Mind Your Head was created in 2005 following personal experiences of its founding members. The first money was received following the funeral of a family member who died by suicide in 2004 following many years suffering from mental health problems.
Mind Your Head became formally constituted in January 2006 and in June 2007 became a registered charity with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).
Our first fundraising event was the Round Spiggie Fun Run and Walk which took place in August 2005. Participants were able to walk or run a 5k or 10k route around the beautiful Spiggie Loch in the South Mainland of Shetland. Due to the success of this event, we decided to hold it as our annual fundraising event. The event has grown significantly since then and in 2013 more than 600 people took part. Of equal importance to the funds raised is the statement that the event makes about mental health, where people are becoming more open about their personal situation and others less frightened by the taboo of mental health.
Since our formation, our key achievements have been:
Employed staff from November 2010 to further the work of the Charity.
Development of our website providing mental health information and emergency contacts. The website includes an online facility to register for the annual Round Spiggie Fun Run and Walk. Website sponsored by NB Communication.
Delivered a range of education initiatives, including 'Minders', The Secondary School Roadshow in 2012 and a created an information card for young people with advice on mental health and wellbeing.
Organised a Young People and Mental Health Focus Day to inform support service developments.
Launched The Promise and delivered ongoing awareness raising collaborations with local partners
Trained staff as accredited trainers - safeTALK & Respect Me Anti-Bullying
Maintained close links with mental health professionals to ensure that Mind your Head works in tangent with existing services in a complimentary way.
Representation on the Mental Health Partnership, Mental Health Forum and MH3S the new mental health forum for the 3rd sector.
Formed relationships with national organisations including See Me and Choose Life.
Secured funding from NHS Education Scotland and NHS Shetland to employ a full-time Self-Help Facilitator for two years.
We want Shetland to be a place where:
Mental health is supported positively within the community
Information and knowledge of support services is easily accessible
People do not feel isolated because of mental illness
Negative attitudes are replaced with understanding and acceptance
The work of Mind Your Head is underpinned by a number of key aims:
To raise mental health awareness in Shetland
To reduce the stigma of mental ill-health
To promote positive mental health and well-being
To promote mental health support services and training
To research mental health and associated needs within the community
To work in partnership with existing organisations to further the aims of the charity
We have agreed promises which we will focus on over the coming years. These will be updated and developed as part of our ongoing organisational planning:
Tackle stigma within our community
Continue raising awareness and improving understanding of mental ill health
Promote ways in which to improve mental health wellbeing
Consult the community on matters relating to mental ill health
Monitor and measure trends and changes in attitude
Improve knowledge and access to information on support services and self help
Facilitate and influence policy and service developments
Explore ways in which to reduce isolation for people experiencing mental ill health
Undertake fundraising in order that for every £1 raised within the community that it is matched by at least 50% from external sources
The work of Mind Your Head is only made possible by the fact that we are supported and have the opportunity to work alongside key partners both locally and nationally. These include:
Mental Health Partnership
Shetland Islands Council
3rd sector forum & MH3S
Voluntary Action Shetland
Comments/feedback from public & participants during 2013:
“Great to hear from Young People themselves of their experiences around mental health, stigma etc.” – participant feedback from Young People’s mental Health Focus Day
“This session was useful as it highlighted the different attitudes that people have in relation to self harm.” – participant feedback from introduction to self-harm course
“The discussion generated was great. I think that it made me realised how I need to understand technology better to better protect young people.” – feedback from participant on the online wellbeing short course
“The afternoon session involved quite a lot of reading and chalk talk rather than activity based. All the interactive parts of the course were good and the group activities were valuable.” – participant feedback Respect Me Anti-Bullying training day
“My partner I were visiting Shetland in September and attended the MYH AGM. Over that last months, we've kept coming back to the good work that you are doing in the community.” – contact through website.
To find out more about our work please look at our Trustees’ Annual Report and Accounts.
Mind your Head and Voluntary Action Shetland (VAS) are working together to support a Wellness Café. They are being supported in this venture by Amanda Tait from Coffee and Keetchin who is offering her premises as a venue for the café.