Each year Mind Your Head team up with Choose Life to promote Suicide Prevention Awareness Week throughout the isles. From the 7th to the 12th of September, the ‘Let’s talk about suicide prevention awareness roadshow’ will again be touring the length and breadth of Shetland.

Last year there were over 100 face to face conversations and online engagements reached over 3,000 local individuals. Like last year the Roadshow will be touring in a vehicle kindly loaned for the week by Jim’s Garage, which will clearly display the campaign message.

This year the team are promoting the message that “There is no shame in saying I’m not fine and it’s okay to ask for help”. 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’ and to feel comfortable in doing so. 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 timetable for the week is very busy and includes school assembly talks delivered in Unst, Yell and Brae along with the official launch of a new initiative called “Da Grubby Hut.” The idea developed last year when the team visited several male dominated industry workplaces during the Roadshow. Men are an important target as the Mind Your Head 2014 survey highlighted men’s mental health awareness as a priority area and statistically men are more at risk of suicide. “Grubby Huts” has been designed to go into workplaces and encourage help-seeking behaviour whilst promote mental health positively. Anouska Civico from Mind Your Head explained “It provides an opportunity for us to start conversations about mental health and wellbeing with an important target group whilst also gathering information to help inform our new support services.”

There will also be a very special awareness raising charity football game held on Saturday 12th at 1pm on the junior pitch at Clickimin. The football game will see the Mind Your Head Dream Team take on the mighty SFA ‘Oldies’. The Dream Team players are being kept secret till the day but the charity promises that some “weel kent faces” will be taking part on the day. Shona Manson, Chair of Mind Your Head, said, “I hope we will see a big crowd at the game to help support our fantastic Dream Team, show support for suicide prevention awareness and at the same time help us raise funds for our new mental health support services in Shetland.”

The Roadshow will launch on Monday 7th September with an online promotion, starting at 9am, which will be promoting #SPAW15 along with important campaign messages during the week. Mind Your Head hope the local community will help share the information which will be circulated during the week on social media.

For more information on the roadshow or mental health in general please click here.