A free Ayr-based mental health support service received a great response on its launch night.

Minds Over Matter Ayrshire, set up by 20-year-old Caitlyn Nutt, held its opening night at Venturayr, New Road last Wednesday for what is planned to be a weekly service.

Caitlyn, who herself suffers from anxiety and depression, set up the service due to pressure on the NHS creating long waiting times for counseling and is encouraging anyone affected by poor mental health to seek support.

Caitlyn Nutt said: “It was amazing. Over 40 people came. I have a huge list of volunteers and some people took advantage of the help. People from Ayr, Glasgow, North Lanarkshire, Troon, Kilmarnock, Cumnock, Mossblown and all over came along.

“The next one is Tuesday and then it will be alternate Wednesday/Tuesdays from then on. It’s free and the help is available. We’ll be having workshops and taster sessions of different activities to keep everyone motivated and give them a focus and also hoping to branch out and open drop ins in different towns soon too.

“After still suffering badly mentally I am so happy seeing the positive feedback and reactions to people who felt safe last night, and the many messages I’ve received about how brave I am and how welcoming the drop in was. I just hope I can continue to help people as well as having all my volunteers on board. The response was amazing and it’s only getting better now.

“I can only encourage people to come to a safe environment where they won’t be forced to speak but there are people who care about them and can help. The lows are low but the highs can be so much better.

“People need to know they won’t be judged and there are so many people in the same position or who know how they feel who can help them. Nothing is too much and I would encourage anyone who is feeling even the smallest bit not like themselves to get the help they deserve and need, free from judgement, confidentially and free.”

Next drop in will be Tuesday, April 2 from 7-9pm in Venturayr and then the following Wednesday. For more information visit www.facebook.com/MindsOverMatterAyrshire