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Soul Soup serves up support

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By Fiona Reid
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A NEW charity has sprung up to support young people in Dumfries and Galloway.

Soul Soup works with 12 to 25-year-olds who are at risk of suicide and self-harm to provide access to counselling and non-statutory mental health support.
The aim is to give them increased confidence and self-esteem, to feel emotionally stable and in control of their lives.
The organisation tries to do this by providing access to counselling and ongoing well-being support and mental health education. They also offer training for those who work with young people.
Founder Linda McLachlan said: “Our passion is to just be there, to listen to young people when they are at a time in their life when they need to be heard, when life might feel overwhelming.”
Losing three young people in her life to suicide was the catalyst for Linda starting Soul Soup.
She said: “Many young people find the thought of going to a medical practitioner daunting and suffer in silence or worse.
“Most people who commit suicide are not known to the medical profession. This is why at our core we want to be approachable to young people, to be informal, comfortable and non-clinical.”
She hopes to make it an organisation where young people can feel relaxed coming to talk and said: “Soul Soup will put everything in to making it easier to approach the topic of mental health for those who are dealing with mental wellbeing issues, their families, their friends, their teachers and anyone else.
“If we can help young people find and explore their tools, experience recovery, resilience and hope, then these are things they can carry through life.
“They can pass these tools and strengths to future generations in the hope of evolving into a society that positively supports mental well-being.”

Soul Soup are looking for volunteers to be trustees, counsellors, support workers, web support and admin. To find out more about volunteering or for information about Soul Soup contact [email protected], or call or text 07555989007.

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