Highland residents are being encouraged not to ‘…hide behind fine’ in a new radio ad being launched across the region as part of National Breathing Space Day on 1st February.

The ad invites listeners not to hide behind saying ‘I’m fine’ – and is intended as a prompt to open up when feeling down either with friends or family or by contacting Breathing Space.

The radio ad will be heard first in the Highlands as Breathing Space Day also marks the launch of a year-long plan of activity across the region with the National Rural Mental Health Forum to raise awareness of the range of services available to support mental wellbeing locally.

Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator, said:

“It's certainly been challenging times for everyone but it’s inspiring to work with the organisations of the National Rural Mental Health Forum, who are all so committed to supporting people to stay mentally healthy. We are very much looking forward to working in Highland this year, offering time and space to connect and reflect, and showing that we shouldn't be afraid to talk about how we are feeling through taking time to listen and share.

 “If anyone who is struggling and needs a listening ear, our advisors at Breathing Space are available in the evenings and at the weekends on 0800 83 85 87 or through web chat, to listen and offer information and advice. If you’re worried or feeling down, please get in touch for some ‘breathing space’”

Jim Hume, Convenor of The National Rural Mental Health Forum said:

“Support in Mind Scotland and the National Rural Mental Health Forum recognise that NHS 24’s Breathing Space provides vital support for people in need, we are delighted to work in partnership to promote their work and help people who need that support. We look forward to the year ahead together and to hearing the all-important message that when contacting Breathing Space no one needs to  ‘…hide behind fine’.

Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP said:

“Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as looking after our physical health. That message is especially relevant at the moment, given the continuing challenges which we all face in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Breathing Space is a free service providing vital out-of-hours support to people across Scotland who are feeling low, stressed or anxious. I’m delighted to highlight the help available, to support Breathing Space Day and the new “Don’t Hide Behind Fine” message.  It’s great to see the partnership work between Breathing Space and the National Rural Mental Health Forum.

“I would urge anyone who is experiencing low mood, anxiety or distress in their lives to get in touch with Breathing Space through the helpline; through NHS24 on 111; or by looking at the range of helpful advice on the Breathing Space website

For more information contact NHS 24 Communications on [email protected]

Breathing Space Day

Every year on 1st February for National Breathing Space Day, Scots are encouraged to take some 'breathing space' away from life's stresses. Highland residents will be the first to hear the new radio ad which is being launched across the region. The message ‘don’t hide behind fine’ will be carried into the planned activity throughout the year. Other parts of Scotland will be included at a later date.

About Breathing Space

  • Breathing Space receive around 11,800 calls each month from people across Scotland struggling with their mental health. Trained advisors are able to give support and advice on a wide range of issues, including loneliness, relationship issues and anxiety.
  • Callers contact Breathing Space for a wide range of reasons, including relationship issues, stress, anxiety and suicidal thoughts. During the pandemic the service has seen an increase in issues such as bereavement, work and money worries, and loneliness.
  • Breathing Space is a free and confidential phone service available to anyone across Scotland. Advisors can listen, offer advice and signpost callers onto help in their local area. Call advisors are available 6pm – 2am (Monday – Thursday) and 24 hours at weekends (Friday 6pm –Monday 6am) on Freephone 0800 83 85 87.


  • Breathing Space uses the interpretation service, Language Line, to support callers who cannot, or prefer not to, speak English. Language Line is private, confidential and free to use.
  • Relay UK - You can also contact Breathing Space using the Relay UK app.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum

The National Rural Mental Health Forum is a strong dedicated network of over 225 organisations from third, private and public sectors, with an outreach of over 500,000 people in rural Scotland.

The National Rural Mental Health Forum is passionate about

  • enabling rural people to be open about their mental health
  • developing a solid evidence base for what works to improve people’s lives
  • creating a programme to influence and inform policy-makers to channel resources in ways that bring positive change through a network of rural organisations across Scotland