The Covid-19 pandemic has led to a sharp rise in mental health problems for women in Scotland. Uncertainty about the future, social isolation, and fears over wellbeing have exacerbated what were already increasing mental health issues. The Scottish Women’s Convention have continued to hear about these pressing concerns over the course of the past few months.
A Statement from Agnes Tolmie, SWC Chair:
“Women have been contacting the SWC with their personal stories during the Covid-19 pandemic. As an organisation whose main remit is to ensure women’s real lived experiences are central to the policy making process, we feel the need to highlight the impact on mental health during this turbulent time.”
Mental Health Conference
The SWC hosted two successive Zoom Conferences on Mental Health, one of the most vital topics for discussion in current times. These took place on Wednesday 18th November, with a second on Tuesday 24th November.
Our Conference Report is now available and can be accessed here
Mental Health Resources for Women
Here at the Scottish Women’s Convention, we’ve compiled some of the main resources regarding women’s mental health. We want to highlight the impacts of mental health and promote the specific needs of all women. We recognise, however, that everyone has different individualised needs and there is no one solution. This information has been brought together thanks to the contributions of many women. If you think there is something which would be a helpful addition, please let us know!
Voices of Women
Following the success of both Women and Mental Health Conferences, the SWC has compiled some of the key quotes depicting women's experiences of mental health over the past year.
Cross Party Group
Scotland's Cross Party Group (CPG) on Mental Health provides an opportunity for Members of all political parties, outside organisations and members of the public to meet and discuss the shared interest of Scotland's mental health.
Find out more about this Group, individuals and organisations involved, and access their reports, here.
Key Contacts - Helplines, Websites & Social Media
SAMH - SAMH is Scotland's national mental health charity. Their website currently features specific advice and guidance for self-help and well-being during the Coronavirus pandemic. 0344 800 0550, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Samaritans - Mental Health charity specialising in crisis support, particularly for those at risk of suicide. "Whatever you are going through, a Samaritan will face it with you. We're here for 24 hours a day, 365 days a year." 116 123, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Breathing Space - Free, confidential, phone service for anyone in Scotland over the age of 16 experiencing low mood, depression or anxiety. "We are here in times of difficulty to provide a safe and supportive space by listening, offering advice and providing information." 0800 83 85 87
See Me Scotland - Scotland's Programme to tackle mental health stigma and discrimination, enabling people who experience mental health problems to live fulfilled lives. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Cope Scotland - Caring Over People's Emotions (COPE), "a dynamic organisation led by the voices of lived experience of mental, emotional distress and health inequalities." Twitter
Mental Health Foundation Scotland - "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." Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Clearyourhead.scot - "These are worrying and uncertain times. The coronavirus outbreak has changed daily life for us all in Scotland and has had a real impact on how many of us are feeling. It's ok to not feel yourself right now, and we have some great tips to help get you through it."
Penumbra - One of Scotland's largest mental health charities. "We provide a wide range of services which offer hope and practical steps towards recovery and we campaign to increase public knowledge about mental health and to influence national and local government policy." Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Support in Mind Scotland - Action for people affected by mental illness, with many diverse projects and services located throughout Scotland. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Glasgow Association for Mental Health - "We promote the mental health and wellbeing of people and their communities; providing more than 2000 hours of community based support every week to people in Glasgow." Facebook, Twitter
OCD UK - A recovery focussed charity, who provide evidence-based information, advice and support to those affected by Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter
Scottish Recovery Network - "People and their experiences are at the heart of everything the Scottish Recovery Network (SRN) do. Everyone has mental health. We believe that together we can make recovery real for everyone in every community." Facebook, Twitter
Saheliya - A specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for black, minority ethnic, asylum seeker, refugee and migrant women and girls (12+) in the Edinburgh and Glasgow area. Facebook, Twitter
Link Up Women's Support - A women's only mental health charity in North East Edinburgh, empowering women who experience mental health difficulties through a diverse variety of work within a safe, caring community. Twitter
Maternal Mental Health Scotland - Website created to provide a deep volume of information for women affected by perinatal mental health issues, their partners, families and general public. Facebook, Twitter
The Association for Child and Adolescent Mental Health - Organisation committed to sharing the best evidence and setting the highest standards for practice within Child and Adolescent Mental Health. "Our membership comprises a diverse group of clinicians, practitioners and world-leading child mental health researchers, working across an array of child and adolescent mental health domains." Facebook, Twitter