9 things that would make Scotland the best place in the world to experience a mental health problem
Ahead of World Mental Health Day (October 10) we at Mind Waves took some space to dream.
Armed with a mountain of post-it notes, our Community Correspondents spent time thinking about what a mental wellbeing utopia would look like.
The answers were clear. It’s not about making mental health symptoms go away: it’s about the little (and some big) things that would make life better for people who experience those symptoms.
- A supportive benefits system
This came up over and over again. We’d love to see a system that is more flexible and supports people to recover.
- Quick, free access to a range of talking therapies
Many of us have found talking therapies helpful, but the wait and cost means that they’re often not available when people need them most.
- Non-medical activities to suit individuals
Mental wellbeing is about a whole person – and every person is different. From gardening to model-making, we need a range of activities that promote wellbeing: creative, active, indoors, outdoors, in groups or one-to-one.
- Acceptance and understanding of mental ill health
This was a big one. A Scotland without stigma would be a dream come true. We want more education to build empathy and understanding.
- Support for families and carers
The impact of mental health problems goes beyond the individual. Better support for families and carers would mean improved wellbeing for everyone involved.
- Good quality housing
Where we live makes a big difference to mental wellbeing. We want to see secure, suitable homes in supportive communities.
- A guaranteed universal income
We spoke a lot about the impact of inequality on mental health. We’d love to live in a Scotland where everyone is guaranteed a minimum citizen’s income.
- Free public transport
Getting out and about is vital for good wellbeing. Free, reliable public transport for everyone would make life better in so many ways.
- Widespread education on dealing with symptoms
We think people should feel as confident dealing with a panic attack as a skinned knee. Mental health first aid should be taught in schools, communities and workplaces.
Mind Waves is a space where volunteer Community Correspondents can share positive news about mental health and wellbeing. www.mindwavesnews.com @mindwaves1