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Thursday, 15 August 2019

Bank of Scotland (part of Lloyds Banking Group) is encouraging runners to sign up to the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run to fundraise for Mental Health UK on Sunday 29 September.

Lloyds Banking Group’s partnership with the charity aims to promote the vital work Mental Health UK is doing to tackle a range of mental health challenges faced by communities right across the UK, including communities around Scotland.

The Scottish Government recognises poor mental health is a public health challenge and that significant mental health inequalities persist across the country. Last month the NHS Information Services Division (ISD) reported that there were 784 probable suicides in Scotland in 2018, up from 680 in 2017. The rate of suicide is three times higher in the most deprived areas of Scotland.

Mental Health UK are on the front line of efforts to improve access to support and treatment to those most at risk. Projects like Distress Brief Intervention, funded by Mental Health UK, aim to provide a framework for interagency co-operation, in order to provide a joined up community response for those in acute need.

Funds raised by Lloyds Banking Group colleagues throughout 2019 will go directly towards Mental Health UK’s young people’s programme, Bloom, a UK-wide programme which supports young people’s mental health resilience. Delivered in schools and colleges, Bloom will equip young people with the tools and knowledge to maintain their mental health through life’s transitions, both now and in the future. Once fully up and running Bloom aims to support 100,000 young people throughout the UK.

Frances Simpson, Chief Executive from Support in Mind Scotland (part of Mental Health UK), said: “Mental Health UK is delighted and honoured to be the charity partner with Bank of Scotland for the Great Scottish Run for a third year. As the Scottish partner, we know the difference fundraising makes to someone’s life, right here in Scotland, as our charity supports some of the most vulnerable people in our communities. 

“The event doesn’t just raise money but also raises awareness of how important it is to talk about mental health and to reach out and encourage people who are struggling to seek help at an early stage. And for everyone who has thought about taking part but who is still not sure – I encourage you to sign up. We all know how important physical exercise is for good mental health:  I took up running to manage stress during a very difficult time in my life – and now running is an important part of my life, helping me to stay physically and mentally well. 

“The Great Scottish Run is a great way to be part of something unique that will help you as well as helping thousands of people with mental health problems across Scotland and the rest of the UK.”

Chris Dunn, Bank of Scotland, is one of many colleagues already signed up to take part in the Great Scottish Run and fundraise for Mental Health UK. Chris is also one of 70 colleagues at Lloyds Banking Group trekking across Cambodia as part of their signature challenge, Walk the Talk 2019, in aid of Bloom.

Chris is a member of Lloyds Banking Groups’ LGBT colleague group ‘Rainbow’ which focusses on supporting LGBT staff dealing with mental health conditions. He is also one of a number of mental health advocates, a new Lloyds Banking Group initiative committed to training 2500 colleagues as advocates across the business. The advocates receive training from Mental Health UK on how to listen to colleagues who might need support and signpost them to the services that can help them.

Chris explained: “I’ve seen the impact social discrimination has had on the mental health of LGBT friends and colleagues over the years, and sadly I have a number of friends who have attempted to, and in some cases been successful in, taking their own lives.

“For me, it’s important to draw attention to some of the things that aren’t discussed, like the pressure of talking about your sexuality every time you get a new job or meet a new group of people, which takes its toll on your mental health.

“For Trans people this is even more acute, the suicide rate for LGBT people is higher than average, but for Trans people and those who identify as non-binary it significantly increases again. The more we can do to highlight these issues, spread the word and be a visible ally the better.”

Anyone can sign up to the Bank of Scotland Great Scottish Run and choose to fundraise for Mental Health UK at this year’s event.

To find out more or enter today please visit www.greatscottishrun.com

For more information about Bloom, please visit https://mentalhealth-uk.org/partnerships/projects/bloom/




Notes to Editors


About Lloyds Banking Group & Mental Health UK partnership:


The partnership has so far raised over £9 million to support people living with mental health challenges and delivered initiates including:


  • The Mental Health and Money Advice Service which was launched in 2017, and is the first of its kind in the UK, supporting people with both mental health and money problems.
  • Over 1,400 people having benefited from specialist telephone support, with each person being on average over £1,500 better off. 265,000 more have made use of the many resources online.
  • Setting up 23 new support groups in isolated communities across the UK, with a further 17 groups due to open by 2020
  • Committed to training 2500 colleagues as Mental Health Advocates by 2021. The Advocates training programme has been developed in partnership with charity partner, Mental Health UK.

About Mental Health UK:

Mental Health UK brings together four national mental health charities working across the UK: Rethink Mental Illness, Support in Mind Scotland, Hafal and Mindwise.

We have 40 years' experience of working to improve life for people affected by mental illness in England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland. We were originally set up as a single UK-wide organisation in the 1970s, and we are now working together once again as Mental Health UK.

We are working together to raise funds so that more people across the UK can access support for their own mental health and for friends and family members who are affected by mental illness.