South Scotland MSP Emma Harper, pictured, met with Jim Hume, convenor of the National Rural Mental Health Forum, which was established after research by Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) highlighted that rural living can pose challenges for those suffering from poor mental health.
And she said: “If untreated, mental health problems can worsen and there can be dire circumstances – so it’s vital that we look at the extra challenges people living rurally seem to face accessing services, feeling isolated, facing stigma, and talking openly. I was very heartened to hear about Jim’s work. We both come from farming backgrounds and have known people who have suffered terribly with mental health problems – so I look forward to doing what I can to support the work of Jim and the forum.”
The Scottish Government recently launched a consultation on tackling social isolation and loneliness – and Ms Harper is urging the public to take part via the Scottish Government’s website.