Hundreds of runners and walkers turned out for the 10th annual Mind Your Head fun run on what was one of the best days of the summer.
The crowds were warmed up for the event by jazzercise instructors on the Cunningsburgh football pitch under bright sunshine.
Mind Your Head chairwoman Shona Manson addressed the crowds before the race got underway, saying she thought there were well over 600 entrants – meaning 2015 could be another record year for the event.
There were lots of people registering on the day, perhaps drawn out by the weather, and there was a good atmosphere among the runners and walkers.
The elite group of athletes soon raced off on the 10km circuit around the Cunningsburgh hills. Although there were plenty of walkers – and some runners – taking things at a rather more steady pace setting out to enjoy the 5km loop through Ocraquoy and back to the hall.
Once inside there was plenty of sandwiches and fancies to replace any energy that had been burnt off trudging around the streets. The hall was packed with people enjoying the Sunday teas.
Ms Manson said it was superb to see so many folk supporting the event again and she said it was a “fantastic 10th anniversary fun run”.
“It is great to see how much the community supports Mind Your Head and comes together in what was a fantastic sunny day.”
She was particularly pleased to see people of all ages enjoying the event. “We have got the ‘real runners’ and you have the mams and dads and granddads and parents with pushchairs. It is a real family event.”
Of course, the event is about raising awareness of mental health problems and encouraging people to be more open about mental health.
“People can take time to think about mental health and what it means to them. I know we can all make a huge difference to each other just by being more open about mental health,” said Ms Manson.
• There will be a further focus on mental health issues next month when it is Suicide Prevention Awareness Week.
A number of events will be held encouraging people – and men in particular – to be more open about their mental health.
NHS Shetland’s suicide awareness worker Karen Smith said there would be a focus on the campaign which encourages people to stop saying they feel “fine” if in fact they are not.
Garages and mechanics across the isles will be targeted as part of the campaign and there will also be a social media element, working with families and carers.
On Saturday 12th September there will be a football match featuring the Mind Your Head Dream Team versus retired Ness FC players. The “dream team” will feature several well-known faces from various organisations. Michael Duncan will be commentating live on the action.
Ms Smith said it was about trying to promote positive mental health and raising awareness of support services.