CrossReach campaign aims to tackle mental health stigma

The Princess Royal and Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. PICTURE: ANDREW  O'BRIEN
The Princess Royal and Right Rev Dr Derek Browning, Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland. PICTURE: ANDREW O'BRIEN
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EVERY year one in four adults - and one in 10 children - in Scotland experience mental health problems.

On average, the individuals who can get a referral for support from the NHS have to wait a minimum of 10 weeks before they can be seen.

The reality is that for many, this wait is often much longer.

In addition to this around 75 per cent of children are thought to receive no support at all.

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Scottish charity CrossReach is attempting to assist those desperately in need.

They have launched the Grey Cake Baking Campaign to raise awareness of mental health issues.

Princess Anne joined the Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in launching the major mental health awareness campaign aimed at communities across Scotland.

Her Royal Highness cut a slab of specially created Grey Cake which she handed to the Moderator, Rt Rev Dr Derek Browning, revealing brightly coloured layers of sponge beneath the grey icing.

Dr Browning told her: “We are grateful for the support you give mental health charities and for your help in launching our Grey Cake baking campaign.

“These Grey Cakes reflect what it must be like to live under the fog of depression or anxiety.

“Underneath the grey exterior, there is a person struggling to be seen and heard.

“When people have poor mental health we very rarely get to see ​what’s going on underneath the surface.

“Through the work of our social care charity, CrossReach, we know people with mental health problems can face a six-month wait to access support services.

“We are inviting communities across Scotland to bake these Grey Cakes and hold bake sales to increase awareness of mental health issues and raise much needed funds for support services in their area.”

CrossReach’s new Chief Executive, Viv Dickenson, said: “Mental health services are significantly underfunded, but can make such a big difference so quickly to people.

“Our Grey Cake campaign is doing what the church does best, and that is getting alongside people and baking.

“We are combining our core skills, and I really hope communities across Scotland will get behind this.”

One in four Scots will experience poor mental health at some point in their life.

The Grey Cake initiative is inspired and endorsed by Emma Thomas of The Depressed Cake Shop.

CrossReach is one of Scotland’s largest social care providers with services, including mental health support, across the country.

The Grey Cake sales will help raise awareness of mental health issues and raise funds for a variety of charitable services which support them.

Information packs on how communities can take part are now available on the CrossReach website, www.crossreach.co.uk.

The cake was cut at the Heart and Soul Festival in Princes Street Gardens, an annual event attracting around 5,000 people each year which coincides with the General Assembly.

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The crowd were treated to a ‘Bake Off’ style video where Rev Dr Derek Browning challenged the Church’s Youth Moderator in a competition to bake the first CrossReach Grey Cake.

CrossReach was launched in June 2005.

They employ more than 2,000 staff and support some of the most vulnerable people in Scotland.

CrossReach has an annual expenditure of £51 million and most of the funding comes from local authorities and donations.