Megan’s story

Megan, a SAMH supporter who completed 20 fundraising challenges in 2022, shares how learning more about mental health and wellbeing has helped her become more confident when helping loved ones overcome their own mental health challenges.

“My experiences of mental health problems have come from the people around me, from family, friends and partners. From being in secondary school until now I have watched the people I care about suffer due to various events in their life. You can feel powerless to help.

“When I was younger, I had no clue how to support them. I wanted to but when you’re 16 you have no idea where to start or even what a mental health conversation looks like. At that time, mental health wasn't a very widely discussed topic and for a teenager there was no part of the curriculum that educated you on mental health.

“Now, at the age of 27, I’ve witnessed some of the people I care most about struggle with anxiety and depression to the point where the thought of suicide has crossed their mind. It’s hard to watch the people we love struggle. So, a few years ago, I decided I wanted and needed to do something about it.”

After receiving a recommendation from a colleague, Megan reached out to SAMH to seek support for her loved ones and to gain more information and knowledge for herself. She said: “SAMH really has helped to save some of these people’s lives. With the charity’s help and advice, I have been able to have those mental health conversations with people and it has allowed them to open up about their struggles. From that, SAMH has signposted me to places they can receive help, like seeing a counsellor or attending support groups. It has helped me learn to manage my emotions while supporting my loved ones as it can be hard on the people around them as well.

“I have also taken part in online training provided by SAMH to help deliver knowledge of mental health in my workplace, and better inform family and friends of how to spot the signs and begin that mental health conversation.

“SAMH provides a lifeline and, for many people, a beacon of hope that from darker times they can find love, support and help to take small steps towards a brighter future. The staff have been amazing and Chloe, my link at SAMH, has been second to none.”

Megan now undertakes fundraising activities for SAMH. She said: “My events started off small, but in 2022 I completed 20 physical challenges across the year, from marathons to 5k runs, to help raise funds and awareness of the charity. SAMH has helped me save my loved ones and I could not be more grateful. Mental health problems are on the rise and their team are making strides towards helping the people of Scotland have access to services which can change their life. Working with SAMH sparked an interest for me in the topic of mental health and I am now studying to help enhance my knowledge in that area.”

This year, Megan is once again taking part in the Kiltwalk, which hosts mass participation walking events in Glasgow, Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh, to raise money for SAMH. “The Kiltwalk has always been one of my favourite events,” Megan said. “My parents completed it with a team to begin with while I watched, and it seemed like such a fun and inspiring event. It challenges your fitness while allowing you to complete it at your own pace, and have a fab time and a giggle along the way. Thousands of people come together to support causes that matter to them whilst wearing a traditional kilt to embrace their Scottish heritage. Every year, I have met amazing individuals and the organisers and event staff are fantastic!

“This year will be my fourth Kiltwalk for SAMH. Due to work I will be swapping my usual Glasgow route for the east coast as I head to Dundee - I can’t wait!”

With four dates and locations for your diary, Kiltwalk has something for everyone in 2023. This year, we are inviting you to join our team by offering free spaces for Kiltwalkers who sign up to raise funds for SAMH.