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by Tom Freeman
14 April 2014
Hopes for task force on hoarding

Hopes for task force on hoarding

A leading coach helping those with chronic disorganisation has said she hopes the first ever UK Hoarding Awareness Week will raise the profile of the issue in Scotland.

The week, from 19-25 May, is organised by the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) because of the fire risk of extensive clutter in people’s homes, but Edinburgh-based Linda Fay says it can also be symptom of mental ill-health.

“Hoarding usually co-exists with other conditions such as depression, anxiety, ADHD, brain injury, schizophrenia, autism, and is often triggered by traumatic life events. There is no cure for hoarding, but it is a treatable condition that can be managed with the correct support,” she said.

Through her social enterprise not-for-profit Community Interest Company ‘Life Pod’, Fay recently ran a Hoarding Interventions training programme with Edinburgh Council.

“Up until recently, health and social care teams were most likely to enforce ‘clear outs’ of people’s homes. This is quite possibly the worst thing to do – it’s traumatic for the individual,” she said.

CFOA say one of the central aims of UK Hoarding Awareness Week is to encourage greater partnership working, and Fay hopes to bring together representatives from fire, police, health and social services to form an integrated Scottish task force on the subject.

“I hope by raising awareness and helping people to understand more about the condition, we will be able to create a more collaborative therapy approach to supporting people in Scotland affected by hoarding disorder,” she said.

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