Mind Your Head are delighted to announce that they have been awarded over £300,000 over a three-year period to launch much needed mental health support services.

Mind Your Head are delighted to announce that they have been awarded over £300, 000 over a three-year period to launch much needed mental health support services.

The charity, which was established in 2005, has been focussing on designing and developing a low-level support service for the last two years. Anouska Civico was appointed back in January 2015 to work on the project. The new support service will fill a gap identified not only in the MYH Community Survey that was conducted in 2014 but also from our own research. MYH have undertaken Shetland-wide and focused research to inform the Programme's development. The Board and partner services are confident that the Programmes are going to be a well used and clearly meet an unidentified gap at Tier 1 of mental health provision in Shetland, that will have prevent or delay an individual's acceleration of need through the Tiers.

The service is a very exciting new direction for the charity, yet it is still committed to doing the work that the charity has become known for For the last 11 years, Mind Your Head has campaigned to make Shetland a place where we talk about mental ill health freely and without judgement. The Men’s films, ‘Grubby Hut’ initiative and more recently, the ‘Don’t Bottle It Up campaign are evidence of the work done by the charity, along with the annual Fun Run and Walk.

Anouska Civico, Project Manager said “For the last two years, my role along with the day-to-day running of the charity has been to design and develop the support service along with securing the funding! To finally see it all come together and to know first-hand what impact this will have on individuals is a great sense of achievement for the charity. The support given to MYH is overwhelming not just financially but we have had so much support in helping us to achieve this long-term goal.

Despite the funding for the service, there is still a need for the charity to raise money and for the community to help us with this so that we can continue our work raising awareness of mental health issues. For the last 11 years, the Shetland community has been overwhelmingly generous and has funded the day-to-day running and the work of the charity. We hope that the support will continue and we hope that the community see this has been a much-needed service and hope that where necessary people use this service.”

Katrina Wiseman, Chair of MYH said “We are very excited to launch our much needed new support service, namely the Wellness Programme and the Wellness Together Programme, which fills a gap in mental health service provision in Shetland. This is a major step change for Mind Your Head moving from an awareness raising organisation to service delivery for the community. Our new team of staff will help people, and their carers, who need some encouragement or advice on what they can do to support their mental wellbeing and better meet their emotional and physical needs so they are more emotionally resilient and happier.

I am delighted to be part of the strong committed committee responsible for Mind Your Head, and we have now set up as a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation to allow us to take this new service forward. We have an exciting year ahead as we hope to have appointed a service manager by the end of May, the remainder of staff by the end of June, and to begin service delivery in August."

The 2017 Mind Your Head Committee, from left to right:

Anouska Civico, Graeme Howell, Emma Perring, Paul Nadin, Katrina Wiseman, Gill Gover, Nicola Halcrow, Kirsten Nicolson (Sheila Thomas is missing from this photo)

Nicola Halcrow, Founding member of MYH and Trustee said “When we established Mind Your Head in 2005 our aspiration from the very start was to provide a support service in Shetland and it has really been on our agenda since the charity was formed. Having a charity such as Mind Your Head in the community has raised awareness around mental health issues and hopefully gone a long way to encourage folk to be more open and seek help when needed. The support service is now the next stage, providing early intervention support for people who are feeling they are needing that little but more help.

We’ve had incredible financial support from the local community over the years which has allowed us to raise awareness around mental health and more latterly research and develop the support service, based on local need. It’s fantastic that we’ve now been able to secure external funding to take this forward.”

The new service comprises two programmes, the Wellness Programme and Wellness Together Programme

The Wellness Programme

A Shetland wide, open access, free and confidential, low level supported Wellness Programme to support individuals aged 18 years and over to improve their mental wellbeing and their day-to-day functioning, as well as developing and/or improving their coping mechanisms. The programme offers time-limited support for up to three months on an individual basis to be delivered in a variety of settings and at intervals that meet the individual’s needs.

The programme will be made up of four strands:

1. One-to-one support sessions offering guided self-help techniques/coping strategies.

2. A planned activities programme which will include: dog walking group, bake and bite (baking group where you then eat what you have made with other people within the group), beachcombing, music group/singing group, day trips (a chance to get away from it all) and music therapy.

3. ‘Grubby Hut ’sessions: facilitated session at male dominated workplaces to talk to men about mental health, over their lunch break.

4. Signposting: signpost people who are not eligible for the service to alternative agencies and for service users who require other input from other specialist agencies.

The Wellness Together Programme

Alongside the Wellness Programme, the Project will run a Wellness Together Programme for people who are supporting/caring for someone who is experiencing a change in their mental wellbeing. This will be a short-term service of around 6-8 weeks. This too will have four strands to it.

1. Practical advice: sessions will be run either on a one-to-one basis or group sessions.

2. Self-awareness: recognising the supporters own mental wellbeing, making sure they have enough resilience of their own to cope with supporting someone else.

3. Supporters will be given the opportunity to attend the planned activities with or without the person, they are supporting.

4. Signposting: to help identify what their needs are and who is best to support them with these once the service with us is complete.

Contact Anouska Civico on 01595 745035 for more information.