Walk a Mile in the Borders to mark See Me's milestone birthday

Posted by See Me, 26 September 2022

The Galashiels Walk a Mile event this October is being arranged by Bridget Dickson, from Peebles, and Susan Falconer, from Galashiels, to help get local people talking about mental health, and to show that there is no room for stigma and discrimination in Galashiels.

Taking place on Saturday, 1 October, the event is part of the 20th birthday celebrations of See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination.

Bridget has been volunteering with See Me for more than six years and said this event will be particularly special.

She said: “Walk a Mile is quite a well-recognized event in the Scottish Borders, and it’s an easy way of getting people together and talking about mental health.

“It’s fun, accepting, and non-judgmental. And if people have ever been nervous of meeting others who have mental health issues – this will be an eye-opener. It’s a safe space with like-minded people.

“The event is also a great way of getting different bodies who support mental health in different ways all together under the same roof.”

Founded in 2002, See Me has hosted a huge range of Scotland-wide activities and campaigns to help change attitudes and behaviours towards mental health, and challenge stigma in communities across the country.

The Walk a Mile campaign is one of the programme’s biggest successes – and this October, events will be taking place across the country to get communities reflecting on what more can be done to tackle stigma.

Walk a Mile was created by See Me in partnership with activist Chris McCullough Young.

At the event, participants will be paired up to undertake a mile-long walk and have a chat about mental health, using some prompts supplied by the campaign.

Over the years, Walk a Mile events have brought together people from all walks of life, including health professionals, carers, people with experience of mental health problems, students and more.

Those taking part in the Galashiels walk can look forward to stalls from local organisations that work to advocate for mental health, including Andy’s Man Club and With You Borders.

Bridget said: “Mental health issues manifest themselves in a number of different ways and people don’t always acknowledge that the root of the problem could be mental health.

“The walk will be a great way to get everyone talking together and telling different stories, but most importantly this event will celebrate See Me’s 20th birthday.

“It’s going to be a collaborative day with lots of different bodies involved, but with See Me leading the way as always.

“I’m really excited. See Me has been pretty pivotal for me in my life, and I just want other people to get the opportunity to experience what I’ve experienced.

“Whether you have experience of mental health problems yourself or want to understand more about what others go through, we’d love for you to join us to get walking, talking and challenging mental health stigma.”

The team have plans to raffle off a birthday cake made by Wild Bakehouse, where the funds will go towards charity Inspiring Life.

See Me director Wendy Halliday said: “As part of our 20th birthday celebrations, we at See Me are encouraging the people of Scotland to get walking and talking to challenge mental health stigma and discrimination in their communities.

“The old saying goes that the best way to understand what someone is going through is to walk a mile in their shoes – and Walk a Mile events let us do exactly that.

“We have made lots of progress in tackling mental health stigma over the last 20 years, and mental health is much more visible now than it was when See Me launched in 2002 – but we know that we still have work to do. With the support of local communities, I know we can work together to make stigma a thing of the past.”

The walk will begin at 10am on Saturday, 1 October, starting at Focus Centre, Livingstone Place, Galashiels. To find out more about the event, contact Bridget at bridgetinpeebles@sky.com.