Staff at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority have chosen mental health charity, SAMH (Scottish Association for Mental Health) as their charity of the year. The announcement comes during Mental Health Awareness Week (13- 19 May).
Each year, staff at the National Park Authority choose a charity and over the course of the next 12 months take part in a wide range of fundraising activities.
SAMH, Scotland’s mental health charity, provides a range of services across the country and is also one of the lead partners in the national See Me programme – a campaign to end mental health stigma and discrimination.
Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time and can impact on the way people think, feel and behave. SAMH operates services in communities across Scotland which are person centred and based on an ethos of recovery.
The charity also offers help and support on a wide range of issues including suicide prevention, employment, and children and young people.
Jo Anderson, Director of External Affairs at SAMH said: “We are delighted SAMH has been chosen by the team at Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park Authority as their next charity partner.
“The team are already committed to mental health at work with some new initiatives including using the wonderful outdoors to support wellbeing. We look forward to working alongside the team and supporting their fundraising efforts which will help us continue our work, particularly our ambitions to do more for young people’s mental health.”
Last year staff from the National Park Authority raised over £5,000 for Haldane Youth Services. To raise funds staff washed cars, sold soup and also rallied together to help the organisation by volunteering and providing advice and support with communication and IT services.
Gordon Watson, Chief Executive of Loch Lomond & The Trossachs National Park, said: “Supporting local communities and organisations is an important part of the work of the National Park and I am thrilled that this year our staff chose to raise funds for SAMH because as an organisation we are committed to supporting positive mental health in the work place.
“Last year we introduced a nine month pilot called ‘Fit for Life’ that allows staff to take part in a 15 minute walk or other physical activity such as running or cycling in the National Park, within work time. The scheme is designed to give staff time away from the office to help improve overall wellbeing, reduce stress and increase levels of team work.
“We also have Mental Health First Aiders and we recently provided training to managers so they can support team members who may be struggling with mental health issues.
“As well as supporting the mental wellbeing of our staff, we also work hard to ensure as many people as possible can access the outdoors and take advantage of the health and wellbeing benefits the National Park has to offer.
“Staff always have lots of fun coming up with new and inventive ways to raise funds for the charities we support and I’m sure this year will be no different.”
For more information about SAMH visit https://www.samh.org.uk/