New drive to raise awareness of mental ill health launched
Sir Chris Hoy has helped launch a three year campaign to tackle mental health stigma in Scotland.
The Olympic cyclist called on Scots to give more support to those living with mental illness as part of a the Standing Together campaign being run by the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH).
SAMH wants to raise awareness and reduce stigma with measures such as working with GPs so people can be offered more local services to help improve their wellbeing.
The charity also wants to get more people with mental health problems into work and increase suicide-prevention support for individuals and families.
An Ambassador for SAMH since 2009, Hoy launched the campaign at an event held at the stadium named in his honour – the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome.
He said: “I’m proud to support and be a part of the amazing work that the charity does across Scotland and it’s always great to see the difference it makes to thousands of people up and down the country.
“This campaign offers a way for people to show their support and work with SAMH over the next three years to address stigma, reduce inequality and improve mental health.”
Billy Watson, chief executive of SAMH said that as one in three GP appointments relate to a mental health issue and 79% of people with significant mental health problems are unemployed, a new awareness campaign was needed.
“It is vital now more than ever that we collectively stand together to support and address these issues,” he said.
“It is brilliant for SAMH to have Sir Chris as our ambassador supporting the work that we do. He is a true advocate for sport and for mental health and well-being.”
SAMH wants at least 2,000 people to sign up online in their virtual velodrome at www.standtogether.org.uk.