We are delighted to announce the date for their 3rd annual Round Spiggie Fun Run and Walk as Sunday 3rd August 2008.

The previous two events have attracted more than 500 participants and have raised around £9,000 for the charity.

Shona Manson, Chairperson said "We are extremely pleased with how successful the Fun Run has been and hope that we can continue to attract good numbers. The event is open to everyone: runners, walkers, pushchairs, dogs, mam’s, dads and bairns, not forgetting granny’s and granddads too and participants can choose to run or walk the 5km or 10km routes. The event is not just about raising funds for Mind Your Head but equally importantly to raise awareness of mental health issues in Shetland and help reduce the stigma that exists. We are keen to encourage people of all walks of life to join us for a great day out for all the family and to think about ways we can all make an impact on our own, and others, mental wellbeing."

Lerwick Building Centre Limited is sponsoring the event this year. Leslie Irvine, Managing Director said, "We were keen to offer sponsorship for this very worthwhile cause. Mind Your Head is getting people thinking about mental health. The Spiggie Fun Run is an excellent event and provides a tremendous social occasion for meeting people and also enjoying Shetland’s beautiful countryside. We can all benefit from getting out and exercising."

As in previous years the event will start and finish from the Dunrossness Playing Fields with Sunday teas being served in the Dunrossness Public Hall afterwards. Further information and how to register can be found on the Fun Run 2008 page or telephone 01595 741322.

Mind Your Head was formally registered as a charity just over a year ago. At a recent AGM the committee was reformed with 15 members including people who have experienced mental ill health themselves or in friends/family, mental health and other professionals and others with a general interest in the subject.

A great deal of work has been going on behind the scenes building new and strengthening existing links with mental health strategic bodies. We are currently working closely with the Shetland Meantl Health Partnership and NES (NHS Education for Scotland) to secure funds for a proposed Mind Your Head Support Worker post. The post will offer sessional support to individuals suffering from mild to moderate mental health issues. In addition the post would also provide training to other professionals e.g. G.P’s and Practice Nurses, on the delivery of self help materials with the aim of helping to build community resilience and reduce the need for prescribing antidepressants. It is recognised that with support at the early stages of mental ill health people can be helped to help themselves and learn about ways of improving their own mental well being.

Ms Manson stated, ‘We are hopeful that we will hear about the success of our funding bid in the next month or so. We are keen to link Mind Your Head funds with NHS funding in this way with the aim of establishing a post that is secure for the longer term. We are working closely with professionals from the Primary Care Counselling Service and the Community Mental Health Team to design a service that fills a gap in existing service provision and meets the needs of mild to moderate mental ill health more quickly and effectively, avoiding long waiting lists and inappropriate referrals.’

The Mind Your Head team are also working with the Moving On Employment Project (MOEP) to launch a new publication offering tips on positive mental health. Following the success of the recipe book produced by MOEP at the end of 2007 the groups will be inviting a range of people in Shetland to publish their ‘Top 10 tips’ for positive mental health.

Work has also started on a project with the Young Persons Empowerment and Participation Officer, Aimee Barclay. Along with committee members from Mind Your Head and a number of young people, the group plan to produce a range of information on mental health and wellbeing aimed at young people in Shetland.

Ms Manson finished by saying, ‘We would like to say a huge thank you to everyone who has donated so generously over the past year which will enable us to be sustainable and continue to raise profile of mental health issues in Shetland’.

For further information of the aims of Mind Your Head please contact Shona Manson on 01595 696465 or email [email protected].