“Be kind and be aware” on mental health

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has highlighted the importance of supporting friends and family with mental health issues.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “This week is Suicide Prevention Awareness Week and it reminds us to be aware of friends, relatives or neighbours who may be struggling with their mental health.

“The Covid-19 pandemic has been a very significant challenge for many of us, but some are more vulnerable to the impact the enforced isolation has brought. That’s why it’s so important to be kind and to be aware.

“Keeping in touch with friends and family, or a gentle enquiry when something seems wrong, could make all the difference to someone who may be feeling vulnerable. It’s good for people to know that they’re not alone.

“We must also remember that young people can be badly affected, and many have not had the access to the support their friend groups provide and which can be a huge help.

“We know from analysis that the younger age group, and particularly young men, can have a particularly tough time, and the Scottish Youth Parliament found mental health was one of the key concerns of the young people they surveyed”.

Mr Halcro Johnston added: “Help is always available. And NHS Inform provide an excellent sign-posting service to help you find it at: www.nhsinform.scot/campaigns/suicide.“