People are being encouraged to take part in walks for the good of mind and body as part Mental Health Awareness Week that starts on Monday.
A World Mental Health Day coffee morning will be at Levenwick Hall on Saturday 10th October from 10am-12am. The event is being organised by NHS Shetland, Mind Your Head and the Samaritans. There will also be a display sharing some people’s stories on the day.
The organisations are also challenging people to perform “random acts of kindness” throughout the week.
NHS health improvement practitioner Jill Hood said: “These are small, everyday things that can boost someone’s day. We’ll be posting suggestions on our Healthy Shetland website and social media throughout the week and would love to hear about any of your own acts of kindness.
“This year we want Mental Health week to be an opportunity to focus on the small, everyday things we can do for ourselves and one another to promote good mental well being and encourage hope for recovery from mental health problems.
“Being active is a great way to look after your mental health too. One of the simplest ways to do this is walking. Walking can be a great opportunity for a social catch up as well as releasing all those feel good endorphins into your body. We’ll be hosting Mental Health Week walks across Shetland during the week. See Healthy Shetland website, Facebook or twitter for further info.”
• Lerwick Tuesday 6th October 5.30pm – 6pm meet at Lerwick health centre
• Scalloway – Thursday 8th October 1.30pm – meet outside Scalloway pool
• Levenwick – Saturday 10th October 9.30am – meet at Levenwick hall
• West Mainland – Sat 10th October 2pm – meet end of the road in Bousta, Sandness
Ms Hood added: “We all have mental health, just as we all have physical health. Mental Health recovery is both possible and likely. People often describe recovery as a journey – it doesn’t necessarily mean that someone no longer has a diagnosis or has stopped needing to use medication.
“Recovery is about taking positive steps forward. One of the things that really helps recovery is sharing knowledge and experiences; that’s why we wanted to encourage an opportunity to share stories about recovery from mental health problems. Sharing stories about recovery can help people feel less alone, find strategies which might work for them, help somebody to support a loved one and can break down the stigma of mental health problems.”
If you are worried about your mental health contact your GP. If you need to talk, you can call the Samaritans 24/7 on their new free phone number: 116 123.