IT’S estimated that nearly one in four people in the UK will suffer from a mental health issue this year.

And two charities want to help Borderers combat the issue through the use of famous books.

The second Don’t Judge a Book by its Cover event, in partnership with nationwide charity See Me, took place in the Atkinson-Pryce bookshop in Biggar last week, after its successful launch in Peebles.

The events bring people together in an effort to break down stigma towards mental health, by showing how it has been portrayed in famous novels and plays, to prove that problems can happen anywhere and to anyone.

The works of Harper Lee, Charles Dickens and William Shakespeare were used, with characters such as Boo Radley and Miss Havisham given as examples of literary figures who have experienced and battled their own mental health issues.

The experiences of these characters are believed to have had a significant influence in inspiring people to open up about their own experiences of mental health issues.

Event organiser Bridget Atkinson from Peebles believes fiction can have a big impact on educating people about mental health.

She said: “It was widely agreed that things are improving due to more open conversations and with an emphasis on communal activities.

"Lots of references were made to how powerful literature can be in starting conversations, continuing them, and educating those who may not have a good understanding of the issues surrounding mental health.”

In Harper Lee’s classic, To Kill a Mockingbird, Arthur ‘Boo’ Radley is a man who suffers from stigma.

But what emerges within the chapters of the book is he's merely lonely and looking for friendship.

Similar themes can also be observed in Dickens’ Great Expectations where the character of Miss Havisham is tarred as a ‘witch’ after suffering a mental breakdown following the end of a relationship.

Although fictional similar discrimination can also be found in everyday lives.

See Me is hopeful that people will feel comfortable enough to share their problems.

Calum Irving, director of See Me, explained: “We all have mental health and so should all feel comfortable in talking about it.

"However that is unfortunately not always the case.

“So it is great to see event like this, which take an interesting new approach to starting conversations on such an important topic.”