Gaelic programme delves into men’s mental health in the Highlands

A Gaelic-speaking programme focusing on the mental health of men in the Scottish Highlands has just been aired on BBC Alba.

Eòrpa featured an interview with Dr Jane Morris, Vice Chair of RCPsych in Scotland looking at why men in some of our most remote rural areas, may suffer from mental health problems.

Over the past few years, the deaths by suicide of six young shinty players have devastated the Highland communities of Fort William and Lochaber.

Now the world of sport in these remote communities are looking at ways to better support men with their mental health.

Dr Jane Morris, said:

“Very sadly it’s true worldwide that rural areas experience worse mental health than urban areas.”

Around 95% of Scotland is classed as ‘rural or accessible rural’, with over one million people living in a rural location.

Living in a rural community may present challenges to mental health, including isolation, loneliness and a difficulty in accessing support and services.

The Scottish Highlands has a higher suicide rate than the Scottish average.

Jane added:

“I think there is both an old-fashioned stoical sense of what it is to be a man, and a rural man, which carry’s its risks in the northern parts of the country.

“Men tend to have a stiff upper lip to managing stress and this may stop people from getting the support they need.”

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