Scotland's Rural College

Improving mental health support for rural communities

Scotland’s Rural College formed a partnership with Support in Mind Scotland (SiMS) to carry out the first national rural survey targeted at those with experience of mental health problems.

The project examined people’s experiences in their community and established how they would prefer to connect with services, with the aim of ensuring that those with mental health problems were taken seriously.

Results show that the rural community is supportive for some, but judgemental to others. Those experiencing ill mental health said they wanted to connect in local, low-level, non-clinical settings, before personal crises occur.

The findings have changed the approach taken by SiMs to tackle mental health issues and is helping to shape policy in Scotland.