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How is your emotional landscape?
When was the last time someone that asked how you were? What was the reply? 'Fine'? 'Alright'? Perhaps 'great thanks, yourself?'.
Did you stop, really stop to think about the question before you answered or did you just give the obligatory response and quickly deflect the question back to the originator?
All too often we are so busy with our lives, our work and our relationships, working to keep a roof over our head, taking care of family, meeting friends or finding the right partner that we can put ourselves right at the bottom of a very long list of priorities.
What's more the current economic climate and everyday stress of modern life can take its toll on our mental wellbeing. Demands on our time, struggles with finances, relationship difficulties, bereavement, unemployment – the list goes on.
Remember to STOP
It's important that each one of us remembers to take some Breathing Space. Time out, 'me' time. Recharge the batteries. It might be as simple as having a long soak in a bath or reading a good book or having a catch up with a good friend. For others it can be working up a sweat at an exercise class, enjoying a round of golf or listening to some music.
For people living and working in Scotland's rural and farming communities there can be quite particular pressures and feelings of isolation. Richard Leckerman, National Development Officer with Breathing Space Scotland, the phoneline service for people experiencing low mood or depression comments, “Many people contacting the phoneline or visiting our website are expressing feelings of loneliness and isolation, a feeling that no-one understands their situation and that they have nowhere to turn. They often have many things going on in their lives that are contributing to feelings of emotional distress and here at Breathing Space we can take time to talk through the issues and offer practical advice.
People living is close knit rural communities can often find it particularly difficult to ask for help about a mental health problem perhaps for fear of being stigmatised or judged by those in their close knit community.”
It's quite possible that you will know your local doctor or health visitor and this can make it particularly difficult to ask for help. Moreover the availability of mental health services may be limited in rural areas.
The Breathing Space phoneline and web service is witnessing record numbers of people contacting the service. With around 6,000 calls received each month. People are getting in touch with everyday problems such as relationship difficulties, money worries all of which can lead to the onset of low mood and depression.
Richard stresses “Breathing Space advisors can listen, offer advice and signpost callers onto help in their local area. The service is free, confidential and anonymous. It's vital that people know there is help available should they need it.”
Here when you need us
Breathing Space Scotland aims to offer a service that is accessible to everyone across all parts of Scotland. By operating a free phone number and opening the phone line from 6pm on a Friday until 6am on Monday (6pm - 2am on weekdays) we're “here when you need us most,” during the out of hours periods when many services have closed their doors for the day. Breathing Space can listen, offer advice and guidance well into the small hours.
The Breathing Space website offers a resource for people experiencing problems to access help via home or library computer. It provides useful information and guidance on a wide range of mood and problem areas and can signpost people to help in their local area via the Scottish Support Groups directory.
You can access the Breathing Space website and then phone and speak to a Breathing Space advisor or if you have access to the internet then log on to www.breathingspacescotland.co.uk
Rural health week
Breathing Space is marking Rural Health Week (19 - 25 September) by hosting a series of visits on Orkney. For further information contact email@example.com