May 28, 2022
Fiona Thompson, National Training Manager, Support in Mind Scotland

Living and working in rural areas can also bring additional challenges to ensuring good health. Problems with loneliness, access to health services, and the stigma attached to mental health are often linked. To help address these issues, Support in Mind Scotland and Mental Health UK have teamed up to provide a ‘Rural Connectivity’ project. The project is funded by Neptune Energy and aims to improve the mental health and well-being of Scotland’s rural communities. Fully funded online mental health awareness training is being provided to businesses, organizations and community groups across Scotland.

“The course will allow me to help any team that is struggling and needs help and support.” Participate in rural communication training.

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The project has given about 30 employers from across Scotland the opportunity to start a discussion on mental health in their staff teams. From Loch Ness to Mull and the Scottish Borders, the training raises employees’ awareness of their own mental health and promotes the skills and confidence to talk about well-being in the workplace.

Prioritizing employee well-being is economically beneficial. More than 70 million working days were lost in 2019/20 due to stress, anxiety and depression (Mental Health Foundation). However, as a caring and responsible employer there is a strong case for supporting the mental health of your employees by investing in the mental health of your staff team.

“Training was invaluable and it gave me a lot of information about mental health and dispelled superstitions.”

Employers may like to embed welfare in the workplace but may not have the time / resources or may not know where to start. However, even taking a few simple steps can be very rewarding and focusing on what you can do within your time, budget and resources is beneficial. The first step in promoting and supporting the well-being of the workplace does not have to be time consuming or costly, for example:

If you are a rural employer with less than 50 staff members, inquire about the training at www.supportinmindscotland.org.uk/training. Can help to do and challenge the ugly stain. Your Work Culture – Can you include welfare ideas in staff meetings, monthly ‘welfare cafes’ or even staff surveys to find staff tips to improve the workplace? Coins , Support and Guidance For example, Breathing Space and Samaritans free phone helpline and web services (newsletter, pay slips, intranet, staff room) allow a weekly ‘welfare window’. One working hour per week to make time for employee self-care (relaxing, doing yoga, reading, sitting quietly with coffee;)

Investing in staff well-being is a valuable step for all employers and will help create a mentally healthy workplace.

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