A FORMER Dunfermline Athletic ladies' captain believes there needs to be a shake-up in the way the justice system deals with mental health illness.

Kim Macfarlane's life was turned upside down when she underwent nose surgery after a head knock and woke up with a rare condition that left her unable to urinate.

The medical condition means the 25-year-old has fought extreme pain but she has since been battling with mental health issues triggered by the diagnosis.

Last year, her story made headlines when she was arrested for threatening to jump from a motorway bridge and was charged with a breach of peace. Sheriff Craig McSherry admonished her but warned she could be sent to prison if there was any further offending so that the public were not “inconvenienced”.

This week, Kim spoke to the Press as part our We Need To Talk campaign about her experiences at the hands of the law when she's had suicidal thoughts.

It's her hope that she can influence politicians and services so the justice system may start looking at mental health in a new light.

She said: "Just a couple of weeks ago, I had a lot of problems going on with my physical health and I ended up running away.

"I was reported missing by my mum and I ended up at Glasgow train station.

"I was sitting on the floor of the station and I had cut myself on the hand. I was obviously thinking of going onto the train tracks.

"A security man had seen me and alerted the British Transport Police. I had a scalpel on me so when they found it they put me in handcuffs behind my back. I was in agony.

"I felt like a criminal and there were lots of people walking past staring at me.

"It felt like I had done something wrong. Even though I hadn't done anything to harm someone else I still ended up in handcuffs."

Kim described how she was left in that position for some time while police waited for a female officer to search her.

She was then taken to A&E with two officers – again leaving her feeling judged by onlookers.

"Some of the things police officers say make you feel even worse," Kim continued.

"Some of them don't understand mental health.

"While I was being treated by a doctor they actually accused me of still having a scalpel and making my cut deeper.

"After all that, British Transport Police and Police Scotland put in a report to social work, but they have written to me to say they will not be taking it any further forward.

"I have been diagnosed with borderline personality disorder. There's such as stigma around it to the point that some professionals don't think it's a mental health condition.

"Because nobody has really explained it to me I ended up Googling it. A lot of my actions are impulsive so I will think about self-harm and suicide daily.

"Combined with my physical problems, I tell people that 'I'm just too complicated for everybody'.

"I think if my physical problems were solved my mental health would improve but it wouldn't just disappear."

Kim is currently on the waiting list for urostomy surgery. The procedure will create a stoma (artificial opening) for the urinary system because drainage through the bladder is not possible for Kim.

It all started when Kim suffered a broken nose playing football in 2015. Surgery was supposed to fix her squint nose but she woke up with Fowler's syndrome.

"When it all started it was about not being able to work or play football but now it's the constant questioning myself," Kim added.

"I can be happy one minute and not the next. It's pretty exhausting dealing with it all.

"I have been in contact with Shirley-Anne Somerville MSP. I want to meet to talk about mental health and Police Scotland.

"I would also like to go to the police station to say what it's like from my experience and what's going through my mind.

"For example, at the train station, the officers were all just standing over me, nobody came down to my level. They seemed authoritative.

"If they were able to get me out of the way from members of the public that would have helped too.

"I am sure there's lots of questions that officers would also like to ask someone like me.

"I do think it also must be frustrating for the police because if there is no-one else then they're left to deal with mental health patients.

"In Edinburgh, there is a crisis centre where officers take people.

"It might be you just need to talk to someone and stay the night. Here, it's either hospital admission or a police cell.

"There could even be a mental health A&E. Glasgow and Edinburgh's services seem far superior than other towns and this is frustrating too.

"It's heartwarming to see the community work together to try and stop the spate of suicides we have seen recently but it's unfortunate that it has taken the loss of a lot of young lives for things to get started."