It is Mental Health Awareness Week from May 9 - 15 and this year’s theme is loneliness.

By highlighting this issue and its impact on mental health NHS Borders hope to reduce stigma and offer support to more people who are lonely, or at risk of loneliness.

To raise awareness, the Scottish Borders Joint Health Improvement Team and Health in Mind are taking over the Wallaceneuk parkrun in Kelso on Saturday May 14.

Working with the organisers of the parkrun, a free, fun and friendly weekly 5k community event, the teams hope to promote the mental health benefits of coming together as a community to exercise.

Head of Health Improvement, Fiona Doig said: “Parkrun is such a great opportunity to make a difference to your mental health. We know that having good social connections in your community and being physically active are two key things that can have a significant positive impact on mental health and I’d really encourage people to come out and give it a try.

“You don’t have to be fast at running, you can walk the course or just come and watch and join in with the applause – what’s important is the connection to other people in the community and finding practical ways to protect your mental health.”

Border Telegraph: NHS BordersNHS Borders

Kelso GP Dr Mike Lewis, who is one of the team to set up Wallacenuek parkrun, added: “I’ve seen first-hand the positivity that the project has created. Some people love the walking, some the running and others just like being part of our friendly volunteer team.

“We’ve built a real community and there’s a great feeling of mutual encouragement and family.

“Everyone agrees that it’s helped us all reduce loneliness and increase our self-esteem. So if you’re feeling a bit low or lonely, we’d love to have you along.”