A vehicle promoting a message about suicide prevention will take to the roads again next week.
The mental health charity Mind Your Head and NHS service Choose Life have teamed up for the “Let’s talk about suicide prevention awareness roadshow”.
It will be touring the length and breadth of the isles hoping to take the message to thousands of people.
This year the team is promoting the message that, “there is no shame in saying I’m not fine and it’s okay to ask for help”. There will be a particular focus on engaging with men.
Choose Life co-ordinator, Karen Smith, said: “This year’s message highlights that we can all play a vital role by talking to each other about our problems. It really is okay to say ‘I’m not fine’ and to feel comfortable in doing so.
“The important part is what we do with that information once it’s out in the open. There are a variety of places people can access help and there is no shame in doing so. We are aiming to highlight these places for the community of Shetland over the coming week.”
The timetable for the week is very busy and includes school assembly talks delivered in Unst, Yell and Brae along with the official launch of a new initiative called “Da Grubby Hut.”
The Grubby Hut idea was developed last year when the team visited several male-dominated industry workplaces during the roadshow. Men are an important target as the Mind Your Head 2014 survey highlighted men’s mental health awareness as a priority area. Statistically men are more at risk of suicide.
Grubby Huts has been designed to go into workplaces and encourage help-seeking behaviour while promoting mental health positively.
Anouska Civico from Mind Your Head said: “It provides an opportunity for us to start conversations about mental health and wellbeing with an important target group while also gathering information to help inform our new support services.”
• On Saturday 12th September a charity football game will be held with the aim of raising awareness of mental health issues.
The match will see a Mind Your Head “Dream Team” take on the mighty SFA “Oldies”. The Dream Team players are being kept secret till the day but the charity promises that some “weel kent faces” will be taking part.
Mind Your Head chairwoman Shona Manson said: “I hope we will see a big crowd at the game to help support our fantastic Dream Team, show support for suicide prevention awareness and at the same time help us raise funds for our new mental health support services in Shetland.”
The roadshow will launch on Monday with an online campaign promoting #SPAW15 along with important campaign messages during the week.
Mind Your Head is urging the community to share the information which will be circulated during the week on social media.
• Last year there were more than 100 face-to-face conversations and online engagements reached over 3,000 local individuals. This last year the roadshow will again be touring in a vehicle loaned for the week by Jim’s Garage.