The winners of a photo competition to promote mental well-being have been announced.
The See Me competition, hosted by SIC and supported by NHS Shetland and mental health charity Mind Your Head, is part of a national event and the three Shetland winners will now go forward to the Scottish finals.
Announcing the winners, chairman of NHS Shetland Ian Kinniburgh emphasised the importance of ending stigma and discrimination around mental health, and that anything to break down barriers to seeking help was welcome.
The theme of the competition, “Be there, be yourself”, was interpreted by the winners in distinct ways. Organiser of the competition local area host Annie Nicolson of SIC human resources said all 23 entries showed that everyone can do something in their own way.
Over-18 winner Kevin Jones spotted a toddler, Jason, sitting on a rugby ball and snapped the photo from the back. Kevin said: “He showed initiative making use of the rugby ball for a seat. It inspires happiness.”
Under-18 winner Emma Hand, 15, a pupil at Sandwick Junior High School, said she was “really really happy” to have won. She took her photo of reflections of herself and a friend on her phone while sitting on the wall beside the harbour, a casual shot of a carefree moment.
Winner of the public’s vote was Kim Rendall, who entered an atmospheric photo of flowers silhouetted against a sunset. She said: “After my dad died I found inspiration and peace of mind when out on the hill.”
One of the judges, deputy chief executive Hazel Sutherland, said the photos captured the essence of positive mental health – being happy to be yourself. She said that she and her fellow judges, Barrie Jehu, Alan Murdoch and Billy Fox, had enjoyed judging the photos – which comprised many nature and people scenes – and found it “a really inventive way to think about mental health”.
Further initiatives to promote mental well-being are taking place, said health improvement practitioner Margaret Birrell, representing Mind Your Head. An appointment has been made to the new post of a self-help practitioner partially funded by Mind Your Head and partially by NHS Education for Scotland (NES), and a young persons card developed by Mind Your Head giving phone numbers and web addresses of mental health services is being distributed to all school pupils. A capacity-building grant from Lloyd’s TSB for Mind Your Head will help the charity to build a long-term strategy to ensure its future.