Mind Your Head
Mind Your Head is a charity formed to promote mental health positively in Shetland. We do this by running awareness raising programmes and events in schools and in the community. Maybe you have met us at your school or have taken part in our annual fun run?
We do this because everyone has mental health – it’s not something you catch! We all have feelings and emotions and sometimes things happen in life that can upset us or make us feel sad.
When we are out and about talking with you we are also listening to what your big concerns are. We have then gone away and put together a facts section for you that provides information and advice on these concerns.
Mental health is just the same as any other illness – only you cannot see it. It’s important to remember that having mental illness is not a sign of weakness.
Your mental health is part of you – everybody has mental health it’s just that sometimes things happen that can affect it. Our mental health and wellbeing is how we feel everyday. Check out our mental health and wellbeing tips here.
Common causes of mental illness include stress, anxiety, physical health, body chemistry and social problems. Illnesses include depression, anxiety, obsessive compulsion disorder, phobias and bipolar disorder. You can find out more about these illnesses in our mental health information section.
What is really important to remember is when you feel that things are too much like maybe you have been feeling sad for a long time or you can’t sleep at night or you are self-harming or things just feel overwhelming – well that’s the time to be brave and ask for help. There’s no shame in asking for help and if you feel like that now then contact any of the helplines detailed in support section.
We do a lot of things in the community. We go in to schools a lot to raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing. We do this for 2 very simple reasons - the first is to make sure you all know when you need to ask for help if you are feeling unwell or if you are struggling to cope. The other reason we do it is to tackle the stigma of mental health.
So, what do we mean by stigma? Put simply stigma is a lack of understanding - it's when people say things, do things or think things which are hurtful to anyone that has experienced mental ill health. Let us put it another way - if you were unwell with depression would you like to be told you were mental? The simple fact is you are unwell - what right does anyone have to call you something which is untrue and incredibly hurtful?
Stigma is about words and it is about attitudes that exist inside us and our community. We know it is out there. We asked you all to tell us stigma terms that you use everyday in normal conversations. The simple truth - you all know there are words that are used without anyone really understanding the meaning or the impact they can have on someone. There is also this invisible rule that it is not really okay (especially if you are a bloke) to say you are feeling sad or emotional - that's a sign of weakness. That is stigma - let us assure you it really is better to ask for help. Let us show you why and how...
Here is a real life story from a young person called Ashlea. She wanted to share her story with you all to help tackle stigma and to help people understand what can happen. Take a few minutes to read Ashlea's story here.