Taking time out for National Breathing Space Day
Breathing Space Bench. Borders College
National Breathing Space Day (1st February) takes place annually to raise awareness of the confidential support the mental health phone service provides for anyone feeling low or stressed.
The theme for the day is ‘You Matter, We Care’ and Breathing Space is delighted that an increasing number of organisations are actively promoting that message through the Breathing Space Bench Project
Over the last year, a range of organisations have teamed up with Breathing Space to encourage Scots to take some time out for their mental health with a moment to sit and reflect or share their feelings, by installing the special benches.
Breathing Space Benches are now sited in locations as varied as Inchinnan Church, Musselburgh Golf Club, Lanarkshire parks, colleges across Borders, Fife, Dundee and Angus and at Strathclyde University.
The Breathing Space Bench Project is aimed at creating welcoming spaces - encouraging people to sit and take some breathing space, to share a bit of time for listening and talking, or by reaching out and showing kindness and compassion. This has been especially important at a time when the usual ways of meeting up for a chat have been limited.
Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator, said:
“It's certainly been a challenging for year everyone, including our own staff who have continued to offer a compassionate listening service while working in new ways and in new office environments to safeguard against the pandemic.
It’s inspiring to see how many organisations are committed to supporting people to stay mentally healthy through taking time to listen and share. They are doing a doing a tremendous job in taking forward this mental wellbeing agenda, offering a place to connect and reflect, and showing that we shouldn't be afraid to talk about how we are feeling.
“If anyone who is struggling and needs a listening ear, and wants to take a chat beyond the bench, 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. If you’re worried or feeling down, please get in touch for some ‘breathing space’”
Minister for Mental Wellbeing and Social Care, Kevin Stewart MSP said:
“Looking after our mental health and wellbeing is just as important as looking after our physical health. That message is especially relevant at the moment, given the continuing challenges which we all face in relation to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Breathing Space is a free service providing vital out-of-hours support to people across Scotland who are feeling low, stressed or anxious. I’m delighted 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 the service through the helpline; through NHS24 on 111; or by looking at the range of helpful advice on the Breathing Space website”