A BENCH has been unveiled in Golspie to celebrate the 50th anniversary of mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland.

The 50th Take Some Breathing Space bench was unveiled at Support in Mind Scotland’s Gatehouse service in Golspie.
The 50th Take Some Breathing Space bench was unveiled at Support in Mind Scotland’s Gatehouse service in Golspie.

The charity has partnered with NHS 24 Breathing Space to coincide with the launch of their 50th bench in Scotland, situated in the Sutherland village.

The 50th Take Some Breathing Space bench was unveiled at Support in Mind Scotland’s Gatehouse service in Golspie on Friday October 21.

It is hoped that the bench will raise awareness of mental health and wellbeing in the local community and provides a space to sit and take some breathing space with a bit of time out for oneself or listening and talking to others.

Maree Todd MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, also Minister for Public Health, Women’s Health and Sport, attended the event to help cut the ribbon alongside Support in Mind Scotland and NHS 24 Breathing Space colleagues.

Support in Mind Scotland’s service in Golspie, The Gatehouse, is a safe and comfortable resource centre for people who are affected by mental ill health to access support through one-to-one and group support.

The service offers a diverse timetable of activities to promote activities with peer support and wellbeing sessions to help build self-esteem and confidence.

The Gatehouse also operates as a hub for staff to deliver outreach support to those in East Sutherland.

Jim Hume, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Support in Mind Scotland, said:

“Support in Mind Scotland have been supporting people with poor mental health for 50 years and we are delighted to partner with NHS 24 to mark this occasion with their 50th Take Some Breathing Space’s 50th bench here in the Highlands.

“Support in Mind Scotland is dedicated to supporting people with their mental health across Scotland and this bench helps promote mental health awareness in the community to ensure that no one has to face mental ill health alone.”

The national Breathing Space service from NHS 24 works to address the stigma around wellbeing and mental health, while offering support to those who need it.

With a free helpline, the details of which are displayed on each Breathing Space bench, those who need support can call the number and speak to advisors about a wide range of issues such as loneliness, relationship issues, anxiety, or mental health difficulties.

For the bench initiative Breathing Space work with groups and organisations who are committed to supporting mental health and wellbeing in their teams and communities.

Lisa-Jane Dock, National Development Officer at NHS 24 Breathing Space, said

"We are honoured to be to be sharing this occasion with Support in Mind Scotland to mark the ways our organisations can support local people together. People using our benches have told us that taking time for a sit and a chat, or even just sitting alone to take in the surroundings, helps them to stay in touch with others and with their own wellbeing.

"We also know that the benches are a visible sign of a safe space where wellbeing is everyone's business. If anyone needs a chat beyond the bench our advisors are available to listen on the phone or webchat and we'd love to hear from you."

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