Breathing Space and NHS Living Life, two free national mental health telephone services have launched a competition aimed at improving awareness of mental health issues.

As part of the Year of Listening initiative – the free competition is open to anyone over the age of 16. The competition asks for a photograph, poem or short story which answers the question, “What does listening mean to you?”

The competition prize is “an MP3 player and also the opportunity for their work to be featured on the Breathing Space website, Scottish Recovery Network website and also other printed publications,” according to a spokesperson for the initiative.

According to its website, “Scotland’s Year of Listening (YoL) will raise awareness throughout 2016 that listening, and being listened to, is good for your mental health.

“The initiative was officially launched on 1st February and is being promoted by Breathing Space and Living Life mental health phone services alongside a number of national organisations.

“Relationships and friendships, where we feel listened to, can have a huge positive impact on our sense of wellbeing. The YoL is an opportunity for us all to demonstrate our commitment to be better listeners. Whether you are a friend, parent, sibling, spouse, neighbour or carer… take time to listen today.”

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