News and opinion Our News Mental Health Awareness Week 2019 13 - 19 May 2019 was Mental Health Awareness Week. We wanted to use the week to raise awareness of Mental Health issues and to let everyone know that it's okay to talk about mental health.. and it's okay not to be okay. We held a variety of activities across our services across Scotland to mark the week.. check out the roundup below to see what we got up to! Edinburgh The Stafford Centre held a live music open day in conjunction with OM music sanctuary on 14 May. There were some great tunes and we had a lovely time having a chat to you about what the centre has to offer. A big thank you to Ralph and the volunteers at Om Music Sanctuary for all their hard work and brilliant music. Fort William Up in Fort William, the Cothrom Centre took part in a 1 mile walk to convey the theme of "connected" on Friday. This saw the group walk from the swing park at An Aird, along the sea front and back to the parade where the group sang songs – including King of the Road. Ellen who works in the service said, "We had a couple from Sweden who asked to sing with us... A gentleman from Bangladesh sang a love song from his home, and two ladies from America listened to us sing Country Roads and shared with us that this was her best friend's favourite song, and it felt as if her friend was with her. Local taxi drivers also joined in the fun albeit from the open windows of their taxis, and to finish the afternoon off a local busker played us a lovely tune called the Dark Island. It all turned out to be a very successful and fun day!" Read the full media coverage here. Stewartry Stewartry re-opened in their fresh new location - Station Yard, this Wednesday. They had fun celebrating Mental Health Awareness Week in their new digs by having a cake decorating competition, playing new video games and undertaking an exercise on what happiness means for different people. The local support for the move has been heartwarming, with offers of donations and manual labour flooding in. Look out for their next big project, "The Blossoming Minds" project, which will see the garden being made-over into a lovely new space for groups and activities. More here: https://www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk/news/stewartry-service-shifts-to-station-yard Golspie In Golspie they have started a Fair Door Project after seeing some out and about during their walking group! One of their very talented service users have started them off with these beautiful hand crafted pieces. Highlands & Islands Project Gemma from our Highlands & Islands team has been busy spreading awareness of our organisation during the week, including meetings with local partners, a sports team there and a group called "Talk, Sport, Share Memories" to discuss mental health. They also set up a wall of hope at Claddach Kirkibost where some people have contributed post-it's with messages of hope. SiMS Out and About Our Mental Health & Money Advice line adviser Sarah visited the Borders Mental Health Awareness Festival in Duns Volunteer Hall to talk to people about our unique service, as it offers help for those facing problems in both areas, which can very often overlap. https://mentalhealthandmoneyadvice.org Our Information Officer Barbara attended the UK Mental Health Nurses Conference at the Edinburgh Corn Exchange, which was certainly a lively event with over 500 attending! There were speakers’ personal stories, comic Luisa Omielan was there providing some laughs, and also sharing her own family experiences, workshops and lots more on offer! Barbara also attended Forth Valley college, talking to students about mental health on the Stirling campus, we also got a bunch of sign ups for our 100 Streets Challenge there too! A trip to London! It felt like good timing that the GSK Impact awards ceremony landed during Mental Health Awareness Week. A team of our staff went down to join in the celebrations. We didn't win overall winner, but we still had a great night, and we loved seeing this short video GSK made, we feel it's a great snapshot of what we are and what we do! Read the full story & watch the video here. 100km for Rural Mental Health Fundraiser Vhairi Winton + friends set out on their 100km sponsored walk on the 16th to raise funds & awareness for the Forum. Speaking about the cause, Vhairi Winton who is leading the group said, "As a young girl I watched my mum struggle with poor mental health for many years. Tragically she ended up taking her own life when I was 10. It's because of my experience that I really wanted to raise awareness of how serious poor mental health is. The forum does an incredible job of reaching out to those who are struggling with mental health problems in rural Scotland." The walk was tough going, and took 2 days to complete. Check their justgiving page for more updates! https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/vhairi-winton SiMS Rural Work mentioned in#MadeAtUni top 100 list! Scotland’s Rural College and SiMS partnership work made it into the #MadeAtUni 'Nation’s Lifesavers' campaign, depicting the 100+ ways universities are saving lives & keeping us healthy. 'The findings have changed the approach taken by SiMs to tackle mental health issues and is helping to shape policy in Scotland' - See the page here. And.... our sheep! Auchingarrich Wildlife Centre let us add a very cute tinge of tartan to Mental Health Awareness Week this year - thanks to April the sheep and her lamb Ewan. Read the full story here.