PEEBLES is set to be the first place in Scotland this year to host a major walk, encouraging people to talk about mental health.
See Me, the national programme to end mental health discrimination, is teaming up with The Depressed Cake shop for a Walk a Mile event in the town, the first of a number set to take place across the country in 2018.
It is being arranged by See Me champion Bridget Dickson, from Peebles, who has run a variety of events to get people in the Borders talking about mental health.
This is the second link up between See Me and the Depressed Cake Shop, run by Freda Douglas. The event will also raise funds for the Inspiring Life Evie Douglas Memorial Fund, which was created after the suicide of 21-year-old Peebles dancer Evie Douglas.
Residents in the town are being urged to join in and make this the biggest Walk a Mile in the Borders so far, following previous walks in Peebles and Galashiels.
The event will run from 2pm to 5pm on Saturday March 17, at the Ex Servicemen’s Club on School Brae. The walk will leave from the club at 3pm, going over the three bridges in the town.
The aim is to bring together anyone who cares about tackling mental health discrimination, to break down barriers as they walk a mile in each other’s shoes.
The Walk a Mile campaign was created by See Me with activist and author Chris McCullough Young, based on his walk around the edge of Scotland, where he spoke to everyone he met about mental health, to change attitudes one conversation at a time.
Bridget said: “We all have mental health and this is a real opportunity for everyone to join a movement against mental health stigma and discrimination, but in a fun and sociable way.
“It’s good to walk and it’s good to talk, so we want people to get together in Peebles to do both.
“It is so important that people who already feel isolated are not ostracised simply because of an illness. With greater conversation on these issues there will come greater understanding.”
Calum Irving, See Me director, said: “One of the best ways to change how people think and behave is to make mental health a topic in day to day conversation, rather than a taboo subject people don’t want to talk about.
“So we want to see as many people as possible out joining us, especially as you get amazing depressed cakes as well.”