The Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and Islands, Mairi Gougeon, has announced grant funding of £150,000 to Support in Mind Scotland.
The funding will promote mental health recovery in Scotland’s rural communities through community engagement and support approaches.
The announcement was made by Ms Gougeon during her first meeting with the National Rural Mental Health Forum (NRMHF). She said:
“I am delighted to announce funding of £150,000 to Support in Mind Scotland to help continue their important work in Scotland’s rural communities. This funding will target inclusion by providing services to groups within rural communities who face inequalities when trying to achieve good mental health and help them get the support they need. The funding will go to communities as grants via links with the National Rural Mental Health Forum. This place-based partnership will pilot the employment of engagement workers to help learning with a view to expanding the project reach to other areas of rural Scotland”.
This work acts on the findings from the NRMHF commissioned report ‘Marginalised Communities during the Covid-19 pandemic’. The funding will focus on those in rural communities who face additional inequalities in trying to achieve good mental health whilst recovering from the Covid-19 pandemic, such as refugees and asylum seekers, LGBTI+ communities and young carers.
The funding will test pilot activity across rural communities in Argyll & Bute, Dumfries & Galloway and Perthshire. Three engagement workers (one per area) will be employed to improve the mental wellbeing support in these communities linking with service provision.
If the pilot is successful, the approach could be rolled out to more rural communities across Scotland.
The National Rural Mental Health Forum is a cross-sector network of over 225 organisations from third, private and public sectors dedicated to ensuring that people in rural Scotland lead mentally healthy lives. You can find out more about the work of the NRMHR here.