SUPPORT in Mind Scotland is marking World Mental Health Day 2016 on Monday, 10 October with a series of events throughout the week.

WMHD was first celebrated in 1992 at the initiative of the World Federation for Mental Health, a global mental health organisation with members and contacts in more than 150 countries. The theme chosen for this year’s World Mental Health Day, covers “Psychological First Aid”.

In Dumfries & Galloway, there is a whole week of events, including information, interactive art and activities at 28 Munches Street in Dumfries.

An art exhibition showcasing work from around Support in Mind Scotland's projects in the region will be officially opened on Monday night (10 Oct) at the Ice Bowl in Dumfries, while in Stranraer that same evening there will be an awareness-raising Tandoori night. Also scheduled is a pub quiz, live music and a drama performance.

The art exhibition, entitled 'All Square' features the work of the Life Skills Project art group, together with the art group from Stewartry Resource Centre in Castle Douglas.  The opening is from 7-9pm, but the exhibition will run until 30 November. The Ice Bowl is open every day, from early morning until late evening, and should you wish to visit, the staff there will make you feel very welcome. 

The winners of a Creative Schools competition in Dumfries and Galloway, which was run in the buld-up to WMHD, have been announced. The winning school was Dalry Secondary School (art teacher Mrs Tracy Collins).

Pupils were asked 'What keeps you mentally well?' and the students who won were:

  • 1st: Florrie Newbery for her picture about Baking
  • 2nd: Arran Macdonald- Kiernon for his picture about games with Picachu
  • Commendations to: Laura Eddigton for her picture about Music; Finlay McGaw for his picture about Books and leaves.

At the Stafford Centre in Edinburgh, there will be an open day on Thursday 13 October from 11am to 3pm. There will be an exhibition of works from the Stafford Centre art group, as part of the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival.

In the Highlands, meanwhile, the Gatehouse in Golspie this week launched their new initiative of having a 'lunch club' on the first Monday of each month. On 3 October. Dr Paul Monaghan - the MP for Caithness, Sutherland and Easter Ross - came along in support of the day.
Service users are also working on a collage made of materials they have brought in, while on  Monday 10 October, the service users will celebrate the day by taking a trip out to Littleferry with the RSPB to watch wading birds. 

The Glengarry Centre have taken the eye-catching display board they put together for our 1 in 100 Campaign to the local library in Fort William between 4 and 10 October.

They have also organised a baking and book stall, and will be attending the Three Wise Monkeys climbing wall as part of our block booking offered at a reduced rate by the business to support service users and increase mental health awareness in the local area.

Our 1 in 100 Fundraising and Awareness Campaign comes to a close on WMHD. The 100-day campaign, which launched on 3 July, has been a success with people from across the country playing their part to support our charity and our work. 

World Mental Health Day also heralds the start of the 2016 Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival.

‘Time’ is the theme for the 2016 Festival, in its 10th year, which will take place in venues across Scotland from 10-31 October.

One of the world’s largest social justice festivals, with annual attendances of over 25,000, this year’s SMHAFF will see over 300 events staged throughout the country, including film, performing arts, literature, music and visual arts. The Festival aims to support the arts and challenge preconceived ideas about mental health.

World Mental Health Day is also supported by the World Health Organisation (WHO).

Explaining the theme on their website, WHO explained: "Despite its name, psychological first aid covers both psychological and social support. Just like general health care never consists of physical first aid alone, similarly no mental health care system should consist of psychological first aid alone.

"Indeed, the investment in psychological first aid is part of a longer-term effort to ensure that anyone in acute distress due to a crisis is able to receive basic support, and that those who need more than psychological first aid will receive additional advanced support from health, mental health and social services."

If you would like us to publicise any other local events being organised to mark World Mental Health Day please contact [email protected]