A town hall has become the first in Scotland to recognise hoarders as having a mental health difficulty.

Perth and Kinross Council has drawn up a “hoarding protocol” to help staff deal with people who suffer from compulsive hoarding behaviour.

The new working group consists of team leaders from a host of council departments, including housing, social work and community mental health, along with the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service.

Bill Atkinson, acting executive director of housing and community safety for Perth and Kinross Council, said: “Compulsive hoarding is challenging to treat because many people who hoard do not consider it to be an issue and often have little awareness of their disorder and how it impacts on their life and on others.

“It is, however, important to encourage tenants to seek help, as their obsession can cause loneliness and mental health problems and will often also pose a health and safety risk.

“All frontline staff and contractors receive guidance to help them spot the signs of hoarding which includes looking out for behavioural signs like missed appointments and reluctance to allow access into property.”

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Remember, if you or someone you know is suffering from hoarding, you can contact us at www.facebook.com/CloudsEndCIC for help.

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