Don't judge a book by it's cover - Mental Health Awareness Week

Characters from some of the most famous books in history, such as "A Long Way Down" and "The Curious Incident of the Dog at Nighttime" will be the basis of an event about mental health in Peebles this evening. As part of Mental Health Awareness Week, Douglas Whitie of Whities Bookshop is set to host a discussion on the importance of speaking about mental health. The event, on May 8th, has been arranged by Peebles mental health activist Bridget Dickson, who recently arranged a successful Walk a Mile event in the town, as part of her role as a Community Champion with mental health organisation See Me. The event, which is free to attend, will involve looking at mental health through literature and also have three speakers who will share their stories. Suzanne Baines, a See Me champion, and mental health activists, Louise Marie Smith and Richard Monaghan, will present how their lives have been affected by issues with their mental health, and how they cope with difficulties. All now strive to raise awareness of these all too common problems and help remove any stigma and discrimination associated with them. There will be an opportunity to talk to the speakers, and with a large selection of self help books available, this will be unique chance for open conversations in a safe environment. In addition to the vast array of books to browse, Freda Douglas, from the Depressed Cake Shop, will also have a selection of her delicious Depressed Cakes available for purchase. Bridget said: “The more aware we all are of how mental health is as important as physical health, the more likely we are to deal with it effectively. What better environment to discuss mental health, good or bad, than a cosy, well stocked bookshop? “We can all recognise well known characters from Literature who have struggled with their mental health, King Lear, Miss Havisham, The Illustrated Mum and even Eeyore! We can all learn from these, and the myriad of other books which involve characters who struggle with their mental health, and perhaps discussion of these can spark conversation about our own? “Only too often, poor mental health is disguised behind a smile, a well made up face or a respected job. “We all know that self care is vital for good mental health, and there could be nothing better than settling down with a good book and a tasty cake.” The event will take place at, Whities Bookshop, Pennels Close, Peebles (just off the High Street), doors will open at 6.30pm and entry is free.