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Breathing Space Day 2013

We should all try to make more time to do something positive for our mental wellbeing.

This is the message from Scotland’s mental health helpline, Breathing Space, to mark national Breathing Space Day on 1st February 2013.

The annual awareness raising day aims to encourage Scots to take part in activities which improve mental wellbeing and is being supported by Deacon Blue’s lead singer Ricky Ross, as well as St Johnstone Football Club.

A number of activities will be taking place across Scotland leading up to Breathing Space Day, including a ‘Wellbeing Week’ in Tayside with walks, arts and crafts, library and information events.

Public Health Minister, Michael Matheson said: "It is important that people do not overlook their mental health - making space for the things that make us happy is one way of looking after our own mental wellbeing."

"The Breathing Space telephone advice line provides a valuable listening ear and signposting service for people experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. The awareness day is an opportunity to raise awareness of the vital role the advice line plays and reflects our work to improve the general health and mental wellbeing of the population as well as our work to reduce suicide in Scotland."

Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator said: "With the festive season a distant memory, February can be a tough time for many people. Anecdotally, financial worries, loneliness and work-related stress are common issues at this time of year."

"We hope that Breathing Space Day will encourage people to take a breather and do something positive for their own mental wellbeing. It can be easy to forget to look after your own mental health. We all lead very busy lives with a multitude of different pressures; whether that’s at work, at home or through our relationships. Taking some time out to relax can help bring anxiety and stress down to manageable levels." said Tony.

A Breathing Space AdVan promoting a mental wellbeing message will start its tour in Dundee, birthplace of singer songwriter Ricky Ross. When asked how he takes his breathing space, Ricky commented: "I love walking, and if I can get out to the hills I am very happy. Last year I climbed The Cobbler on a clear Sunday in September - it was such a great feeling to be up on a hill in the most beautiful scenery in the world."

Dundee City Council Social Work and Health Convener, Councillor Ken Lynn added his support to Breathing Space Day: "I am pleased to help in this effort to raise awareness of Breathing Space Day for 2013. There are many ideas and resources available for people to take time and reflect and to make their own breathing space. I hope that this initiative will encourage use of these services."

When asked how he looks after his mental wellbeing, local councillor for Blairgowrie and Glens, Councillor Bob Ellis said: "When things are really getting on top of me I like to get out into the countryside for a long walk. Being out among our fantastic local scenery always gives me the time to look at any problems and nine times out of ten, having that ‘breathing space’ in the outdoors helps me find the solution and my worries go away."

Further information and resources about looking after your mental health can be found through the NHS Inform Mental Wellbeing Zone.

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Tony McLaren (Breathing Space National Coordinator), Councillor Ken Lynn (Dundee City Council Social Work and Health Convener), Avril Smith Hope (Dundee City Council and Co-Chair Choose Life Group), Darren Rocks (Choose Life).

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Tony McLaren (Breathing Space National Coordinator) with Councillor Bob Ellis (local councillor for Blairgowrie and Glens).