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Read our response to the Social Renewal Advisory Board's call for ideas on how to ensure the Covid-19 recovery can build a fairer and more equal Scotland.
Since the start of the coronavirus pandemic Samaritans Scotland has been working with policy makers to ensure that mental health and wellbeing is at the heart of responses to the crisis and plans for recovery
This month the Scottish Government’s Social Renewal Advisory Board published a call for ideas to hear from organisations who have supported communities and people at risk throughout the coronavirus pandemic. The board hopes to understand the lessons learned by these organisations and wants to apply this learning to stimulate a Covid-19 recovery that builds a fairer and more equal Scotland.
We believe that mental health and wellbeing must be an explicit policy priority of the Social Renewal Advisory Board if it is to stimulate a recovery from Covid-19 that reduces levels of poverty and builds a fairer Scotland.
To support this work, we have shared insights we have gathered throughout this unprecedented period such as our Covid-19 caller research. This research has highlighted the extent of the support we offered our callers and demonstrates the pervasive impact of Covid-19 on mental health and wellbeing – especially for groups already at risk of poor mental health.
Our response is informed by the insight from our research and evidence and points to two areas that must be a priority to achieve a Covid-19 recovery that creates a fairer and more equal Scotland —
- Address the socio-economic factors which influence mental health to ensure everyone can contribute to and benefit from a Covid-19 recovery and renewal.
- Capitalise on the recent enthusiasm for volunteering evident in the community and grass-root responses to the current crisis, to support the Covid-19 recovery and to improve population health and wellbeing.