Barlinnie welcomed Support in Mind Scotland into the prison yesterday (28 November) to talk to inmates and staff about our work and services as part of a Mental Health Awareness month at the Glasgow jail.

The Mental Health event, split into morning and afternoon sessions, included stand-up comedy routines from Support in Mind Scotland ambassador Gary Little, Des McLean and Iain Hume, which were very well received at Scotland's largest prison, which dates back to 1882.

Gary, pictured below, spent time behind bars when he was younger and has spoken frankly about his own mental health in the past, and regularly supports Scottish prisons by putting on comedy shows.

Before the comedy gig, Support in Mind Scotland's Fundraising & Communications Manager Colin Leslie, and Lorraine Keith - the National Family Network Co-ordinator for our Caring Connections project - talked to prisoners about our charity's work, including support for friends and families of those affected by mental illness, the Mental Health & Money Advice Service, and our National Information Service.

Colin said: "Mental health issues are at the forefront of everyday life in Scottish prisons, and Barlinnie and the Scottish Prison Service are to be applauded for taking this initiative to raise awareness in such a positive way. We were given the warmest of welcomes and there was real interest in the help and support we and other mental health organisations can offer.

"We were keen to reinforce the message that mental health should be treated the same as physical health, and that when someone needs for help they should not be afraid to ask for it. The prisoners and staff engaged exceptionally well and we are grateful for the opportunity."

Barlinnie's Mental Health Awareness month concluded the following day with a Fun run supported by the footballers' union PFA Scotland and mental health charity Back Onside.