People in rural Scotland:

  • experience depression, suicidal thoughts and feelings, self-harming behaviour and anxiety disorder - no matter what their age, gender or location

  • suffer isolation made worse by remoteness, stigma and fear.

What needs to change:

  • people want to connect before their mental health crisis occurs - locally in "low-level", non-clinical settings

  • shorter waiting times and mobile outreach to all parts of Scotland are crucial to prevention.


Our Mission

The Forum is a strong network of rural people and stakeholders driving change to:

  1. enable rural people to be open about their mental health

  2. create solid evidence base for what works to improve people's lives

  3. develop a programme to influence policy-makers to channel resources in ways that bring positive change through a network of rural organisations across Scotland

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP thanks National Rural Mental Health Forum for its work across Scotland

Mental Health Minister Clare Haughey MSP thanks National Rural Mental Health Forum for its work across Scotland

Helping rural communities and businesses thrive is a priority for this Government and by enabling good mental health, we can all reach our full potential wherever we live.
I welcome the new National Rural Mental Health Forum, rural groups working together for a common cause is a strong move forward in the right direction. I’m pleased to be supporting this positive initiative to help co-ordinate a national focus on mental wellbeing.
— Fergus Ewing, MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Economy and Connectivity, Scottish Government
“We know that people in rural communities can feel isolated, and the Forum can help them maintain good health and wellbeing by developing connections and accessing support where they need it. I know the Forum will make a real difference to people in rural Scotland.”
— Maureen Watt MSP, Minister for Mental Health

scottish government's MENTAL HEALTH STRATEGY 2017-2027:

  • ACTION 12: Support the further development of the National Rural Mental Health Forum to reflect the unique challenges presented by rural isolation.

  • The challenge presented by isolation is keenly felt by many in our rural communities.

  • The National Rural Mental Health Forum has been established to help people in rural areas maintain good mental health and wellbeing.

  • This Forum will help develop connections between communities across rural Scotland, so that isolated people can receive support when and where they need it."