This week's Councillor Column is written by Graham Hardie, Lib Dem councillor for Helensburgh Central.

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According to many political commentators – Conservative MSP Maurice Corry included – here in Scotland we are experiencing a mental health crisis.

In my view, one of the options to defuse this worsening situation is to adopt, as they have done recently in New York state, compulsory mental health education in every school curriculum, and to be taught by qualified teachers in this particular field.

New York state was the first state in the US to pass this legislation and I will be pressing the Scottish Government to take action to learn from other parts of the world, as without a doubt the mental health crisis we are currently facing will be become the norm over the next 10 to 20 years.

* With the refugee crisis still ongoing in the Middle East, I was very pleased to receive an update on the progress of a group of Syrian families who were resettled by the council on the island of Bute.

It has been a huge success and their integration into the community has been rewarding and worthwhile for both the refugees and the local population. I will be encouraging the council to take on more refugees in Argyll and Bute.

* Recently I visited Helensburgh’s food bank and was impressed by the dedication and commitment of the volunteers who help the poorest within our community.

I was also informed that the food bank would not survive without the funding provided by Argyll and Bute Council.

* Argyll and Bute Council's budget proposals for 2018-19 have been unanimously approved. These took into account the views expressed through a public consultation and also those received directly from constituents.

It is really important that local people have their say, and I very much appreciate people taking the time to participate in the consultation and getting in touch with me to discuss their priorities.

* Finally, I am in the early stages of organising a poetry festival in Helensburgh – an idea which has been suggested to me by Norman Muir of the community council.

I hope to bring some of Scotland’s leading poets to the town in a celebration of the spoken word – and as W.H. Auden was a teacher in Helensburgh, at Lomond School’s predecessor Larchfield, it might also be fitting to highlight his connection to the area.