Published: Wed, May 15, 2019
Medicine | By Brett Sutton

Mental health first aid lift for ScotRail staff

Mental health first aid lift for ScotRail staff

"At Rastrick, we have worked hard to protect and grow our income through thorough budgeting, excellent academic results which creates rising pupil numbers, tough decision making and no lack of entrepreneurial skill, meaning that we have a budget that allows us to continue to offer outstanding mental health support to our students".

Chief executive Mark Rowland said the research showed millions of adults were struggling with concerns about their body image. Two in five (40%) said images on social media have caused them to worry about their body image, with 40% expressing that their friends have said something to cause them to worry about their body image. A further third have felt "disgusted" or ashamed due to their body image over the past year. The study comes after a year-long effort to put mental and physical first aid on equal footing in the workplace, with a petition to have mental health first aiders at every workplace gaining over 210,000 signatures so far.

Julie Cameron, head of programmes at MHF Scotland, added: "Our research published this week highlights the huge impact that negative body image can have on the mental health of both adults and young people".

Today in Holyrood, when asked by Scottish Conservative Jamie Green about the survey, Ms Haughey said that the government was taking the report "extremely seriously" and that body image was "increasingly recognised as a factor than can affect people's self esteem".

"This could be enforced by the proposed new independent regulator, which is already part of the government proposals". In addition to 40% of teens aged 13 to 19 worrying about their body image due to social media, nearly half of 18 to 25s said images on social media have caused them to worry about their own body image. Research by the Mental Health Foundation found 13% of adults had experienced suicidal thoughts or feelings because of concerns about their body image. "We know the importance of engaging and identifying the signs of someone in need of support and how critical this can be". "There needs to be more awareness that mental illness is not something anybody chooses, it isn't something that they should be looked down on or criticized for".

The advisory group - whose members have not yet been announced - will look at links between social media use and body image issues.

"This includes £90,000 of funding to produce advice on the healthy use of social media and screen time, and a review of evidence on the effects of screen use on sleep and the implications of this for mental health".

She said the new advisory group, which will draw members from youth, third sector and equalities groups, was part of the government's overall aim to tackle mental health issues, targeting the impact of social media and body image on people's mental wellbeing.

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