A north-east woman hopes to raise awareness and money for a mental health charity by taking on a 28-day walking challenge.
Emma Strathdee, from Pitmedden, is walking up Bennachie every day for 28 days to raise money for SAMH, the Scottish mental health charity.
The 38-year-old wanted to begin the challenge after struggling with her own mental health for years, which also left her feeling suicidal at the start of the year.
To help raise awareness, she is walking up Bennachie each day alongside 13-year-old son Jack.
To date, she has raised more than £1,000 for SAMH, which is Scotland’s national mental health charity, which supports adults and young people across more than 60 communities in the country, including in Aberdeen.
Emma said: “I’ve struggled with my own mental health since I was in my early 20s, and I had a bit of a breakdown at the start of the year and wanted to take my own life.
“When I was in the hospital I saw the impact that had on my family and friends. I was in a really dark place, but I’ve got all these people around me that love me.
“There’s still so little out there for people, and everyone has suffered a bit with their mental health, especially with Covid.
“I wanted to do something that focuses on the positive and helps. In the hospital the doctors said that getting out and walking might help my own mental health, but I wanted to make it a challenge, so I decided to walk up Bennachie every day.
“It’s definitely making me feel better, I’ve spoken to lots of people going up Bennachie as well.”
Emma, who has depression, has been sharing updates on her Facebook page to help raise awareness, and encourage others to speak about their own mental health.
She’s also credited her friends and family, and best friend Kerri Henry for their support.
Her challenge began on March 15, and will run until April 11.
“I’ve made my Facebook public, and I’m sharing updates every day on how it’s going. I think everybody got quite a shock when they found out I suffered from depression, I was always the class joker, I was always happy and smiling. But that was my way of coping. Unless I’d confided in you, you’d never know.
“I’ve had loads of people message with support, and ask to come up with me. It’s given me a boost, and shows me I would be missed.
“I wanted the challenge to be something worthwhile, and I wanted to push myself.
“It’s really important to talk to someone about how you’re feeling, it’s not something to be ashamed of.”
To find out more, or donate to her fundraiser for mental health, visit https://www.facebook.com/emma.strathdee1