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Health / Mental health awareness week: plenty of help available for anyone struggling

AS THE national mental health awareness week continues, local services have detailed what help is on offer for anyone in Shetland who may be struggling.

Mind Your Head team leader Gill Gover said there are a range of options for support, from self-help resources to local and online support services and helplines.

For anyone needing urgent support for their mental or emotional health, the NHS 24 Mental Health Hub can be reached on 111. The service is open 24 hours a day.

Mind Your Head offers Shetland-based, low-level support for anyone who is struggling with their mental health and wellbeing.

Folk can visit the charity’s website for services available and how to access them.

Shetland Link Up, founded in the mid 1990s, offers a mental health support drop-in service in Lerwick. More information can be found here.

A typed CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) therapy service is also available here.

There is also the free, confidential phone service for people in Scotland called Breathing Space.

It can be reached on 0800 83 85 87 6pm to 2am Monday to Thursday, and 6pm to 7am Friday to Monday. The service offers listening, advice and information about mental health.

The UK’s first and only free and confidential 24/7 text messaging support service for anyone who is struggling to cope, called Shout, can be accessed through 85258.

Anyone feeling anxious, stressed or low, or folk having problems sleeping or dealing with grief, can find out how they can improve their mental wellbeing by hearing what others have found helpful here.

The theme for mental health awareness week this year is movement and the benefits physical activity can bring.

NHS Shetland’s health improvement team has been sharing information and advice about getting active on Facebook during the week.

Meanwhile during the week Shetland MSP Beatrice Wishart raised in parliament the issue of mental health for police officers.

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She said: “Reports show officer numbers are the lowest since the creation of Police Scotland and we need to do what we can to support and retain officers.

“We should also consider mental health services in the community which can have an impact on policing and may not have occurred with greater access to mental health provision.”

A rural insurance expert also called on Scottish residents to step up their support for farmers, amid growing concerns over their mental health.

James Cuthbertson of rural insurance broker Lycetts said the combination of “economic instability, market volatility, red tape, a changing subsidy regime and climate change” not only threatens their livelihoods but also risks impacting their mental wellbeing.

NHS Shetland has also publicised the support available for people worried about their or someone else’s alcohol or drug use.

It highlights that mental health issues can be closely linked to alcohol or drugs.

The Shetland Alcohol and Drug Partnership has a website with information on local and national services.

Help is on offer locally from the Recovery Hub and Community Network based at Pitt Lane in Lerwick (01595 744402) and from the Substance Misuse Recovery Service at Lerwick Health Centre (01595 743006).

Anyone who is concerned about their own drinking or drug use, or a family member or friend, can contact either of those services for advice and support.

The ‘Talk to Frank’ website has information on alcohol and drugs, including potential risks and how to reduce the risk of harm to yourself, friends and family. It also has practical advice on what to do in a medical emergency caused by drink or drugs.

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