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Award for Highland based charity aiming to 'destigmatise' conversations on mental health and suicide


By Niall Harkiss

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Staff and trustees from Mikeysline. Marina Finlayson, Beth Simco, Bonnie McColl, Emily Stokes, and Donna Smith.
Staff and trustees from Mikeysline. Marina Finlayson, Beth Simco, Bonnie McColl, Emily Stokes, and Donna Smith.

Highland based mental health charity Mikeysline was named Third Sector Organisation of the Year at an award ceremony last night.

The charity – which supports people in the Highlands and Moray living in emotional distress, with mental health issues, or at risk of suicide – picked up the award at the Highland Third Sector Interface (HTSI) Awards, held on Thursday, March 10 at Strathpeffer Pavilion.

Emily Stokes, chief executive of Mikeysline, said: “We’re absolutely thrilled to have been named Third Sector Organisation of the Year. The last two years have been extremely difficult for so many people in the Highlands and Moray, and we are so pleased to be able to offer support to those who need it most.

“Sadly, the suicide rate in the Highlands is significantly higher than elsewhere in Scotland so it’s clear that more needs to be done to destigmatise the conversation surrounding mental health and suicide.

“In the last year, we have invested in new Hives across the Highlands to offer increased face-to-face support, launched new services specifically aimed at young people and men, and added four more options to our text-based listening service, with WhatsApp being the most recent additional option.

“We’d like to thank the judges at HTSI for recognising the work that we do, and for supporting us as we continue to expand our services across the region. We want everyone that may be struggling to know that it’s ok not to be ok, and that help and support is available.”

HTSI Awards judges were impressed by Mikeyline’s dedication to championing much needed changes to the approach to stigma around mental health and suicide in the Highlands; acknowledged that much had been achieved since 2015 by the charity when it was established in the face of tragedy to offer hope to others; and said that the charity needed little introduction given its profile and the impact it has had over the last year.

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 via a text line service at 07786 207755, WhatsApp at 01463 729000, 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 area – at its Inverness headquarters; at Tesco in Tain; and at Am Bothan Community Café by Skiach, Evanton.

For more information, visit www.mikeysline.co.uk – or find Mikeysline on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.


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