The spotlight on the importance of good mental health has never been so focused as it is right now, as we aim to recover from the pandemic and deal with a cost of living crisis.
Unsurprisingly, the demands on Highland mental health and suicide prevention charity Mikeysline have never been higher.
To keep pace with the growing need for support, Mikeysline continues to reach out to local businesses and organizations to help expand its services to anyone struggling with their mental health.
New Director of Fundraising, Katie Melville, has been appointed to forge partnerships and relationships with the business community to help fund her work in a more sustainable way, especially in the more rural communities where l access to support may be limited.
A born and bred Highlander and having spent six years as a lawyer, Katie is ideally placed to use her corporate experience and local knowledge to develop lasting relationships with the business community.
“We’ve always had fantastic support from the public, but it’s good to have long term fundraising goals and it’s more sustainable with a business approach to fundraising as well as the work that we do with the public,” Katie explained.
Founded in 2015 following the suicides of friends, Martin Shaw and Michael Williamson, Mikeysline offers support to people of all ages through a range of innovative services including face-to-face meetings at its Hive centers in Inverness, Alness , Tain and Nairn, support through text and other social platforms, anti-stigma and awareness campaigns, and workshops with schools, employers and sports clubs.
Supporting employers and employees is an additional priority for the charity given the impact on the workforce caused by the pandemic and now the cost of living crisis.
A key element of its new business partnership approach is that the support can be reciprocal, if the company is happy about it.
Companies and organizations that support Mikeysline through fundraising and volunteering can be supported immediately with workshops and other services to help employers take care of their staff.
The charity has already made significant progress in supporting businesses with regular hour-long sessions with a number of construction companies to help identify key triggers of poor mental health and examine the coping strategies. According to a 2021 study by Glasgow Caledonian University, the suicide rate among construction workers is around three times the national average. Mikeyline also works with other sectors and organisations, including agriculture and sports, which may have particular factors affecting mental health, ranging from isolated work or performance to the perception of never showing weakness.
“We could do so much more if we were able to do it financially,” said Emily Stokes, CEO of Mikeysline. “Katie’s role is crucial for us in developing those relationships and promoting what we can offer businesses in return, which is supporting the mental wellbeing of the workforce, knowing what support is available and help the employer to promote it to his staff.”
A key part of Katie’s role in tandem with other team members is to increase Mikeysline’s profile and presence in the business community. The charity is already a member of Business Network International (BNI) Highland and BNI Tuath, Highland Business Women, and Katie will be the charity’s representative to the Inverness Chamber of Commerce.
“Part of my long-term strategy as fundraising manager is to have a full annual calendar of events that we and our supporters can rely on, so that there is a structure for fundraising. funds. And that means that as soon as we have a fundraiser in place, we can expand the service.
A successful golf tournament held earlier this year will be repeated on April 14, 2023 at the Royal Dornoch with dinner at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness. Ten teams have already registered and a campaign will be launched in September to encourage more participants. Additionally, the charity had a stand at the Moy Country Fair, is working with the Victorian Market on events around its reopening and is looking to hear from businesses wishing to mark World Suicide Prevention Day, September 10 and global mental health. October 10 day.
In addition to its own events, Mikeysline is always grateful to businesses and the public who organize events that contribute to its funds and awareness, including Memorial Football matches, the Thriller in the Chiller boxing event at the Inverness Ice Center September 3 and Celebrating Amy. , a new organization set up by the family and friends of Amy Tuach, who died in February 2022. The family are hosting an event at the Macdonald Drumossie Hotel, Inverness on October 29 for what would have been Amy Tuach’s 40th birthday. Amy.
Katie looks forward to working with supporters, both commercial and public, to help Mikeysline reach anyone who needs his support at any time in their life: at the same time, he feels there is a real sense of emergency.
“Between the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, there has never been so much demand. It feels good to do something useful and I look forward to using my professional experience to help build relationships and develop partnerships for Mikeysline.
The Hive, 19 Academy Street, Inverness
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