Mikeysline expands mental health support for young people in Highlands

Youth involvement: Pupils from Inverness Royal Academy recently carried out a sponsored sit-down at Inverness Caledonian Thistle's grounds

CHARITY Mikeysline is operating a new Hive in Easter Ross to support young people who are experiencing difficulties with their mental health, wellbeing and thoughts of suicide.

The new sessions at The Snug on Alness’ High Street run on Wednesdays from 4.30-8pm, and offer 11-25-year-olds access to free, impartial, face-to-face mental health support. Appointments can be made by emailing enquiries@mikeysline.co.uk, phoning 01463 729000, or soon by booking directly via www.mikeysline.co.uk

Emily Stokes, CEO of Mikeysline, said: “Research has shown that 75% of all mental health problems are established by the age of 24 – with two fifths of adolescents experiencing a mental health issue in any given year.”

“Our new service in Easter Ross, along with our other youth services, allows a safe space for young people to talk openly about their mental health and any issues that are impacting on their wellbeing and thoughts without fear of judgement.”

“In the last two years we have seen a significant increase in the number of young people accessing our services, often with pandemic-related anxieties – either caused by isolation, or fears surrounding reintegration into the wider community.”

“It’s so important to remember that it’s ok not to be ok, and that help and support is out there for anyone who needs it.”

Mikeysline is well supported by young people in the area, who recognise its importance in promoting positive mental health for Highland residents. Last year the charity was well represented at the Highland Youth Parliament conference, while more recently pupils from Millburn and Inverness Royal Academies have carried out major fundraising events. 

The charity – which was recently named Third Sector Organisation of the Year at the HTSI Awards and Charitable Organisation of the Year at the Highland Heroes Awards – also has over 70 youth champions in schools across the Highlands, who help ensure the ongoing dialogue about mental health and awareness in their schools, fundraise for Mikey line and spread the word about its services.

Mikeysline youth champion Ross Kinnaird added: “Having youth champions in every school in the Highlands and Moray is so important. We have been able to spread the word about Mikeysline through our activities – and it would be amazing to see that happening in even more towns across the area.”

The new service in Alness complements Mikeysline’s existing support services for young people, which includes dedicated sessions at The Hive Inverness, running from Monday-Saturday, with the charity also offering support for young people at its Hive in Tain on Wednesdays from 4-8pm.

Since 2015, Mikeysline has offered confidential, non-judgemental support to people of all ages with mental health issues or in emotional distress in the Highlands and Moray via a text line service at 07786 207755; WhatsApp at 01463 729000 and via its website; and live chat, Twitter and Messenger via its website. The charity also produces a popular podcast, Speaking of Suicide, and offers face-to-face support from three Hives across the area – at its Inverness headquarters, at Tesco in Tain, and now at The Snug in Alness. 

For more information, visit www.mikeysline.co.uk – or find Mikeysline on FacebookInstagramand Twitter.

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