When Terry Williamson won last year’s Shetland Times/Shetland Recreational Trust fit club he gave a typically self-effacing speech which concluded: “As you can see, I still have a long way to go.” What very few people knew at the time was that as well as trying to improve his physical fitness he was confronting the recurrence of the debilitating mental condition of depression.
Tomorrow, Terry will set out on a 900-mile walk of (most of) Shetland’s coastline to raise money for the mental health charity Mind Your Head and, more fundamentally from his point of view, become well enough to return to work. His decision to make public the fact that he suffers from depression is, as Shona Manson of Mind Your Head describes it, a “brave” one. Hopefully the interview and his positive outlook, combined with the publicity surrounding his walk, will go some way towards lifting the stigma that still surrounds the illness.
The Old Rock will be joining Terry for a section of his walk later in the summer; hopefully many others will too. We wish him well.
Demonstrating once again its customary elan for public relations, the council has refused on entirely spurious grounds to comment on the fact that councillor Jonathan Wills has been cleared by the Standards Commission on 10 counts of having breached the councillors’ code of conduct. We understand the report is heavily critical of the council, and in particular the decision to pay off former chief executive David Clark. Alas, as we went to press yesterday the commission had not published its report, without sight of which it is difficult to comment further.