Suicide Prevention Week

The past 18 months have been especially difficult and they have placed considerable stress on many. Suicide is preventable. We can all do our bit to look out for warning signs in those close to us. Even if those signs come and go, ask your friend, family member or colleague how they’re doing. Just talking about how we feel can lift a load. But there are several services that you or someone you know can turn to for long term, professional help.

Samaritans – 116 123 (24hr). Calls are free & confidential. For people experiencing distress or despair, including those that could lead to suicide.

Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87 (6pm – 2am daily and 24hr weekends). A free and confidential phone-line service for any individual, who is experiencing low mood or depression.

For help and support for your mental health, speak to your GP or if out of hours, call NHS 24 on 111.

Lanarkshire Suicide Prevention App – search for SP Lanarkshire with your App store provider.

ChildLine – 0800 1111 (24hr). A free 24-hour helpline for children and young people in the UK.

HopeLine UK – 0800 24 20 24. A free service for childen & young people under the age of 35 who are experiencing thoughts of suicide & for anyone concerned that a young person could be thinking about suicide.

Elament – for more focused supports and services, click here.

Lanarkshire Mind Matters – run by NHS Lanarkshire Adult Psychological Services. It aims to link you to mental health information, advice and help, wherever you live in Lanarkshire. Click here for more info.

There are more services available via my Health & Wellbeing Support Directory here.

Covid-19 Latest News


Isolation can be a stressful experience. It’s important to take the steps, however small, to protect your mental health, like getting some exercise or taking a break from social media.

The Scottish Government has launched Clear Your Head to support you during this time. Click here for more info.

If you need more support, you can visit my support directory by clicking here.




This week, Marion Fellows, SNP MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, welcomed Lanarkshire’s new Superintendent, Gordon McCreadie, with a meeting to discuss local Policing priorities.

Mrs Fellows and Superintendent McCreadie discussed community priorities such as anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping.

Mrs Fellows heard first hand Lanarkshire Police’s strategy for 2020-23 and the work frontline officers are doing in communities to assist people who are the victims of domestic violence and coercive control, and call-outs to vulnerable people.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“It was a pleasure to meet with Lanarkshire’s new Superintendent, Gordon McCreadie, and raise with him the issues constituents have raised with me. Our Police are doing a fantastic job and deserve our thanks for their hard work.

“Peoples’ Policing priorities for local communities have been anti-social behaviour and fly-tipping. I have personally noticed an increase in the number of issues with fly-tipping since North Lanarkshire Council ended their free uplift services. We all deserve to live in clean communities. NLC must review this policy.

“We also discussed the increase in call-outs to vulnerable people and people experiencing mental health issues. It was reassuring to hear about the mental health training our officers are receiving so they can properly assist people.

“I also got to hear about the work Police officers are doing in our communities – especially on coercive control and domestic violence. If you’re affected, you are not alone. Reach out.”

People affected by domestic abuse can call Scottish Women’s Aid on 0131 226 6606 or Refuge on 0808 2000 247.

People affected by mental health can call Samaritans on 116 123 or Scottish Association for Mental Health on 0141 530 1000.E




Motherwell and Wishaw MP, Marion Fellows, has written to the CEOs of major retailers to call for them to follow suit with Sainsbury’s and ban the sale of fireworks in their stores as Bonfire Night approaches.

Sainsbury’s announced their ban on Thursday (17 October) which Mrs Fellows supports due to the impact fireworks can have on the physical and mental wellbeing of people and animals.

Mrs Fellows has written to the CEOs of Asda, Tesco, Morrison’s, Lidl, Aldi, Spar, and The Range.

Last year, Mrs Fellows called for the UK Government to enforce greater regulations on the sale of fireworks when a constituent’s car was set on fire. The UK Government refused, and Mrs Fellows has since called for powers to be devolved to Scotland and made these calls again by signing a motion in Parliament.

A Scottish Government consultation found that 94% want tighter controls on the sale of fireworks; 92% feel there should be tighter controls on fireworks use; 93% want stronger regulations to ensure animals are not caused unnecessary suffering as a result of fireworks misuse; 87% would support an outright ban on the sale of fireworks; and 70% reported being affected by fireworks used in an irresponsible or unsafe way.

