AYRSHIRE College students and staff were sporting pink jumpers leading up to Mental Health Awareness week with ‘wear it on your sleeve’ emblazoned down the arms.

The campaign has been running to encourage the promotion of mental health awareness and has been carried out at each campus including Ayr.

It was created by the current Student Vice President of the college, Jack McCrindle, who sits on the Promoting Wellbeing Group – a cross-campus team of staff members who have developed and implemented a three-year action plan on tackling the stigma around mental health issues and Students supported mental health drive.

The jumpers have been well received by staff and students at the College. Hugh Dykes works as a Mental Health Liaison Officer at Ayrshire College in a partnership post created with NHS Ayrshire & Arran.

He said: “Men don’t always talk about their feelings, but I’m always available to help, and I’m asking people to talk and not feel stigmatised. If anyone is looking for help with their mental health then I’m well placed to advise them on that.”

Murray Baxter, Music and Sound Production lecturer at Ayrshire College, said: “I am passionate about supporting and encouraging the promotion of mental health, especially among young men and Ayrshire College staff members wearing the ‘wear it on your sleeve’ jumpers supporting everyone’s mental wellbeing there.

Jack said: “The campaign aims to encourage students, and male students in particular, to be open about their mental health. We want them to know that it’s okay to express their feelings and emotions, and to let them know they are not alone when they are feeling low.

“We have asked different male staff and students to show their support and wear the pink jumper, creating a conversation around mental health. The aim is to create awareness of the support that’s available at Ayrshire College and promote positive men tal h e alt h a n d wellbeing.”