A new project to help people with mental health problems living in rural areas of Skye and Lochalsh has been launched by the local citizens advice bureau.
Skye and Lochalsh CAB’s Advise-Ability will tackle the limitations and social isolation faced by people with mental health problems in remote areas. A lack of public transport, no nearby services and long journey times can mean people don’t receive the help and support they need and Advise-Ability will look to counter this by offering home visits.
During these visits expert advisors – who have their own first-hand experience of mental health problems – will offer information and advice on welfare rights, money, debt, employment, housing and community services.
The project has been funded by See Me, Scotland’s programme to end mental health stigma and discrimination, and runs until March.
Morag Hannah from Skye and Lochalsh CAB said: “Access to support and advice services can be particularly difficult for people with mental health issues, leading to reduced uptake of services by this group.
“In rural areas health and access inequalities are exacerbated by inadequate public transport, social isolation and stigma. Yet engagement with support services can be vital for crisis avoidance and to support recovery.”
See Me programme director Judith Robertson added: “We are delighted to support the Skye and Lochalsh Citizens Advice Bureau in addressing the inequalities faced by those who are experiencing poor mental health in this area.
“We know that two out of three people with mental health problems stop some day-to-day activity because of the fear of stigma or discrimination and this can be made worse when people also face social isolation due to living in remote areas.”