Going the green mile for mental health

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Walkers were asked to wear something green as they walked a mile, Lochgilphead style, to raise awareness of the issue of mental health.

In the same way that the colour pink has become associated with breast cancer, mental health awareness is represented by green.

The January 25 walk – supported and funded by mental health group Acumen along with the See Me programme and Argyll and Bute Council –  was intended to demonstrate support for people who have experienced poor mental health plus their families and friends.

Councillor Sandy Taylor

The day started at 10.30am with Tai Chi, led by Lynda Syed, at the Octagon in Blarbuie Woodlands, then a walk down to Manse Brae where more supporters were waiting.

From there, the group walked to Campbell Street and on to Lochgilphead Community Centre for soup, sandwiches and an opportunity to chat.

Audrey Baird, development worker with Acumen, said: ‘One of the legacies we hope to see following today’s event is the formation of a mental health forum for Mid Argyll. This will be a place for sharing, where people who have concerns about mental health can talk to people with lived experience and get in touch with the various service providers.’

Audrey is also looking for mental health ‘champions’ in Mid Argyll; people who care and are motivated to make a difference. She said: ‘It’s about empowering them, so they know the right people to speak to in order to make that difference.’

She added: ‘Mental health affects everyone. It’s nothing to be afraid of, so let’s talk about it.’

The Lochgilphead walk follows similar successful walks in Oban and Campbeltown.