The HALO Kilmarnock is being officially illuminated bright green this week as a beacon of hope for Mental Health Awareness Week.

The colour green was chosen as it is the colour of Samaritans Scotland whose Ayrshire Branch, based in Kilmarnock, approached the HALO to be the first community organisation to be highlighted in this way at Kilmarnock’s newest building. Samaritans Scotland provides a vital lifeline to people and communities across the country.

Mental Health Awareness Week, which runs until Sunday 16th May, is an annual event hosted by the Mental Health Foundation, focusing on helping people understand, protect and sustain their mental health.

Marie Macklin CBE, Founder and Executive Chair of the HALO, said: “I am so proud that the HALO has been able to support Samaritans to turn the HALO light green in support of Mental Health Awareness Week.

“Community is at the forefront of the HALO’s vision and it’s clear that the mental health and emotional wellbeing of people have been significantly impacted over the last year because of the Covid-19 pandemic.

“When the HALO Enterprise and Innovation Centre opens in the summer we want to be a beacon of hope and a future of opportunity tp the local community.”

Samaritans have provided a vital lifeline for people in crisis and distress for more than six decades, since the first branch in Scotland answered its first call for help in 1959.

Billy Findlay, Secretary of the Ayrshire Samaritans Branch said:

“Ayrshire Samaritans shares many of the same core values with HALO, this is why we are thrilled to partner with them on this project to demonstrate that our community’s wellbeing is important to us.

“This message has never been more vital as we recover together from the impact that Covid has had on our lives.  This is a proactive step helping us to engage with groups and organisation we haven’t contacted with before.

“We want to thank HALO and Marie for caring and helping us spread this message to our community and beyond. To contact Samaritans for emotional support call 116123 or email jo@samaritans.org.”

Samaritans Scotland connects with schools, colleges, workplaces and community groups to help them understand the importance of mental health, talking and sharing their feelings, good or bad, and how to listen.

Every seven seconds someone phones Samaritans whose volunteers are ready to respond to calls and emails from people in distress or despair day or night. People don’t need to be in crisis to contact Samaritans and won’t be judged for anything told to a volunteer.

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