Scottish Minister, Ash Denham MSP, said she will make a statement to Parliament soon on what steps the Scottish Government will be taking using its limited powers.

Commenting, Mrs Fellows said:

“It is the explicit view of people in Motherwell, Wishaw and Bellshill, and communities across Scotland that there must be tighter controls on the sale of fireworks. If the UK Government won’t act, then retailers who sell fireworks must take a portion of the responsibility for the harm fireworks are causing to peoples’ physical and mental wellbeing and stop selling them.

“Every year as Bonfire Night approaches, my office is inundated with complaints about fireworks. Some incidents can result in detrimental and lifechanging consequences for people and their families.

“Young children, people with PTSD – including our veterans – and people with Autism Spectrum Conditions can all be mentally affected by fireworks. Pets and wild animals are also impacted.

“It is utterly heart breaking to hear that people do not feel safe or comfortable in their own homes and feel this way not just on Bonfire Night, but in the weeks leading up to it and after. Enough is enough.”



First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, today outlined the Scottish Government’s Programme for Government demonstrating that the SNP is delivering for Scotland. The Programme included:

👪 The early introduction of the Best Start Grant – one of Scotland’s new Social Security payments – to support parents on low incomes which will be ready by Christmas 2019;
🏥 £20m in this Parliament to tackle issues associated with the use of illicit drugs to reduce harm and stop the rising number of drug deaths.
🗣️ Continuing to support mental health, with a 24/7 crisis support service for children and young people and their families;
🤰 Investing £5 million in a community mental health service for pregnant women and new mothers across Scotland;
🚌 Over £500m investment in bus prioritisation;
🤵👰 Men and women will be able to have civil partnerships rather than marriage in Scotland;
👦 The introduction of Disability Assistance for Children and Young People by summer 2020.

There is also progress on existing targets. By this time next year:
👶 80,000 families will be benefiting from more than 1000 hours of free childcare a year;
👩‍🔧 We will have delivered 30,000 modern apprenticeship starts;
🏘️ We will be even further on the way to delivering 50,000 affordable homes.



Yesterday, a judgement has been reached by the Supreme Court which has the potential to massively open access to PIP and its enhanced rate to people with mental health conditions.

This will make such a difference to people with mental health issues claiming PIP who have for so long been discriminated against by the Tories’ draconian welfare system.

Specifically, the ruling means “people who need different kinds of help, such as ongoing encouragement from a close family member to leave their house and engage socially” will be able to score more points. This is because of added clarity to the criteria on requiring “prompting” and “support”.

Well done to the person and mental health charity Mind for taking on the UK Government and their draconian welfare system.


This Week #6 (2018)

Monday 15th October

On Monday, Marion returned to Westminster and immediately got back to working hard for the people of Motherwell and Wishaw.

Tuesday 16th October

On Tuesday, Marion undertook a number of meetings and duties at Parliament, as well as questioning the UK Government on their lack of their support for Post Offices and Postmasters:

Marion was also involved in the Westminster Hall debate on Road Safety, stating:

I want the Minister to consider the Scottish Government examples that I will give him. Scotland’s road safety framework to 2020 has produced really good results, with cuts in the numbers of accidents. Things that the Scottish Government have done include cutting the blood alcohol limit, and we must take on board the fact that the limit has been reduced from 80 mg to 50 mg, which is lower than for the rest of the UK. We really must look at, and I would like the Minister to think about, the 7.6% reduction in drink-driving as a result of that.

You can read Marion’s contribution in full by clicking here.

Wednesday 17th October

Wednesday provided Marion with the opportunity to participate in the Mental Health: Absence from Work debate, and you can watch Marion’s contribution below:

Thursday 18th October

On Thursday, Marion attended a number of meetings before contributing to the debate on World Menopause Day within the House of Commons. During the Motherwell and Wishaw MP’s contribution, she stated:

Women’s health issues often do not see the spotlight due to ongoing taboos, and it is time for women—younger and older—to speak out. Women are often expected to put up and shut up about the symptoms associated with the menopause or periods, and to feel that talking about it is inappropriate or just moaning, when it is clear that this attitude is just thinly-veiled sexism. The fact is that the menopause and periods, as well as other hormonal conditions such as polycystic ovary syndrome, can have a really debilitating effect on women day to day.

