Lanarkshire people are being encouraged to join hundreds of others in an event to tackle mental health discrimination.
See Me, the national programme to end mental health stigma and Chris McCullough Young want to bring people to Glasgow Green to take part in their “biggest ever” Walk a Mile event.
The aim of the event, on April 20, is to bring together hundreds of health professionals, carers, people with lived experience, students, anyone who cares about tackling mental health discrimination, to break down barriers as they walk a mile in each other’s shoes.
Last year See Me held the Lanarkshire Walk a Mile, with the Lanarkshire Recovery Network, giving people a chance to see each other as they really were, not the labels they may have been given.
The walks have been led by and created with Chris McCullough Young, based on his efforts to tackle mental health discrimination around the UK.
After being diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder the former social worker walked round the edge of Scotland with no money, taking only a backpack and a tent, to change the way people think about mental health.
Relying entirely on the hospitality of the people he met along the way, Chris made it right round Scotland and has now got as far as Wales.
While on the walk he spoke to hundreds of people about mental health, and succeeded in changing people’s attitudes and perceptions ‘one conversation at a time’.
Now he will lead people in Glasgow. He said: “When my walk came to Glasgow in August 2012, it was a dreich old day, but one that was immediately warmed by the people there,” he said.
“I’d built an idea in my head that the bigger the town or village I trundled into, the less likely the folk there would be to talk with me.
“This so was not the case with Glasgow, the city that thinks it’s a village, where everyone wants to talk to you.
“On the Walk in the Green there’s no uniforms, no barriers, everyone is on a level playing field, it’s about breaking down prejudice and seeing how fabulous people are.”
See Me’s community programme manager Eleanor Ogilvie, said: “Last year we brought together hundreds of people to create Scotland’s biggest ever conversation to tackle mental health stigma.
“This year in Glasgow, we want to make it even bigger and would encourage anyone who is interested to come and get invovlved.
“What Chris has done around the UK is extraordinary and his actions have done so much to change the attitudes of those he has met.”
Walk a Mile will begin at 6pm at the People’s Palace in Glasgow Green. There will also be a showing of a film following Chris’ walk around the edge of the UK. Find out more at https://letswalkamile.org/.