29th January 2021
In the latest entry to the SAMH Trustee Blog series, Shona Littlejohn shares why the mental health cause and SAMH is so important to her.
Mental health has come a long way since I was growing up in the early 1970s, and that is to be celebrated, however there is still so much to do.
It would be impossible to write about mental health at this time without reference to the pandemic. While the coronavirus is a physical illness, the direct and indirect mental health impact of the pandemic is huge. Isolation, uncertainty, anxiety, the loss of life and the loss of livelihoods. Never in my lifetime have I experienced so many negative pressures.
It is easy to become overwhelmed by what we’re experiencing and what is yet to come, however I remain optimistic. How can we use this moment as a catalyst for change? How can we ensure the conditions for good mental health are at the heart of recovery and that a support system is in place, so that when people ask for help once, they get what they need? It will take political will and it will take investment - but surely the time is now, given where we are and with the Scottish Parliament elections taking place this year.
My own commitment to the mental health movement has come from my personal experience of depression. The SAMH Information Service publications were important to me, as I learned more about what I was experiencing and how I could help myself. Since I became a Trustee a year ago, I have been amazed by all that the SAMH team delivers. The commitment and compassion of staff, supporters and partners is inspirational. It feels like a community working together towards something important to all of us.
You might be feeling lower, more stress or anxious at the moment. Even during these unprecedented times, there are things we can all to do protect our mental health. SAMH has developed a coronavirus mental health information hub where you can find information, tips and resources which you may find useful.