Local charity Mind Your Head has contracted an experienced mental health professional to develop adult support services in the isles.
The six-month contract will see Anouska Civico work on developing a support service and comes in response to the findings of the Mind Your Head Community Survey Report published in August 2014.
It is hoped the new service will see Mind Your Head workers offering support to clients across the isles.
The support service will be a new direction for Mind Your Head which has been primarily involved in raising awareness of mental health issues and reducing the stigma of mental health problems since its first Fun Run in 2005.
The “important project” has been funded through the generosity of the Shetland community and in particular the efforts of the friends and family of the late Vaila Tait who died in 2014. They raised £3,780 as they wished to help people who suffer from mental health problems and also raise awareness within Shetland.
Mrs Civico has extensive experience in mental health services having previously managed accommodation and community-based outreach services for people of all ages and varying needs. She will be helping the organisation design the proposed service and put in place clear plans to help secure external funding.
She said: “I am delighted to be undertaking this important piece of work for Mind Your Head. As an organisation they have a very good reputation among the Shetland community and the support service seems an obvious move.
“It will help Mind Your Head offer something additional for local people who need that extra bit of support at a difficult time in their life, while continuing with the projects that are already established.”
Mind Your Head team leader Jacqui Clark said “These are exciting times for us as we move into an important stage in our organisation’s development. We want to make sure that the service we develop meets the needs of the Shetland Community.”
She added, “Anouska’s experience along with evidence gathered through our 2014 Community Survey puts us in a strong position to move this forward and work towards launching a service that will make a real difference to our community’s mental health and wellbeing”.
They are also working at developing a service for young people which is called Wellbeing 10. This service is currently at consultation stage with local partners and service providers. Further information is available on the Mind Your Head website.