Well it’s already three weeks into the New Year and I wonder how many of us are still sticking with our new year resolutions?

The gyms tend to be busy as many people resolve to get fitter and lose some excess weight but how many of us resolve to make our minds healthier too?

There’s a real co-ordinated and wide reaching effort within the council to promote mental health and wellbeing for all employees and I am happy to be part of one of the groups pushing this agenda.

As someone who has personal experience of depression and anxiety I am passionate about doing what I can to help others.

One of the aims is to make access to mental health first aiders as easy and natural as access to ordinary first aiders.

It is commendable that the unions and management are working so closely together on this issue, both committing to training and promotion whole-heartedly.

With the council being one of the largest local employers it’s hopeful that there will be wider benefits for our area in tackling mental health issues and reducing the stigma that sadly still surrounds it.

Which leads me on to Parkrun at Levengrove, a free event where the fresh air, exercise and community can help your mental health as well as your physical, and you don’t even need to run, walking and jogging are encouraged too.

It’s great to see this event come to Dumbarton every Saturday morning as well as the other regular, free events, such as the arts and crafts that take place in our beautiful park.

Some of you will have seen a rather windswept looking photograph taken in Levengrove Park promoting the Dumbarton 2020 festival which take place from June 4 to 7 this year.

I’m sure the weather will be kinder than it was at this launch event for a weekend of activities on the river and in the parks and town.

There is sure to be something to appeal to everyone who lives in and around Dumbarton and to the many tourists and ex-pats who it’s hoped will flock back to the area later in the year.

Getting involved in community events as a volunteer is another boost to mental health so contact the organisers at the Dumbarton Festival, details on their website.