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Highland Council supports World Mental Health Day

By David G Scott

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The Highland Council is supporting World Mental Health Day (WMHD) on Sunday (October 10) which is observed each year to encourage people to ask for help if they need it.

WMHD provides an opportunity for reflection, to talk and to support one another during a mentally testing period in our lives.

Cllr Linda Munro, chair of the Health, Social Care and Wellbeing Committee, said: “By supporting and recognising WMHD, we are able to increase our understanding of mental health and its impact on our lives. We are all experiencing additional stresses and uncertainty because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

"This means many of us across Highland are likely to be feeling the effects of reduced mental health. Help lessen the stigma around mental health by reaching out to family and friends, often by making people aware that you are there for them can be a welcome relief to those struggling.”

Panic attack in a public place.
Panic attack in a public place.

The focus of World Mental Health Day (WMHD) is on "Mental Health in an Unequal World". The World Mental Health Foundation, which is behind the awareness day, explained the theme: “The 2021 WMHD campaign will enable us to focus on the issues that perpetuate mental health inequality locally and globally.

"We want to support civil societies to play an active role in tackling inequality in their local areas. We want to encourage researchers to share what they know about mental health inequality including practical ideas about how to tackle this.”

Taking care of our mental health is as important as looking after our physical health and there are many resources available to the public which can help manage emotional wellbeing and which address dealing with issues such as isolation, sleep disturbance, and anxiety; they also provide short and valuable techniques to help everyone take care of their mental health, in addition to staying physically fit.

If your mental or emotional state quickly gets worse, or you're worried about someone you know then help is available.

You're not alone; talk to someone you trust. Sharing a problem is often the first step to recovery.

If you, or someone you care for, is in immediate danger call 999. If the crisis is not life threatening, call NHS 24 on 111 or speak to your GP. There are other services you can contact 24 hours a day for support, as per the following: Samaritans – 116 123 (calls are free and do not show on a phone bill); Breathing Space – 0800 83 85 87.

The Scottish Government has also developed a support site clearyourhead.scot to help people get through these times.

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