World Mental Health Day - 10.10.16

Folk in Shetland have really been working hard to raise awareness about Mental Health for a while - we've all got it, so why don't we all get speaking about it?

This October the OPEN peer education project have been delivering their "Mentally OPEN" workshop away in Nairn - they've worked hard to produce a workshop they can take to local schools to get Secondary School pupils thinking and talking about Mental Health. Last month Karen and Anouska were on the road for SPAW (Suicide Prevention Awareness Week) getting in about grubby huts and trying to get men talking about Mental Health. Mind Your Head have published the 3rd video in their series speaking to local men about mental health - see Robert's story here - you'll find Ben's and Laurence's stories there too. Pre-school play are having an event at Sandwick Under 5s tomorrow, looking out for mums and dads, and there are Sunday teas in the Levenwick Hall on 23rd October - a bit of connecting, and "good mood food" to boost your mental wellbeing!

It's all going on this October - and we hope you'll take part in your own life too - looking out for your own mental wellbeing, and the wellbeing of those around you (whether that is friends, family, colleagues, patients, neighbours, strangers...you could make a difference to anyone you have even the briefest contact with!).

These are SAMH's (Scottish Association for Mental Health) "5 ways to better mental health":

1. Stay Connected 

  • Speaking to people and being around people is important, especially if you're feeling down. Even if you don't feel like it, being in touch can boost your mood - not sure it's true? Give it a go anyway.

2. Get Active

  • Regular physical activity has a positive effect on your mood and wellbeing. It doesn't have to be much - walking, dancing, gardening - it's the doing that's important!

3. Take Notice

  • Being in the moment, paying attention to what is around you can give you a break from dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, which can be a good boost for your wellbeing. Take pleasure in the little things, look around you, pay attention to how those around you are feeling, take a different route to work, spend time with a pet.

4. Learn

  • Trying something new, or achieving a goal can boost your confidence and boost your mental wellbeing - it could be a skill or an evening class, or a new book or recipe - get into a habit of small challenges.

5. Give

  • Giving to others can be very rewarding - this might be volunteering your time to help out, or a random act of kindness - give up your seat, give someone your newspaper when you're done, pay it forward and get someone a coffee, smile and say hello to someone - you might be there only smile all day. Kindness doesn't have to cost anything!

Can you make a Mental Health Promise this World Mental Health day? Deciding what you're planning to do, and when you're going to do it makes you a lot more likely to stick to it!