Ten community organisations joined Support in Mind Scotland at Tobermory Aquarium on the Isle of Mull last week (3 June) to launch the charity's innovative new mental health awareness and wellness project, Highlands and Islands Connections.

The pilot project will attempt to monitor and measure changes in mental well-being brought about through creating additional community connections across two pilot rural communities, including Mull. It is hoped that the evidence base will help to drive future policies and projects. 

Represented at the launch were Alzheimer's Scotland, Tobermory Bakery & Tearoom, Tobermory High School, Tobermory Harbour Authority, Tobermory Aquarium, Mull Safe and Sound, Mull Musical Minds, Mull & Iona Community Trust, Glengorm Castle ,Hebridean Whale and Dolphin Trust.

Each organisation completed a survey. We will use the results to help tailor the needs of each organisation to match what they have reported is needed to help enhance mental health awareness and wellness within their organisation. By testing innovative ways to improve the mental well-being of people in rural communities, we will deliver actions that address isolation, loneliness, low self-esteem, stigma and other barriers to participation in life.

Marion Elkin-Greener, Support in Mind Scotland's development officer for Argyll & Bute, said: "The event was a great opportunity for our organisations to get to know each other and network. People responded positively to the event and they are looking forward to working together in the coming year to raise awareness for mental health and wellness within the community."

The project is funded through the Aspiring Communities Fund with support from the Scottish Government and European Social Fund.

For more details about the project, please contact: [email protected]