Mental health in spotlight

Debbie McGill (Galashiels Library), Steph Mackenzie (health improvement specialist) Emmie Mackay, (Conversations for Change) and Shirley Barrett (SBC joint health improvement team) at the Borders Mental Health Day event.
Debbie McGill (Galashiels Library), Steph Mackenzie (health improvement specialist) Emmie Mackay, (Conversations for Change) and Shirley Barrett (SBC joint health improvement team) at the Borders Mental Health Day event.

World Mental Health Day was marked in the Borders last week at an event hosted by Live Borders and Scottish Borders Council.

Members of the public were invited along to Galashiels library to talk about mental health issues affecting them, their families or their friends.

“There are many things that people can do to help look after their mental health, just in the same way that there are things they can do to look after their bodies,” said Live Borders arts development manager Lisa Denham.

Among the exhibitions staged on the day was artist Emmie Mackay’s Conversations for Change, a public art project funded by See Me and intended to encourage people to feel free to talk about mental health issues.

Live Borders health and physical activity development officer Paul Davis, Macmillan Move More Borders development officer Charlotte Young and Steph MacKenzie, mental health improvement specialist with NHS Borders, were also in attendance.

“World Mental Health Day is a chance to get us all to think about our mental health – what makes us feel good and what we can do to support the people around us,” said Allyson McCollam, associate director of public health.

Ewan Jackson, chief executive of Live Borders, added: “Research has shown that connecting with people, being active, taking notice, learning and giving can all have a positive effect on wellbeing.

“We are already planning to build on this for Mental Health Awareness Week next year.”