Mental Health Awareness Week in Argyll and Bute

Good mental health helps us flourish and positive relationships can play a part in this with research highlighting that positive relationships can help us to stay well and recover from illness. With mental health problems being one of the main causes of the overall disease burden worldwide it suggests we should be taking steps to improve our mental wellbeing.

Mental Health Awareness week this year is focusing upon relationships. Good relationships help us live longer and happier lives with fewer physical and mental health problems. Fewer relationships can contribute to loneliness. Research suggests that 31% of people feel lonely sometimes and the negative effect of loneliness has health consequences such as higher blood pressure, depression and higher rates of mortality.

The Mental Health Foundation believes that we cannot flourish as individuals or communities without strong relationships. Action we can take is to invest in our relationships – make time to spend with family and friends, really listen and engage with things they talk about. Helensburgh and Lomond Young Carers produced a short video for Scotlands Mental Health Arts and Film Festival 2015 which highlights the importance of talking and listening. The film, Talking is Power can be viewed along with two other films developed by young people and the Choose Life Project, on NHS Highlands Facebook page.

Notes to Editors: Mental Health Awareness Week runs from the 16th May to the 22nd May and focuses on relationships. The Mental Health Foundation leads on this event: for more information about the event go to: https://www.mentalhealth.org.uk/campaigns/mental-health-awareness-week.

There will be various awareness raising activities happening around Argyll and Bute such as promotion of some recent work developed by Choose Life (the suicide prevention project in Argyll and Bute), and young people in Oban and Tarbet High Schools. These short films discuss feelings which can precede common mental health issues, http://www.tigershark.tv/tarbert and talking about self harm http://www.tigershark.tv/selfharming or on the NHS Highland Facebook page. In addition, the Helensburgh and Lomond Young Carers have also developed a short film which promotes the value of talking in building and maintaining relationships. It can be viewed at: http://www.tigershark.tv/talking.