A CARING pair of sisters have set their sights on turning Barrhead into Scotland’s first ‘mental health aware’ town in memory of their late brother.

Frances Quinn, 41, and Jennifer Capaldi, 43, set up support group Lean on Me following the sudden death of Barrhead man Anthony Quinn, who had suffered from severe mental health issues, in 2017.

As well as holding an annual candlelit walk through the town, the pair are now on a mission to spread the word about the importance of looking out for people and their mental wellbeing.

READ MORE: Marching through Barrhead to raise awareness of mental health​

They have started to work with pubs and cafes in the town to present ‘lifesaving’ awareness courses in a bid to provide even more safe spaces for locals who might be struggling.

The duo have been working in conjunction with the Recovery Across Mental Health charity and run Lean on Me out of their Catherine Rose cafe, in Cross Arthurlie Street.

Frances said they are on a mission to change Barrhead people’s perceptions of mental health.

She added: “There are so many young people in Barrhead who are struggling, so we want to make the town mentally health aware.

“It shouldn’t be left to the community to do it themselves but that is what is happening.

“If you tell people you have a mental health issue, they shy away from you. Most people find they can’t phone the doctor or have difficulty in doing so but we want them to be able to come to us and to cafes and pubs across the town.

“They often find it easier to speak to people they are around all the time."

While the sisters are still working out what it will mean to be a mentally health aware town, they plan to work with the Scottish Government to establish a formula they can share across the country.

READ MORE: Green light sought for golf club housing plan​

The Quinn family’s work has all been inspired by Anthony, who suffered greatly with mental health problems throughout his whole adult life, and they are determined to provide a support network which wasn’t there for him.

Frances said: “There wasn’t enough support for him.

“We want to do something which will create more interest and help people understand.”