A new group has been launched to help women in Fraserburgh struggling with their mental health.
Karen Aileen is self-funding three support groups in Aberdeenshire, inspired by her own battles with depression.
After devising plans to host weekly meetings in both Inverurie and Newburgh, she will also organise the group in Fraserburgh – with the first meeting on Monday – because she believes the region is “crying out” for support.
After using social media to ask Fraserburgh locals if they would be interested in the support group, she was inundated with responses and has officially chosen the town as her third location for her mental health meetings.
Ms Aileen, who lives in Crimond, said: “I have had lots of good feedback and I’ve been asked to start groups all over Aberdeenshire, but feel I should start small and grow.
“I have suffered depression and anxiety for 16 years and thought the time was right to look at starting a support group aimed at helping woman and mums.
“I am self funding the three groups myself – with no support from the council.
“Every week, there will be a meeting in Inverurie, Newburgh and Fraserburgh with teas, coffees and cake – so far I’ve been meeting with women to help and talk over coffee.”
Other activities at the weekly meetings will include special activities such as yoga sessions and visiting guest speakers.
Ms Aileen has taken extra steps to ensure that she is fully qualified to support the women and mums looking to join the support groups.
This week, she completed a Mental Health First Aid Course alongside a suicide prevention course, and she has learned skills she will discuss at the sessions.
She said: “I want to help as many people as possible – having mental health problems is not something to be ashamed of.”
The first meeting in Fraserburgh will take place at the Cheers Cafe at 7pm on Monday.
Dates for meetings in Inverurie and Newburgh will be available soon.
To find out more, search for Stand Together Aberdeenshire on Facebook.