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‘Gaps’ in mental health provision on islands to be studied

To go with story by Louise Glen. Gaps in mental health provision on the islands to be studied. Picture shows; Butt of Lewis and a rainbow. Butt of Lewis. Supplied by Scottish Rural Health Partnership Date; Unknown
To go with story by Louise Glen. Gaps in mental health provision on the islands to be studied. Picture shows; Butt of Lewis and a rainbow. Butt of Lewis. Supplied by Scottish Rural Health Partnership Date; Unknown

A short-term study will look at the services available for people suffering from mental ill health on the islands.

The Scottish Rural Health Partnership (SRHP) has been awarded £4,488 of Scottish Government cash to research mental health and wellbeing in the Western Isles, Orkney, and Shetland.

In a report due to be delivered this March, the study hopes to understand specific issues faced by island communities when it comes to mental health.

Research will be led by senior research fellow Janet Heaton in the University of the Highlands and Islands rural health and wellbeing department.

Her job will be to review existing literature and other information on Scottish island mental health and wellbeing.

Findings will ‘inform the research agenda’

Professor Sandra MacRury, Scottish Rural Health Partnership chairwoman, said: “We hope the findings from this research will be a valuable resource for researchers, third sector organisations and community groups to access and help share best practice.

“Any gaps in knowledge identified by the study will inform the research agenda for island mental health Scotland-wide and could contribute to future policy.”

The partnership was awarded funding from the Scottish Government’s Healthy Islands Fund.

John MacDonald, chairman of the Scottish Rural Health Partnership steering group, said: “This funding is a welcome contribution towards the partnership’s aim of providing a single source of knowledge about remote and rural healthcare.”

“The study is due for completion in March 2022 and the Scottish Rural Health Partnership hope to host an online seminar soon after as the first step in sharing findings.”

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