As Breathing Space Day approaches on 1st February 2023 the message for people across Scotland who might be feeling down is one of hope and support.
Scotland’s mental health service, Breathing Space, is encouraging people to open up when they are feeling down, instead of hiding behind the phrase we all use, ‘I’m fine’.
Opening up to friends, colleagues, or family is a good place to start but the service’s trained advisers know it’s not for everyone. It recommends finding ways to support one’s own breathing space in ways to suit them which might include a brisk walk, a favourite TV show or podcast, a good book, a feel-good play list or simply some time to sit quietly with their thoughts and feelings.
Breathing Space benches across the country provide spaces for a quiet moment or a quick chat. Breathing Space unveiled its 50th bench recently in Golspie, Highland, in partnership with Change Mental Health as they marked50 years of supporting people.
Mental Wellbeing Minister Kevin Stewart said:
“Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is as important as looking after our physical health. That message is especially relevant now, given the continuing challenges which we all face in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic and cost of living crisis.
“Breathing Space is a free service providing vital out-of-hours support to people across Scotland who are feeling low, stressed, or anxious. I am pleased to highlight the help available and to support Breathing Space Day.
“I would urge anyone who is experiencing low mood, anxiety or distress in their lives to get in touch with Breathing Space or to look at the range of helpful advice on the website.”
Tony McLaren, National Coordinator of Breathing Space, said
“We are all finding our way in uncertain times right now. If you are struggling to find your own breathing space, please don’t hide behind ‘fine’. Our team are here for you and you can lift the phone or contact us on webchat to open up. Our advisors at Breathing Space are available in the evenings and at the weekends on 0800 83 85 87 or through web chat, to listen and offer information and advice.”