Island organisations join ‘See me’ campaign

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NHS Western Isles, the Northern Constabulary and Stornoway Coast Guard were among eight organisations who have formally pledged their commitment to join ‘see me’ in tackling the stigma and discrimination associated with mental ill-health.

Alongside the formal pledge signing, the organisations agreed action plans with ‘see me’, which will help foster a change in attitudes and ensure the topic of mental illness is more openly discussed in the workplace and within the local community.

Each organisation has committed to providing staff with the support necessary to sustain a mentally healthy workplace. They have also agreed to assist with the promotion of future national campaigns on mental health issues, such as Scottish Mental Health Week (SMHW).

‘see me’, Scotland’s national campaign to tackle the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health, works in partnership with local organisations and public bodies across Scotland and seeks to raise awareness of the importance of mental health, in the workplace and beyond. ‘see me’ is committed to empowering people to speak openly and confidently about mental ill-health in order to break down the barriers that people face.

All eight organisations publicly signed the pledge along with Suzie Vestri, ‘see me’ Campaign Director.

Suzie Vestri said: “We welcome the commitment made by organisations in the Western Isles to support us in tackling the stigma and discrimination that surrounds mental ill-health.

“With one in four Scots affected by mental health problems at some point in their lives, everyone has a role to play in ending negative perceptions of mental ill-health.

“What organisations do and say about mental health can make a huge difference. We hope the support pledged will encourage other businesses, groups and organisations to take positive action by joining us in signing the ‘see me’ pledge and implementing an action plan.”

Jennifer Porteous, Director of Human Resources and Workforce Development at NHS Western Isles, said: “We are proud to pledge our support to the ‘see me’ campaign and are dedicated to working with them to challenge the stigma and discrimination of mental ill-health. By publicly signing the pledge, we hope that we will encourage others to join us in taking positive action.”

Gordon MacLeod, Chief Inspector of Northern Constabulary, said: “We’re really pleased to pledge our support to ‘see me’ and play our part in eliminating the stigma of mental ill-health. As part of our commitment, we will be providing appropriate training for staff at all levels so that they are better placed to provide informed care and service to anyone living with a mental health problem. We will also continue to monitor staff feedback on workload and work-life balance as well as providing support to staff through our Employee Assistance Programme.”

The eight organisations are as follows:

Five organisations signed the ‘see me’ pledge in Stornoway:

Western Isles Association for Mental Health

NHS Western Isles

Volunteer Centre Western Isles

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Northern Constabulary

Three organisations signed the ‘see me’ pledge in Uist:

Tagsa Uibhist

Taigh Chearsabhagh

Highland and Islands Enterprise – Data Centre

Visit See Me for more information.