Today is World Mental Health day – and after a challenging year for many, it is more important than ever to talk about the issue.
This year’s theme is ‘mental health in an unequal world’ and has been chosen to raise awareness of the gaps in accessing mental health support around the world.
Over the past weeks and months, we have highlighted some of the tremendous work going on in Courier country to tackle mental health issues.
And as our health services struggle under the recent strains, community-based support is becoming vital to many.
So on World Mental Health Day, we are taking a look back at some of the recent inspirational stories, highlighting the work of everyday people and organisations across Tayside and Fife to make a difference.
Mental health at Morgan Academy
Peer support for mental health has been put to the top of the class for pupils in Dundee.
Pupils at Morgan Academy have become some of the first in Scotland to take part in a new first aid programme, designed to help young Scots recognise mental health issues in their peers.
The Ready for Life programme, run by St Andrew’s First Aid (SAFA), enables young people to spot signs of mental health issues in family and friends, while equipping them with the skills to provide vital support.
Linda’s Ladies helping the community
Linda Fisken from Perth, a suicide survivor, is using her personal experience to help and support others with their mental health.
She launched Linda’s Ladies in 2019 – a Perth charity supporting local women struggling with their mental health.
Through her own experience of the mental health support available, she knew she wanted others to be able to access help as soon as they needed it.
The mum-of-two explains: “Mental health services are so stretched. I just didn’t want anyone to go through what I’d gone through.”
And an exciting new health project is making waves in St Andrews.
It’s helping vulnerable young people build their confidence, make friendships and improve their mental health, all while enjoying the Fife sea air.
The UK’s leading surf therapy charity, The Wave Project, launched its local pilot scheme in May of this year, which saw 24 youngsters aged eight to 19 take part in surf therapy.
Now, the charity has announced the extension of its surf therapy programme at West Sands beach in St Andrews for another year, enabling another 80 young people to access the benefits of surf therapy.
Get in touch
These are just three of the many examples of work at a community level to help and support the mental health of others. You can read more about other organisations making a difference here.
We want to hear from you – so if you have an personal mental health journey to share or a story for our readers, you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org