Putting out word on mental health support

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Mental health campaigners are bringing the word on the help they can offfer to Borders supermarkets and shopping streets.

The Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) roadshow is in the region this week to raise awareness of the support available and to challenge the stigma around mental health problems.

Staff from the region’s support services – and users – will be setting up shop in local supermarkets and town squares to talk to people so they know where to go for help with their mental health.

The Know Where to Go campaign was launched in May with support from Stephen Fry and Scottish actor Sanjeev Kohli.

One in four adults will experience a mental health problem in any given year, but more than 800,000 people in Scotland wouldn’t know where to seek help.

A new SAMH report suggests that those living in remote and rural areas face additional challenges in getting help. Scottish research has found that isolation from social networks and support services, combined with an exaggerated culture of self-reliance, may contribute to stress, anxiety and depression in rural areas.

Lesley Mania, Borders service manager at SAMH, said: “SAMH have been running services in the Borders for years, but people aren’t necessarily aware of what support we can offer or how to access it. By getting out and talking to people we hope to be more visible and let people see that we really are here to help.”

Carolyn Roberts, head of policy and campaigns at SAMH said: “If you don’t live near a service, or you can only get an appointment at a time when the local bus service isn’t running, it can be really hard to get help for a mental health problem.

“We hope we can help people to know where to go for help, whether it’s online, on the phone or on the high street”.

Times and places for the Know Where to Go campaign in the Borders:

August 20: Peebles High Street, 11.30am-1.30pm.

August 21: Old Court, Selkirk, 10am-1pm; Morrisons Supermarket, Hawick, 1.30pm-3.30pm.

August 22: Melrose Square, 10am-noon.

August 23: Galashiels, 10am-2pm, at three venues: Channel Street, Tesco and Asda.

August 24: Kelso Square, 10am-1pm;Jedburgh Co-op, 12.30pm-2.30pm.