Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

North-east comedian warns of mental health impact after move to Level 3 coronavirus restrictions

Wray Thomson, founder of Man Chat
Wray Thomson, founder of Man Chat

A north-east comedian has stepped up his efforts to help people struggling with their mental health during lockdown – amid fears that tightening guidelines could worsen the problem.

A study by the Scottish Government last year showed that one in four Scots suffer from a mental health issue each day.

That was before the pandemic, which has heightened feelings of anxiety, depression and loneliness for many.

The restrictions associated with lockdown have also been cited as a factor in people taking their own lives.

As both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire have been plunged into Level 3 of coronavirus restrictions from today, stand-up comedian and founder of the Man Chat Aberdeen support group, Wray Thomson, is hoping a targeted leaflet drop and increased presence online will highlight the help available to those who are struggling.

Set up to give men an opportunity to discuss their feelings online and in a weekly support group, the group has experienced a huge spike in the number of individuals wishing to get in touch as a result of Covid-19.

When it first started, the group took emails from a handful of individuals each week and it now corresponds with thousands.

But Mr Thomson believes there are many more out there who could benefit from the therapy it offers.

He said: “There is a massive uncertainty in everyone’s future, when people don’t know what will happen with their job, how far they can travel, who they can go and see – that creates anxiety, not just for those with mental health problems but for everyone.

“Whether it is writing something down, or speaking over the phone, we just wanted to let people know that we are listening and there are people who want to help.”

The group is visiting Westhill Shopping Centre this Saturday, and the Trinity Centre next week, and will be handing out information and selling hand sanitiser bottles produced by local firm Parm Safe – which have suicide prevention messages written on the back.

Mr Thomson added: “I don’t like it when people say that this is the ‘new normal’ because it isn’t, this is a once in a lifetime challenge and we will get through it.

“Every storm runs out of rain eventually, and if you need help, there are people who will be there.”

The group also has plans to run a Zoom quiz on Christmas Day for anyone who is home alone throughout the festive season.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]