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Highland mental health charity partners with shinty association

A leading Scottish mental health and suicide prevention charity is partnering with the world governing body for Scottish shinty to raise awareness about its support services available in rural Highland communities.

Mikeysline has teamed up with the Camanachd Association to highlight the text-based support services available to people who may be struggling with their mental health, in emotional distress, or experiencing thoughts of suicide.

Banners, signage and on-kit logos are amongst the ways that clubs Caberfeidh, Strathglass and Beauly have so far shown their support – with the charity hoping to secure more prominent display space at other grounds across the Highlands in the coming weeks. Caberfeidh players Kail McAuley and Finlay Coleman have been working at ground level to encourage more teams across the region to get involved with Mikeysline’s campaign – recently securing new banner space at Glenurquhart Glen and Kinlochshiel.

Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands and Moray via a text line service at 07786 207755; WhatsApp at 01463 729000 and via its website; and live chat, Twitter and Messenger via its website. The charity also produces a popular podcast, Speaking of Suicide, and offers face-to-face support from three Hives across the region – at its Inverness headquarters, at Tesco in Tain, and at The Place in Alness.

Derek Keir, Camanachd Association CEO, said:

“As a sports governing body, the Camanachd Association is focused on contributing to the wellbeing of our communities through shinty in its fullest form. Yes, that includes the work we do in keeping people physically active – but it also extends to what we can offer off the park in terms of the provision of mental health support.

“We work in partnership with a number of mental health charities including Mikeysline, SAMH and the Samaritans and we encourage all of our member clubs to embrace any kind of collaboration that could help them achieve mentally healthy communities.”

Mikeysline CEO Emily Stokes commented:

“Partnering with the Camanachd Association allows us to get to the heart of many rural communities, where shinty provides a connective link between local residents. Sadly, Highland shinty teams have in the past experienced high suicide rates – including in Fort William. By working together with shinty clubs across the region, we are able to not only connect with players, but also their friends, families and communities to share information about the support services we offer.”

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