Highlands and Islands Labour MSPs are backing a new project to tackle mental ill
health in rural Scotland.
The ‘Well Connected Communities’ project is promoted by the mental health charity
Support in Mind Scotland and the National Rural Mental Health Forum.
As reported by Hebrides News last month the project team will engage with five identified
areas including the Western Isles.
Former councillor Donnie Steele from South Uist has been appointed as local community
The project is exploring the potential for a community development approach to enhance
harder-to-reach people’s mental wellbeing in fragile rural communities, enabling
their engagement in meaningful economic activity. It will run in the Western Isles
for a period of four months initially.
MSPs Rhoda Grant and David Stewart welcomed the scheme.
Rhoda Grant said “Accessing services to tackle mental health is very much needed
in all areas but it is often extremely difficult to access such services in our more
rural areas. In rural areas people often work or live in isolation and this can prove
to be very lonely for someone with mental health issues. Any support for people in
this situation is greatly needed and welcomed.”
David Stewart said “Mental health issues affect many people, from all walks of life.
Encouraging dialogue on this is essential, particularly in rural and remote areas.
I fully support this project and hope it goes from strength to strength.”