Mental Health Awareness

Stacey Clark
May 18 2023


It’s Mental Health Awareness week and, although this is currently happening this week, we should all be mindful of this each day of the year and remember the “#bekind” mantra - be kind to ourselves and others, it costs nothing. You never truly know what is going in other people’s minds or lives.  Demand for mental health support is rising in Scotland and England. Even prior to COVID-19 mental health rates had been slowly rising, however since the pandemic this has only accelerated driving an increase in people needing access to Mental Health services.  On the 25th of January 2023, under the Ten-Minute Rule, Tory MP Mr Dean Russell presented a bill, proposing a new law making it a legal requirement for employers to provide mental health first aid training in the workplace.  At present, every employer in the UK is legally obliged to plan for the provision of first aid in the workplace.  However, there is no legal requirement yet for mental health first aid, and even then, just having mental health ambassadors in the workforce will not be enough.
With the cost of living going up more people have anxiety about how they will cope financially thus making them feel withdrawn from family and friends, unable to leave the house or go to work.  Generalised anxiety disorder (GAD) is the most common of all mental illnesses, causing psychological and physical symptoms leaving you unable to cope with daily life due to feelings of unease.  Everyone will have some feelings of anxiety at some point in their life, it is normal to be anxious about a job interview or a test or medical exam results or worry for your family, but if it starts to directly impact your daily life then it might be worth talking to someone.
If you think you might have GAD then consult your doctor, there is also talking therapies i.e. CBT (Cognitive Behavioural Therapies) available through the NHS
We have our mental health First Aiders/Ambassadors Leigh Reid Atanasov and Louise McDade who are trained in mental health first aid, and cannot emphasise enough that it’s good to talk!  We are joining the mental health foundation to “wear it green today” and make a donation to support to deliver programmes in communities for mental health.
Here are some other useful sources and helplines which are available for you to use:
  • MIND – The mental health charity -
  • SAMH - Info and advice for people living in Scotland - 0344 800 0550 -  
  • Samaritans – Call 116 123 for free 24/7
  • Shout – Text SHOUT to 85258 if you’re more comfortable speaking to someone through text
  • Campaign Against Living Miserably (CALM) - For men at risk of suicide – 0800 58 58 58 –
  • Sudden – Support for people bereaved by sudden death – 0800 121 6510 –   
  • Refuge – Support for children and woman experiencing abuse – 0808 2000 247 –  
  • Men’s advice Line – Support for men experiencing abuse – 0808 801 0327 –   


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