Mikeysline partners with Camanachd Association to provide mental health support across the Highlands
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MIKEYSLINE, an Inverness-based charity for mental health, has partnered with the governing body for Scottish shinty to spread the word about its services across rural Highland areas.
Three teams, Caberfeidh, Strathglass and Beauly have shown their support with badges, signage and logos.
The charity hope to secure more prominent display spaces at other playing grounds soon.
Mikeysline chief executive Emily Stokes said: “We want everyone in the Highlands and Moray to know that Mikeysline’s services are available to them – no matter where they live.
“While we have a strong presence in Inverness and larger towns, we want to get the message out there to rural communities that it’s ok not to be ok and that we are here to provide non-judgemental support if they need it.
“Partnering with the Camanachd Association allows us to get to the heart of many rural communities, where shinty provides a connective link between local residents.
“Sadly, Highland shinty teams have in the past experienced high suicide rates – including in Fort William. By working together with shinty clubs across the region, we are able to not only connect with players, but also their friends, families and communities to share information about the support services we offer.”
Caberfeidh players Kail McAuley and Finlay Coleman have been working at ground level to encourage more teams across the region to get involved with Mikeysline’s campaign – recently securing new banner space at Glenurquhart and Kinlochshiel.
Derek Keir, Camanachd Association chief executive, said: “ As a sports governing body, the Camanachd Association is focused on contributing to the wellbeing of our communities through shinty in its fullest form. Yes, that includes the work we do in keeping people physically active – but it also extends to what we can offer off the park in terms of the provision of mental health support.
“We work in partnership with a number of mental health charities including Mikeysline, SAMH and the Samaritans and we encourage all of our member clubs to embrace any kind of collaboration that could help them achieve mentally healthy communities.”
Beauly Shinty Club president, David Calder, added: “The banner at our ground is a small but hopefully significant way that the club can support a charity that does so much vital work throughout the Highlands.
“We have also already joined the Camanachd Association’s Shinty Chaplaincy scheme, and our chaplain Gordon Martin is available to listen to our members and offer pastoral advice.
“We are proud of the steps we have taken to combat mental health issues, and will continue to work with partners and charities wherever possible.”