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Park benches promote mental health wellbeing

Tony McLaren, Lynne MacDonald, and Councillor Paul Kelly pictured at one of the new benches (Image: North Lanarkshire Council)

Tony McLaren, Lynne MacDonald, and Councillor Paul Kelly pictured at one of the new benches (Image: North Lanarkshire Council)

A number of special benches have been placed in country parks in North Lanarkshire to encourage people to take some ‘Breathing Space’.

Three benches have been located in Drumpellier Country Park in Coatbridge, Centenary Park in Airdrie and Strathclyde Country Park for people to use.

North Lanarkshire Council have teamed up with Breathing Space Scotland to encourage local people and visitors to the parks to take some time to sit and reflect or share their feelings on the special benches.

Paul Kelly, Depute Leader of North Lanarkshire Council said: “Sometimes we all need a bit of time when things seem overwhelming. Sitting down to gather your thoughts or having a chat with someone about your worries or concerns can make a huge difference.

“These benches have been placed in our green open spaces so people can take a moment surrounded by nature. Looking out for your mental health and wellbeing is vital for everyone. Breathing Space is a free service providing vital out-of-hours support to people across Scotland who are feeling low, stressed or anxious and I would encourage anyone who may need support to reach out for help.”

The Breathing Space Bench Project is aimed at creating welcoming spaces and encouraging people to share a bit of time for listening and talking, or by reaching out and showing kindness and compassion.

Tony McLaren, Breathing Space National Coordinator, said: “It’s inspiring to see how many organisations are committed to supporting people to stay mentally healthy through taking time to listen and share. They are doing a tremendous job in taking forward this mental wellbeing agenda, offering a place to connect and reflect, and showing that we shouldn’t be afraid to talk about how we are feeling.

“If anyone who is struggling and needs a listening ear, and wants to take a chat beyond the bench, our advisors at Breathing Space are available in the evenings and at the weekends on 0800 83 85 87 or through web chat, to listen and offer information and advice. If you’re worried or feeling down, please get in touch for some ‘breathing space.”

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