You can read Marion’s contribution in full by clicking here.

Friday 19th October

Marion was back in the constituency office in Motherwell on Friday. The day was busy, with a number of meetings attended including meeting Chief Superintendent Waddell at Motherwell Police Station to discuss a variety of important matters.

Marion meets with Chief Superintendent Waddell.


Meeting with Mental Health Minister

Yesterday, I met with the new Mental Health Minister, Clare Haughey MSP, on the day that she launched the Scottish Government’s Suicide Prevention Action Plan. I raised with her the issues of local services and people after a number of tragic suicides in our communities.

Clare is a former NHS nurse and after speaking with her about the plan, I am absolutely confident that real action will be taken – and not just talking shops. This is demonstrated by Clare’s ambitious target of reducing suicide by 20% by 2020.

A National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group will be established that will be comprised of service providers to make recommendations resulting in an integrated approach. This will be backed up with £3million of funding for local prevention action plans.

As well as offering training, raising awareness, focussing on vulnerable groups and young people, the Prevention Plan will work to strict deadlines so that suicide is addressed with the urgency it requires.

This issue is not a political football. Everyone at every level of Government has to play its part in preventing suicide. I am looking forward to the recommendations of the leadership group so that we may continue to make progress.




Marion Fellows, MP for Motherwell and Wishaw, this week met with Steve Farrell – Community Union’s Regional Secretary for Scotland – to discuss Trump’s steel tariffs, the Dalzell plant and also mental health in the workplace signing Community’s Mental Health Charter.

Trump imposed 25% tariffs on European steel earlier this year with the EU responding by imposing their own tariffs on US steel and a number of other products including orange juice, tobacco, bourbon whisky, makeup, jeans, and motorbikes.

Marion also continued her mental health campaign by signing Community’s Mental Health Charter which commits employers to “tackle stigma”, “challenge discrimination”, “promote equality of opportunity”, “encourage wellbeing” and “raise awareness” of mental health and services. She has encouraged other employers to meet the Charter’s calls.

Commenting, Marion said:

On Steel

It was a pleasure to meet with Steve Farrell to see how I can continue to support the local and national steel industry in Scotland. The SNP stood up for steel before securing a future for Dalzell and we are continuing to stand up for steel now.

Trump’s tariffs will harm industry and workers here and in the USA.

Tariffs are a blow to free-market Brexiteers who argue that the US will welcome a trade deal with the UK after we leave the EU. The stark reality is that President Trump is not open to negotiate unless he is the only one who stands to benefit from a deal.

The EU is right to impose our own tariffs to protect industry here. The UK Government must follow suit and provide support to steelworkers in the UK who may be affected.

I agree with Community that we must also ensure that trade is fair and we prevent the European market from being flooded with cheaper foreign steel which undermines the industry here.

On Mental Health

I was glad to discuss the important issue of mental health. Stress is one of the main reasons for absenteeism. We need all workers to be supported by their employer in the workplace.

All workers deserve to be treated with dignity and respect and prevention is always better than cure. Employers have a responsibility to take action.

I am leading by example by ensuring my office meets the Charter’s calls and I encourage every employer to ensure the same protections for their workforce.


Mental Health minister agrees to meeting with Wishaw MP in wake of recent deaths

FULL STORY: Mental Health minister agrees to meeting with Wishaw MP in wake of recent deaths

I’ll be meeting the new Scottish Minister for Mental Health, Clare Haughey, in the coming weeks to discuss the issue of mental health – especially amongst young people. Local communities have been rocked by recent suicides. I’m determined to feed in to the improvement of services.

I’ll be contacting local groups to ask for what they want raised, but I’d also like to hear from the wider community. Please let me know how you would improve local mental health services.