Our Work in Scotland

Image of a performance from the Scottish Mental Health Arts & Film Festival

In Scotland, we focus on social justice and inequality in mental health, raising awareness of mental health with the public and working in partnership with community organisations, policy makers and researchers.

Our programmes link together policy, research evidence and practice, helping people and policy recognise the role mental health plays in life.

Since opening the first office in Scotland in 1974, we have played a pivotal role in earning Scotland’s international reputation for innovation in mental health policy and practice. In February 2011 we expanded our Scottish team by merging with the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health and we have offices in both Edinburgh and Glasgow. We are now the foremost centre of mental health improvement research and development excellence in the third sector in Scotland.

We work on a range of mental health programmes in Scotland, other parts of the UK and beyond. We work at every level, providing strategic policy support to Government and local authorities, supporting a wide range of professionals and peers to develop skills and enabling people with lived experience of mental health to lead work and have their voices heard.

Our work includes:

  • Raising public awareness of mental health through high profile campaigns and events.
  • Conducting research and evaluation to demonstrate impact and develop the evidence base.
  • Designing and delivering training and development programmes that connect people to the mental health aspect of their work.
  • Influencing and supporting policy at the local and national level, highlighting the role of mental health in all policies.
  • Supporting service design and development in both mental health, and wider public services.

We believe that inequality is one of the most significant factors in both the experience of mental ill health and recovery, and the wellbeing of populations. Our work programmes therefore seek to address inequality of all kinds, and to work directly with people affected by inequality or discrimination to improve their mental health:

We are currently funded by Comic Relief and LankellyChase to work with asylum seeking and refugee women to help them explore their mental health needs and co-produce and deliver training to key agencies with whom they have contact.

We have an established programme working with people with long-term health conditions, primary care, and major third sector partners to improve capacity for services to address the mental health impact of long term illness, and to develop capacity for peer support.

Most recently, in partnership with the Scottish Association for Mental Health, we have been jointly funded by the Scottish Government and Comic Relief to lead on combating stigma surrounding mental health in Scotland for the next three years.  The work, based on the principal of inclusion of individuals with lived experience of mental ill health, will focus on challenging social inequalities. The work will target areas and settings where stigma and discrimination has the greatest impact on people’s lives such as: the workplace, education and health and social care settings but will also aim to prioritise those that experience multiple layers of discrimination including those most socio-economically disadvantaged, older and younger people and people from black and minority ethnic communities.

The Scottish team has a particular interest in European collaboration, working directly in supporting the European Commission on its European Pact for Mental Health and Wellbeing, with a particular focus on stigma and discrimination. For three years we have been key partners in ASPEN, the Anti-Stigma European Network. This programme has made a significant contribution to understanding what works in anti-stigma work, and our team led on the development of a good practice guide on evidence based anti-stigma practice, published in 2012.

We are proud to host the Scottish national service user organisation VOX Voices Of eXperience since it was formed. We also host the Scottish Service User Research Network, and include trainers with lived experience whenever possible in our thriving training and development programmes.

We lead on the Scottish Mental Health Arts and Film Festival, an internationally respected festival which engages partners from across the arts and mental health world in raising awareness of mental health. Now in its eighth year, the festival enables thousands of people across Scotland to attend or take part in arts activities that highlight mental health.

Contact us

Email: scotland@mhf.org.uk

Glasgow office

Merchants House
30 George Square
Glasgow G2 1EG

Telephone: 0141 572 0125

Edinburgh office

18 Walker Street

Tel: 0131 243 3800 

Registered Charity number (Scotland) SC039714