Child, young adult, adult or elderly – feelings of loneliness and social isolation can affect us all from time to time but particularly those living in Scotland’s more remote rural and coastal locations.
Key to sustaining rural and island life for the long-term is ensuring that present and younger generations choose to stay or return to the same communities in which they were raised.
According to national mental health charity SAMH, mental health problems now affect as many as one in four Scots. Seeking help and support at an early stage can be key to getting and staying well.
Someone to confide in and ask for advice, a safe place where you or a loved one can go for some much-needed respite, or emergency medical treatment close to hand – ‘lifeline’ can mean different things to different people.
In a 2020 report by Scotland’s Rural College, it’s estimated that it costs 10 to 30 per cent more for families with children to live in rural Scotland compared with more urban areas, making the need for free or affordable activities all the more pressing.