Scottish Rural Action, the organisation involved in operating the biennial Scottish Rural Parliament, have announced their membership of the recently formed National Rural Mental Health Forum and welcome the focus on mental health in rural communities during Mental Health Awareness week.
The Forum was set-up as part of Scottish Government’s new ten-year Mental Health Strategy announced by Scotland’s Minister for Mental Health, Maureen Watt, in March 2017.
In the Manifesto for rural Scotland, collated by Scottish Rural Action from responses from thousands of people in rural Scotland and agreed at the Rural Parliament in 2016, rural communities call for “Solutions to the mental health issues caused by rural social isolation are identified and early intervention support systems are developed”. The Forum will focus on this and other issues.
Fiona Thompson, Volunteering & Campaigns Coordinator for Scottish Rural Action, said “’In Scotland one in four people will experience a mental health problem at some stage in life.
“For people experiencing mental-ill health in rural or remote areas of Scotland there can be added challenges that make access to services and the path to recovery more difficult. This was highlighted particularly by young people during the process of forming the Manifesto for rural Scotland last year, and the Forum is an opportunity to make sure services recognise and address the specific needs of rural communities.
“Scottish Rural Action welcomes the formation of the forum we look forward to working with other national and local organisations to raise awareness of mental health in rural areas of Scotland and ultimately improve the overall wellbeing of individuals and communities.”