just need to find some alternative ways to do it right now to make up for the temporary loss of the Hive."

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