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Health in Mind: Edinburgh’s local mental health charity

ByPoppy Koronka

Nov 8, 2017

Health in Mind is an Edinburgh-based charity that aims to promote positive mental health and wellbeing throughout the city, and Scotland as a whole.

Founded in 1982, the charity started by renting out flats to ex-patients of the Royal Edinburgh Hospital; Health in Mind have since expanded, and now run a vast number of projects in and around Edinburgh.

Health in Mind offer a large variety of services, from supporting minority communities with their widening access programme to trauma counselling for victims of abuse – and with around 120 members of staff and roughly 150 volunteers, it seems unsurprising that the charity has received the Investing in Volunteers award three times.

With over 18 separate projects in Midlothian alone, getting involved with the charity is a great way to support mental health initiatives. Below, we list the different types of support that Health in Mind offer, how you can get involved and different ways in which you can support them.

Statistics show that 7.8 per cent of people in the UK suffer from mixed depression and anxiety, making it the most prevalent mental health issue in the UK. Health in Mind aims to support the many living with this condition through support groups for any adults affected by low mood, depression, stress or anxiety.

This support group offers contact with others in similar situations, confidential local support, and a variety of techniques to manage depression day to day.

For those who would like to self-manage their anxiety and depression, Health in Mind also run an eight-week programme called Moving Forward, which focuses on self-management by creating a safe and supported environment in which they can encourage a proactive attitude towards recovery and wellness.

Suicide is the most common form of death in men aged 24-49 in the UK. The men’s Suicide, Harm, Awareness, Recovery & Empathy (SHARE) project in Midlothian aims to provide men with a safe space in which they can get social and emotional support. The project consists of drop-in sessions running on Mondays and Thursdays, and five a-side football on a Monday afternoon, with the opportunity for 1:1 support as needed.

The SHARE project began as a pilot programme, but has had such a positive impact on service users that the project is now being replicated across Scotland.

Health in Mind also offer counselling for people in and around Edinburgh. Support is offered free of charge to adult survivors of childhood abuse, and the Craigmillar programme offers counselling to anyone in need of emotional support living in the area.

Resolve Scotland, their fee-paying counselling (profits from which go back into supporting Health in Mind’s initiatives) works with individuals, as well as providing support to corporations that want to offer  mental health support to their employees.

If you feel like supporting a charity such as Health in Mind, there are many ways you can get involved; aside from donating, if you can spare a few hours a week then you can help as a volunteer.

Volunteering opportunities vary, from working in a more administrative role, assisting with fundraising and IT skills to becoming one of Health in Mind’s befrienders. Health in Mind’s befriending re:discover scheme focuses on people who are feeling isolated due to mental health problems; volunteers work with an individual to build self-confidence, provide them with more opportunities for social contact and support them with building relationships with others. Each re:discover relationship lasts for six months, but can be extended to a year on request.

Aside from volunteering, a more short-term, and extremely worthwhile form of support would be to fundraise for Health in Mind.

Multiple challenges take place throughout the year for people to get involved in, including marathon running and abseiling from the Forth Rail bridge.


Image Credit :Health in Mind

By Poppy Koronka

Former Editor of the Lifestyle Section. Writer for the News and Lifestyle sections. Lover of coffee, true crime podcasts, and an avid fan of the colour yellow.

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