When she set up Let’s Talk Tayside a year ago this month, Ashley Bonini had no idea how many people she would reach out to.
The idea behind the group was to offer people a place to turn to where someone would always listen if they were in crisis or even just offer a word of support and advice during a difficult time.
The group now has 3,600 followers who regularly contact each other on its private social media page offering mutual support and encouragement.
Members of the group also regularly meet in Dundee to talk over issues and concerns.
Ashley, from Douglas, and her fellow student mental health nurse friend, Paula O’Neill, set up the group last October.
Within four days they had around 2,000 members and Ashley said the group very quickly went from strength to strength.
She explained that they founded the group because they were aware of how many people in Dundee suffered from mental health issues and depression.
She said: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed by the impact the group has had. I have people stop me in the street and comment on how amazing they feel it is, which makes me very proud.
“It has helped people by making them feel less isolated and brings them back slowly but surely with positive community spirit.”
Ashley added: “Life throws hurdles at everyone but this group has proved we can gain strength with the encouragement and hope from each other.
“We have more than 3,600 members which definitely proves there is a need for a group of this nature. When we started this, we didn’t realise the response would be so huge.
“There are so many people sharing their distressing stories, but they also say that they feel better for that and talking to someone else about what has happened to them.”