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 The only thing that stands in our way is ourselves, our outdated thinking and a lack of understanding and awareness surrounding this issue.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.
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.
Bio coming soon….
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 a project supporting the management of long-term, fluctuating health conditions while working. She is supporting 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.
Lily Asch is a storyteller and social entrepreneur. She founded Real Talk, a mental health storytelling social enterprise, and provides business support and development for MHScot.
I am passionate about the intersection of arts and wellbeing and am a firm believer of the power of creativity (and that its something we all possess). I have worked in the 3rd sector for the past 5 years and am excited to bring my enthusiasm for purpose driven business to MHScot. I’m looking forward to seeing how Real Talk and MHScot might be able to work symbiotically.
As a proponent of non-formal education I’ve completed numerous trainings and am a skilled storyteller and facilitator. I am also thrilled work as a mentor for young people with the charity Light Up Learning.
As a mental health advocate I’ve spoken with TEDx about my personal mental health journey and sit as a Trustee with Wellspring Scotland, a Leith based charity that provides affordable counselling across Edinburgh.
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.
Sarah for over 10 years has been facilitating and designing a range of interactive courses and workshops.
These include SMHFA, Emotional Resilience, Dementia Awareness, Professional Boundaries and Leading Management Performance.
In recent years, working for a Housing Association, she has tailored courses specifically to support older adults using a person centred approach for Depression, Managing Stressed and Distressed Behaviours and Care Support Plan Writing.
She believes in investing in individuals so they can live their lives as fully as possible. She has a genuine zeal for promoting mentally healthy workplaces and has proactively supported managers to build trust and respect within their teams by listening, motivating and having open conversations.
As a natural communicator she is able to effectively build rapport and promote learning. Her facilitation style is professional, flexible and fun!