Have you ever been asked if you’re ok and said ‘I’m fine’? Sometimes that’s easier than saying the truth because the truth can be scary. Local charity Mind Your Head in partnership with Choose Life are keen to make sure that people know there is no shame in saying ‘I’m not fine’.

From the 7th to the 13th of September, the ‘Let’s talk about suicide prevention awareness roadshow’ will again be touring the length and breadth of Shetland. Last year we asked over 300 people ‘what would make a difference to people choosing or not choosing suicide in Shetland?” Many respondents said that they were unsure of where or how to access help. The roadshow this year has been designed to promote an important message; that it’s okay to ask for help and where those places are.

Jacqui Clark, Team Leader at Mind Your Head said “This year’s message is not just about suicide prevention awareness but also about mental health and wellbeing in general. We want people to be able to be open and honest about how they are feeling and to not let stigma stand in the way.”

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 Roadshow will launch on Sunday 7th September with an online promotion, starting at 2pm, which will be promoting #suicidepreventionshetland using the local charities social media which includes Twitter, Facebook, their website as well as an online blog through wordpress.

Then during the week the team will visit various locations ranging from shops to places of work promoting the campaign’s message. There will also be a drop-in on Wednesday 10th September from 1pm 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.

The week’s awareness raising will close on Saturday 13th September when Northern Focus Parkour 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.