Pupils help charity to boost mental health in Dundee

Pupils help charity to boost mental health in Dundee


Link to Courier article here 

Dundee youngsters given inspirational talk by Scots billionaire Sir Tom Hunter at policy-shaping event

Sir Tom Hunter speaks to youngsters at Abertay University


Link to Courier article here 

Zoe Ball: Sport Relief challenge to raise mental health awareness

Zoe Ball

Zoe Ball has said the death of her boyfriend last year left her with “lots of questions,” as she prepares for a cycle challenge to raise mental health awareness.

Cameraman Billy Yates, found dead at his home last May, had been living with mental health issues for years.

Ball will also film a documentary about mental health while taking part in the Sport Relief challenge.

“I wanted to do something for him,” said Ball.

Speaking to Chris Evans on his Radio 2 Breakfast Show, she added: “One in four people is living with mental illness. That’s a lot of people struggling.”

‘Close to my heart’

The Strictly Come Dancing: It Takes Two host has been out training ahead of her challenge.

Details of the route, including the distance and locations, are yet to be revealed, but she admitted it was “a long way” for a novice cyclist.

Ball said Sport Relief was supporting mental health issues this year, adding: “It’s very close to my heart.”

 Zoe Ball is taking on a cycling challenge to raise awareness of mental health

“I think lots of people know that I lost my boyfriend last year, who lived with depression for a very, very long time.

“I was really touched and moved by the amount of people who got in touch with me, who have been through the same, or living with the same issues.

“Mental health resources are under huge pressure and there are a lot of people who are not necessarily getting the support they need in time.”

‘How can we help?’

Speaking about Yates’ death, she added: “I was left with lots of questions. While we’re doing the challenge, we’re making a documentary. I’m going to visit projects helping people living with mental illnesses – that can be anything from self-harm, anxiety, depression, bereavement, bullying – all of those issues.

“I have lots of questions about what are we doing? How can we help? How do people find the right help?

“There are some incredible organisations helping people.”

She said the challenge was about “spreading some awareness and hopefully helping people find the right help and some hope”.

In her interview with Evans, she told him: “I wanted to raise some awareness. I wanted to do something for him – I wanted to do something for everyone else.

She has already got tips from Davina McCall, who completed her own Sport Relief challenge in 2014. McCall has given some “top tips” on “looking after undercarriages”, said Ball.

Unveiling news of her mission on BBC Breakfast, she said: “I’ve ridden shopping bikes. My dad held my saddle and pushed me along when I was five. I’ve had a go on a BMX.

“But road bikes is a whole new thing. Cleats? Oh my goodness me.

“I’ve had an altercation with a kerb, I’ve had an angry driver, I’ve had two slow-motion falls.”

She joked: “I look the part – all the gear, no idea.”

Sport Relief is held every two years. The 2016 event saw comedian Eddie Izzard run 27 marathons in 27 days and Radio 1’s Greg James complete five triathlons in five days.

Sport Relief is taking place from 17 to 23 March.



Link to BBC article here 

CAN YOU HELP? Dundee teen searches for ‘kind cabbie’ who helped rid her of suicidal thoughts

A Dundee teenager who has suffered from severe depression and suicidal thoughts is hoping to track down an inspirational taxi driver who she says turned her life around.

Chloe Wagener, 17, wants to thank the mystery driver who took her home Tuesday morning, having picked her up outside the Corfu Kebabs takeaway in North Lindsay Street at 1.45am.

North Lindsay Street 

The life skills student, from Fintry, said she has been dealing with a number of mental health problems in recent years, including depression and anxiety.

These have been brought on by a number of events in her life such as family bereavements and illnesses, and having been a victim of bullying.

It was an outpouring of all of this to the selfless cabbie, she says, that caused her to have a change of heart.

She said: “We began talking and I just started to tell him about all the things that have been happening in my life.

“He started speaking back to me and said: ‘Do you know something? I’ve been through the same’.

Chloe Wagener

“He gave me really good advice, telling me about what he had been through, telling me I was young and that there was a light at the end of the tunnel.”

Chloe said she had made multiple attempts on her own life and had resorted to self-harm. She thinks she has attended the mental health unit at Carseview as many as 10 times in recent years.

However, she said that the taxi driver’s advice had given her a new perspective.

“He said that trying to take your own life wasn’t worth it, saying: ‘What happens if you do end your life, how does that affect other people?’

“It made me realise that if I was to end my life I would be missed a lot.

“He gave me advice that has changed my life.”

Chloe said the driver, who never gave his name, was in his late forties, of Pakistani descent, and had short black hair. He wore black glasses, was clean shaven and had a small mole on his face.

She believes that, in all, the driver spoke with her for about an hour — but was in no rush to send her on her way.

She added: “I’m struggling with a lot every day and I’ve been bullied to the point I lock myself in bathrooms or sit crying in the shower. But him talking to me has put a smile on my face and changed how I’m looking at life.

“It’s helping my depression to shift, and I want to say thank you for that.”

The cabbie’s actions were praised by Wendy Callander, executive director at Dundee Association for Mental Health.

She said: “It’s always encouraging to hear stories where people have just been supportive, and a kind word at the right time can make all the difference for someone who is struggling.”


If you know who Chloe’s Good Samaritan is, contact the Tele directly on 575350.



Link to Evening Telegraph article here