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2016 – the year of listening more

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By Fiona Reid
Dumfries and West
2016 - the year of listening more

A CHANGE is needed across Dumfries and Galloway this year so people struggling with their mental health feel safe to speak out and get help.

The call has been made by Scotland’s programme to tackle mental health discrimination, See Me, who will be using 2016 to focus on making positive changes in workplaces, health and social care and with children and young people.
They are asking people to look out for each other and really listen and backing the campaign is Chik Duncan from Gatehouse of Fleet.
He had struggled with mild obsessional thoughts and compulsive behaviours for a number of years, not understanding what was happening to him, and it was only when the symptoms became more severe that a family member broached the subject.
And when he did open up, it was only because of the support he received from friends and family that he felt able to seek help and treatment for his illness.
Chik said: “When I started to become unwell I spent a lot of energy trying to hide it and I didn’t speak to anyone about it for at least a couple of years.
“While I was trying to hide my difficulties I reached a point where I really couldn’t function. If it hadn’t been for someone else recognising that something was wrong and raising the issue I don’t know what would have happened.”
Judith Robertson, See Me programme director, said: “This year, if you see someone is struggling or you’re worried about their mental health, don’t shy away, ask them if they are okay, and really listen to them.”

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