Charity seeks to support mental health problems in rural areas
Thursday, 9 August 2012
One-in-four Scots will experience a mental health problem at some point in their lives and in remote areas the effects can be magnified, a new report has shown.
In isolated areas getting the right support more difficult and this has prompted a charity to launch a campaign roadshow to make it easier for people in remote communities across Scotland to find support.
Maria Hall has chronic depression and has a bi-polar disorder and living in a remote area of Moray has exacerbated her condition.
Ms Hall said: “I had no friends or family where I was living at the time and no access to anybody - any living human-being, only my dogs - and I went into complete meltdown.
“If I had known where to go when I first started slipping into depression I think I could have stopped at that point and come back from the edge.”
More than 800,000 adults in Scotland would not know where to go for help if they had concerns about their mental health and many others wait for more than a year before seeking support.
But according to a new report those living in isolated areas like Ms Hall face additional challenges.
Carolyn Roberts, of the Scottish Association for Mental Health, said: “The first is that services can be quite centralised. If you are in a remote area and you don’t have your own transport it can be very hard to get to them.
“Second is that there is a stigma associated with mental health problems. If you live in a very small community, where everyone knows everyone, that makes it that little bit harder to take first step.”
The Scottish Association for Mental Health launched its Know Where to Go Campaign earlier this year and has now taken it on the road across rural Scotland to make it easier for people to find support.
Ms Roberts added: “We hope it’s going to make quite a big difference. We know that people are frightened to talk about mental health quite often.
“They don’t quite know how to ask for help so we hope by being here, by being quite visible in people’s communities and by offering practical advice on where to go for help we can let people know whether it is on the phone, online or on the high street you can get help with your mental health.”