Since 1987 I have been actively supporting and raising awareness about mental health and wellbeing. Using my own experiences of poor mental health since my teens, the workplace has always been an area of great interest and a place where action can and should be taken that creates a positive impact far beyond our surroundings at work.
I started MHScot as I am a firm believer that prevention and early intervention are the most important factors in making positive changes in mental health and wellbeing in the workplace. In order to feel valued and be valued at work you want to be at your peak.
We must appreciate though that everyone’s peak is different and that we have everything at our disposal to be able to truly create and develop a person-centered workplace environment. There are no excuses anymore. The only thing that stands in our way is ourselves, our outdated thinking and a lack of understanding and awareness surrounding this issue.
Having experienced poor mental wellbeing and more recently a chronic pain condition (Fibromyalgia) it has given me some additional insight into the factors that require us to think differently about how we work and in what environment we work in.
Although my career has been spent volunteering and working in the charity sector. In 1998 I set up the first UK mental health support website and although I no longer have the time to manage it, I’ve left it online as a reminder of my own recovery.
I decided to set up MHScot as a Social Enterprise so that my limited capacity and resources are focused on income generation through trading rather than the very precarious and time consuming nature of finding funding and grants where there are no guarantees and 1-3 yr timescales mean constant uncertainty. It also means that MHScot can take ownership over its social aims and missions and be very flexible with these.
Non-Exec Director & Chair
I am an academic researcher and qualitative analyst, with interest in issues surrounding mental health and wellbeing, along with a passion for raising awareness about them.
I have over 8 years of research experience, over 4 years of financial management experience and over 5 years of experience in designing and managing online and face to face learning and training platforms, for brands such as Derby University, Edinburgh Napier University, UFI and Lloyds Bank- learndirect. I also have experience of working on public and private funded projects.
I am also a Fellow of Higher Education Academy of UK and currently working as a Lecturer at the Business School of Edinburgh Napier University. I am also acting as an Academic Conduct Officer for ACC-Group (ENU), and as a Public Relations Officer for International Centre for Management and Governance Research.
I am currently on sabbatical as Policy Lead for Self Management and Health Literacy at the Scottish Government. In this role have wide-ranging responsibility for supporting policy and strategy developments related to person-centered care.
I have responsibility for Scotland’s action plan for Health Literacy, Making it Easy, and the Self-Management Strategy Gaun Yersel! which was written by the Health and Social Care Alliance Scotland from the perspective of people living with long-term conditions.
A career civil servant, I have worked for more than fifteen years on programmes relating to cross-sector working, information governance, technology strategy, and transformational change.
I have come on board to give operational support, offer policy and strategy skills, and feel passionate about what we are trying to achieve. I also have a real passion for food! Without a doubt, good food and mental health and wellbeing go hand in hand so head over the Lunchquest (Reviews of Breakfast, Lunch & Dining opportunities) and Scran Salon (Edinburgh’s Monthly Food Shindig) to feed those brain cells.
As a Senior Operational Leader with a number of years experience in both the Private and Third Sectors I have seen first hand the impact that stress and mental health issues have in the work place.
I am 100% passionate about this subject and committed to making a difference. I was absolutely thrilled when Catherine invited me to join the Board of MHScot.
No longer is it just about an absent workforce and the impact that this has in terms of the additional stress on those at work, loss of productivity and loss of revenue. There has been so much written about presenteeism recently and indeed this is having an even bigger impact.
It is now time to come together to remove the stigma and break down the barriers that are attached to mental health. Prevention and early intervention are the keys to a mentally healthy workplace.
Social Media & Marketing
Amanda offers a huge range of different admin services including marketing, social media through her own small business ‘Little Miss Office‘.
Amanda has been supporting MHScot with our Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc. creating great visuals and coming up with new ideas to reach our audience.
Sonia and I met through Work4ME and with both of us managing long-term, fluctuating health conditions is able to support the delivery of our courses and workshops.
Sonia’s other skills are in Marketing, PR, Operations and Sales Management. She has an excellent writing style so is also supporting us by writing blogs.
Tanya is helping MHScot with enquiries, bookings and course planning.
Tanya is an experienced business support specialist and works in conjunction with SmartPA who provide expert PA and general administrative to businesses of all sizes.
Jane is supporting the delivery of Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid and other courses.
Jane lives in the Scottish Highlands, has been a health improvement specialist for many years, and is passionate about promoting a holistic approach to health and wellbeing. A skilled communicator and trainer, she is a member of the international Motivational Interviewing Network of Trainers. She also trains trainers in taking a ‘brain-friendly’ approach to training: delivering a course called Creating Imaginative Learning.
Emily is an experienced mental health first aid trainer based in Fife.
She regularly delivers the Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid course and also Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid: Young People. Her passion for this work stems from her own lived experience of mental health problems and recovery.
Emily is particularly interested in work that supports prevention and early intervention among children and young people. In 2017 she developed and piloted a peer education programme, which has since been commissioned by a number of local authorities.
Emily splits her working time between mental health training and Russian translation – admittedly, an unusual combination!
I am an accredited Mental Health Trainer with 12+ years’ experience of designing and delivering courses.
I believe we should be open about discussing mental health issues as I am with my own mental ill health and perhaps more importantly, my recovery.
After several years as a carer for a close family member I began my career in Social Care as a support worker with SAMH, I then moved to GAMH and I have now 20 years’ experience in mental health care.
I have delivered A.S.I.S.T. (Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training), SuicideTalk and SMHFA (Scotlands Mental Health First Aid) to a range of social care providers, private sector employers and in a corporate setting.
Bespoke training can also be offered to each client based on your operational requirements and best practice in the mental health sector.