Walk a Mile at Hairmyres Hospital

Posted by See Me, 5 October 2017

Hairmyres Hospital hosted a walk to help change the way people think about mental health.

The Walk a Mile event was arranged by Stigma Free Lanarkshire, to bring together doctors, nurses, patients and anyone in the hospital to help tackle mental health discrimination and break down barriers as they walk a mile in each other’s shoes.

The aim of the event on Friday (September 29th), was to show that mental health can be a topic of everyday conversations, and we are all responsible for creating positive attitudes around it. It was part of a week of events arranged by the group.

The Walk a Mile campaign was created by anti-stigma programme  See Me with activist Chris McCullough Young, based on his walk around the edge of Scotland, where he spoke to everyone he met about mental health, to change attitudes one conversation at a time.

So far thousands of people have taken part in Walks across Scotland, bringing together health professionals, carers, people with lived experience of mental health problems, students to show it’s okay not to be okay.

Susan McMorrin, Senior Health Promotion Officer with NHS Lanarkshire said: “We are delighted to have had the opportunity to host a Walk a Mile Event at Hairmyres Hospital & be part of  Scotland's biggest ever anti-stigma conversation.

“Our aim is to bring together professionals, carers and people with lived experience for a friendly conversation as they stroll round Hairmyres Hospital.”

Calum Irving, See Me director, said: “Mental health affects all of us, but there is still a stigma around it. To tackle this properly people need to understand that it is okay not to be okay.

“Health care is an area that we are focussing on getting this message in. One of the best ways to change how people think and behave is to make mental health a topic in day to day conversation, rather than a taboo subject people don’t want to talk about.”