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Packed calendar for mental health awareness week

A NUMBER of activities and events are set to take place in Shetland later this month for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The theme for this year is ‘body image’, with a focus on how people think and feel about their bodies and the link to mental health.

The week will take place between May 13 and 19 and the Scottish Recovery Network and Breathing Space is set to visit and undertake various events and meetings.

NHS Healthy Shetland has been working with other organisations such as Mind Your Head, Link Up, Scottish Health Council and Shetland Islands Council on forming a calendar of events.

A number of drop-in sessions will take place during the week, including at Lerwick Town Hall and the Moorfield Hotel in Brae.

A key event will be held at the Town Hall on the Monday from 1-3pm and 4-7pm, where a range of local organisations will be attendance to speak about their services.

Mind Your Head will be releasing a new video on the Monday afternoon featuring a number of local people speaking about their body image.

Charity Johnson of Mind Your Head said the aim was to raise awareness and stimulate discussion.

“We all have minds, we all have bodies. The difficulty comes when we compartmentalise the two and forget that one directly affects the other,” she said.

Other public events during the week will include open tours of the Clickimin Leisure Complex to explore links between physical activity and mental health, memory events from Alzheimer Scotland and an open day with motivational coach and therapist Diane Taylor in Virkie.

There will also be a handful of private ‘Grubby Hut’ sessions at venues such as Scatsta Airport.

Harold Massie, chair of the Shetland Mental Health Forum, said: “This week gives organisations, which provide mental health and mental wellbeing support, the chance to show the Shetland public the range of activities and services they can access.

“These cover all aspects, from helping and encouraging people to get outdoors and enjoy themselves, to medical services for those with serious mental illness.”

Network Manager for the Scottish Recovery Network Louise Christie added: “We all have mental health and sharing our experiences of challenges and recovery is a powerful way to support our wellbeing and that of others.

“We look forward to meeting many people at the events planned.”

A full calendar of events can be found online here.

Anyone seeking urgent advice on mental health can phone Breathing Space, a Scottish helpline manned by specialist advisors, on 0800 838587.