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Highland teacher goes global in climb challenge for Inverness-based mental health charity Mikeysline

By Hector MacKenzie

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The only way is up - and then down - for determined Catriona MacRae.
The only way is up - and then down - for determined Catriona MacRae.

AN Easter Ross teacher looking to climb the equivalent of Mount Kilimanjaro on the stairs of her Tain home has received good wishes from around the world and is now a fiver away from reeling in £1000.

Catriona MacRae, a teacher at Hilton of Cadboll Primrary, took on the lockdown challenge for mental health charity, Mikeysline, targeting a total of 38,680 steps which she hopes to complete before this month is out.

That works out at around 1289 every day.

She said: "In the first week I could barely walk but my muscles seem to be getting used to it now. I’ve had lots of messages from my friends and family that are keeping me going. I’ve even had donations from friends in New Zealand and Canada! Knowing that I’m helping support such a worthy charity is motivating me. What I’m doing is tiny in comparison to the fabulous work Mikeysline do. I’m currently sitting at £995 so going to have one last push in the hopes that I make it over the £1000 mark."

Mikeysline has seen a sharp rise in the number of people contacting them with suicidal thoughts during the coronavirus lockdown.

Mikeysline, set up in 2015 to try and tackle high suicide rates in the Highlands, provides a text-for-help hotline service for people experiencing thoughts of depression, anxiety, worry or stress.

It also runs the Hive Project – a mental health crisis centre in Academy Street, Inverness – which it has had to close due to social distancing rules as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

It has set up an additional callback service through Facebook Messenger.

Its team of five support staff and 20 volunteers is working from home to deal with an increased volume of calls and texts.

To back Catriona, go to https://tinyurl.com/y8romet4

Related: Pals crush squat challenge for mental health charity

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