Mental Health Awareness Week

This week marks Mental Health Awareness week and ITV Border will be running a series of stories about people living in the region who have experienced mental health issues.

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Growing Voices tackles mental health stigma

If you have a physical illness, you can usually count on help and understanding from the people around you. But if you have a mental health condition, it can be very different.

Even though attitudes are improving, campaigners say there is still a stigma attached to mental health problems.

As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, and for our second special report, Katie Hunter's been looking at one project set up to change things for the better.


Cumbrian project challenges mental health stigma

About 125,000 people in Cumbria will be affected by a mental health problem in the course of a year.

Growing Voices is a project designed to get people talking and reduce the stigma which still surrounds mental health.

Reuben is part of the project's steering group. He has been diagnosed with depression and schizophrenia and says stigma can take many forms.

"It can be emotional, it can be behavioural, it can be difficulty relating to people and feeling included in society."

– Reuben, Growing Voices

The project is based on a massive tree, designed by Carlisle artist Ben Gates, which volunteers take to events around Cumbria. The tree has an MP3 player with people's experiences of mental health.

Follow the links below to find out more about Growing Voices and mental health issues:

Queen of the South striker speaks out about depression

Mental Health is a condition that will affect one in four of us at some point in our lives and it's a subject that can be very difficult to talk about.

All this week we will be featuring people with depression, dementia and eating disorders and finding out how others react to them.

Today we are looking inside the macho world of professional football where depression has often been a taboo subject.

Fiona McIlwraith has been to speak to Queen of the South striker Iain Russell about how he's learning to live, and work, with his depression.

Mental Health Issues: What support is there?

There are numerous charitable organisations across the UK that aim to offer help and support to anyone who has a mental health problem:

  • Mind - provide advice and support to empower anyone experiencing a mental health problem
  • Young Minds - a leading UK leading charity committed to improving the emotional wellbeing and mental health of children and young people
  • SANE - a charity aiming to raise public awareness, excite research, and bring more effective professional treatment and compassionate care to everyone affected by mental illness
  • Rethink - a charity supporting almost 60,000 people each year across England to get through crises, to live independently and to realise they are not alone
  • Mental Health Foundation - a charity aiming to reduce the stigma and discrimination surrounding mental health problems in the UK


Iain Russell on how he manages his depression

To commemorate mental health awareness week Queen of the South Striker Iain Russell has spoken of his fight against depression, in an industry where mental strength has been seen as essential to success.

But Iain is determined to help other footballers suffering from mental health issues by asking them to speak out.

He was diagnosed with depression three years ago, far from hampering his career, the reaction from the football community has been overwhelmingly positive.

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