National Rural Mental Health Forum publishes report on 'Highlands and Islands Connections' project

National Rural Mental Health Forum publishes report on 'Highlands and Islands Connections' project

Hannah Downey

The National Rural Mental Health Forum have published a report on their pilot project 'Highlands and Islands Connections'.

The Highlands and Islands Connections project is an innovative approach to tackling mental health and wellbeing in remote and rural areas of Scotland. Poor mental health can be experienced wherever you live and in rural areas stigma, lack of anonymity and an inability to access services can all act as barriers to support for individuals.

Support in Mind Scotland, who run the National Rural Mental Health Forum, undertook research that highlighted that those who experience poor mental health in rural Scotland want the ability to be supported in their communities in a low-level, non-clinical crisis setting.

The project worked with communities in two pilot areas testing out different ways to engage, to develop and explore delivery of mental health support. 

Jim Hume, National Rural Mental Health Forum Director, said;

"We can all agree that community connections have never been as important and will increasingly be so as we move through this Covid-19 Crisis. The recently published Highlands and Islands Connections Project Report highlights the importance of nurturing those connections and examines how improved community connections make a positive difference to mental health and wellbeing.

The connections made through the National Rural Mental Health Forum and its members have also proven valuable during this crisis. The Forum has over 160 organisational members from many different sectors, has outreach to over half of rural Scotland and is using those connections to feed in to decision makers issues that are arising due to the Covid-19 Crisis in order for them to take action."

You can read the report in full here.

Watch the video below 'Caring, Connected Communities' below to find out more about the project.