Scottish Rural Mental Health


Through our themes, we aim to address some of the key issues affecting remote and rural healthcare by providing information, links to relevant websites, useful resources, toolkits and research.

Mental Health – Scotland’s Transition and Recovery content

Mental Health – Scotland’s Transition and Recovery

This plan outlines the Scottish Government’s response to the mental health impacts of Covid-19. It addresses the challenges that the pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on the population’s mental health.

Scotland's Transition and Recovery

Published October 2020



Scottish Government Mental Health Strategy 2017-2027

Thursday, March 30, 2017.  ISBN: 9781786526144


In 2016, SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre and the national mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland joined forces to produce the first rural Scotland-wide survey focused on people’s experiences of living with mental ill health. Hundreds of people responded, telling us the challenges they face with their mental health issues, their ideas for improvements in mental health services and their key messages for policy makers which would lead to improvements in their mental wellbeing. The findings from our research have already had an impact on the Scottish Government’s new 10-year Mental Health Strategy and have underpinned the formation of the new National Rural Mental Health Forum. Find out more in this ground-breaking report, produced in partnership with Support in Mind Scotland

National Rural Mental Health Survey Scotland: Report of Key Findings

Assessing the evidence base of living with mental ill health  Briefing: Mental Health in Rural Scotland

Isolation and Loneliness content

Isolation and Loneliness

Loneliness is an increasingly important public issues, as social relationships are central to personal well-being and are crucial for maintaining physical and mental health.

Loneliness can be experienced by people of all ages at different points in their lives. However, the circumstances which increase the risk of loneliness differ by age. For example, leaving education is a common vulnerable time for young people whereas the death of a long-term partner, or the sudden onset of illness or a disability more affects older people.

Organisations, activities and support needs to be available for people who are lonely, and lonely people, and those supporting them, need to be aware of what services are available and how to be able to access these.

NHS Highland The Annual Report of the Director of Public Health 2016

Scottish Government A Connected Scotland: Our Strategy for tackling social isolation and building stronger social connections. 

Is the Scottish Government's national strategy for tackling social isolation and loneliness and is a steps toward their vision for a Scotland where everyone has the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships, regardless of age, status, circumstance, or identity.

The Gathering 2019, saw VHS and Scottish Rural Health Partnership hold a workshop, "Mental Wellbeing, Social Isolation and Loneliness in Rural Scotland".  The workshop was attended by over 100 people from a variety of organisations. 

You can now view the The Gathering Key Messagesand The Gathering presentations from the event.

Examples of some unique Mental Health Education Programmes for Remote And Rural Teams content

Examples of some unique Mental Health Education Programmes for Remote And Rural Teams

A wide range of our educational resources organised under key remote and rural healthcare topic areas are available on open access via the RRHEAL Turas Learn platform.

Specific mental health: association report and conference contributions

Also see :

Ask, Tell Videos content

Ask, Tell Videos

NHS Education for Scotland, NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government have produced three animations about mental health.

  • Ask, Tell - Look After Your Mental Health: understanding mental health and keeping mentally healthy (open access:
  • Ask, Tell - Save A Life: Every Life Matters: suicide prevention and keeping people safe (open access:
  • Ask, Tell - Have a Healthy Conversation:  supporting compassionate conversations with people who may be experiencing mental ill-health or distress or at risk of suicide (using the ALERT model) (open access: