On Sunday afternoon at 2pm local charity Mind Your Head, in partnership with Choose Life, launched ‘Let’s Talk about suicide prevention’ as part of national suicide prevention awareness week.

This year’s campaign was launched online with a number of posts through social media and Mind Your Head’s new website. Each post promoted information connected to this year’s message which is ‘Stop saying I’m fine if you’re not’. During the launch, which lasted two and a half hours, over 2,000 Shetland residents were reached with posts and information shared online through Mind Your Head’s Facebook, Twitter, Wordpress and website.

The team has now taken to the road in a pickup which has been kindly provided by Jim’s Garage Toyota for the charity to use during the week. This in-kind sponsorship is proving invaluable to ensure the roadshow can tour the length and breadth of Shetland. On Monday the team visited grocery shops on mainland Shetland in order to talk to shop keepers and promote the campaign message. They will also travel to the north isles on Thursday as well as visit trade shops in Lerwick on Friday.

On Tuesday the team are promoting the campaign with contract workers at the new gas plant. Then, on Wednesday there will be a drop-in on from 12.30pm till 5.30pm in Islesburgh Community Centre for people who may have been affected by suicide or who are concerned about their own or someone else’s mental health and wellbeing. Please come along and have an informal chat.

Karen Smith, Choose Life Co-ordinator, said “this year’s message highlights that we can all play a vital role by talking to each other about our problems. It really is ok to say ‘I’m not fine. It really is ok to hear someone say ‘they’re not fine.’ The important part is what we do with that information once it’s out in the open. There are a variety of places people can access help and there is no shame in doing so. We are aiming to highlight these places for the community of Shetland over the coming week.

The week’s awareness raising will come to an end with Northern Focus Parkour on Saturday afternoon. The team will undertake their annual cat crawl to promote the importance of exercise in maintaining mental health and wellbeing as well as promoting friendship and team work. This year their cat crawl relay will cover over a 3 mile course from Clickimin Leisure Complex around Lerwick starting from 12 noon and finishing at 3pm.