Mental Health and Wellbeing

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Scottish Government: Suicide Prevention Strategy 2013 - 2016

On the 3rd of December Michael Matheson MSP launched the new suicide prevention strategy for Scotland at the Choose Life National Forum. The previous strategy, Choose Life, was created in 2002. 

The CHEX View

CHEX views the term 'mental health' to mean the state of our mental wellbeing. Mental health, like physical health, is variable and can alter from time to time. Health Scotland refers to the many definitions of mental wellbeing as having common factors “they generally include areas such as: life satisfaction, optimism, self-esteem, mastery and feeling in control, having a purpose in life, and a sense of belonging and support”

This contrasts with definitions of ‘mental ill health’ which as Health Scotland describe “refers to a diagnosable condition that significantly interferes with an individual's cognitive, emotional or social abilities e.g. depression, anxiety, schizophrenia”

Community-led health organisations are able to promote mental well-being by using community development approaches to their work, enabling people to identify and take action on issues of importance to them. They offer support for individuals to maintain good mental health. They also challenge the stigma sometimes associated with those of us who are suffering mental ill health. Commonly they will support those using services to engage with providers to improve service provision and they may bring individuals together in peer support groups enhancing confidence and self-esteem for those involved and increasing community capacity. Such organisations are also often involved in providing ‘social prescribing’ opportunities for their NHS partners.

Local organisations supporting mental well being

Using ‘mental health’ as the keyword search the CHEX Community-led health database to find which members of the CHEX network identify themselves as working in the area of mental health.

CHEX national role in Mental Health

As well as providing information and support to our network of community-led health organisations CHEX is also part of the National Mental Health Improvement Network which is supported by Health Scotland. CHEX is also a member of sub-groups working on specific tasks related to mental health improvement. One of these is compiling a framework of Mental Health Improvement Opportunities based on the strategic objectives of the Mental Health Strategy 2012-15. Through this group Health Scotland and its partners are developing a Public Mental Health Approach.

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