Delivering Differently for the people of Fife

Returning to work after a mental health problem can sometimes be daunting but with support, those affected can, wheDelivering Differently teamn ready, make the journey back to work more easily.

In Scotland alone it is estimated that mental health problems cost £10.7 billion, taking into account of social and care costs, economic outputs and human costs. Data for Fife shows a direct correlation between economic and employment deprivation and long-term mental health problems.

That’s why today, in mental health awareness week, Fife has launched the Final Report of Delivering Differently – an 18 month project to improve the outcomes for people with mental health problems in Fife, which has been funded by Scottish Government’s Employability Innovation and Integration Fund.

Fife Voluntary Action is leading the project, working with Fife’s Health and Social Care and Opportunities Fife Partnerships, along with input from a range of partners including local third sector organisations, businesses and, crucially, people who have a lived experience of mental health problems.

Differing Differently has undertaken significant research into what drives high unemployment levels for people with mental health problems and supported a raft of practical actions to address this from: growing aspiration and peer role models; growing specialist employability provision; making services easier to access; and working with employers to create mentally healthy workplaces in Fife.

At today’s Joint Mental Health and Employability Forum, in the Rothes Halls, Glenrothes, the Delivering Differently team presented information on the research findings to over 160 people. The event celebrated the learning from nine pilot fund projects and engaged staff and service users in what needs to happen next.

Gordon Mole, Chief Officer for Business and Employability, Fife Council said, “We’re exceptionally pleased with the results that Delivering Differently have been able to deliver in a short space of time. The project has engaged with a wide range of agencies, providers and businesses and is an excellent example of partnership working. Practical help for companies, such as the Just: Ask Listen Talk toolkit, helping managers to support their workforce with mental health problems, demonstrate the effectiveness of the approach.”

Michael Kellet, Director of Fife’s Health and Social Care Partnership added, “Improving the mental health and wellbeing for the people of Fife is a key priority for the Partnership. Delivering Differently has made great progress in understanding and addressing the issues relating to mental ill health and employment. The involvement of people with lived experience has been invaluable and has been key to the success of the project.”

Pegs Bailey, Strategic Coordinator for Delivering Differently said – ‘It has been an honour to work with so many amazing people on this project. Mental health problems can affect anyone at any time. If it happened to me I know I would want to be supported to get back on my feet, and to know that work would be a possibility in my future again’.

The Delivering Differently team has received funding from See Me to continue their work improving outcomes and tackling stigma associated with mental health. The funds will support the recruitment and coordination of a team of volunteers who have had experience of mental health issues.


Mental health awareness – looking good!

Body image and how we feel about our bodies has been the focus of this week’s mental health awareness. Last year the Mental Health Foundation found that 30% of all adults have felt so stressed by body image and appearance that they are overwhelmed and unable to cope. That’s one in every three people.

Body image issues can affect all of us at any age and impact on our mental health and there is a lack of research and understanding around this. We are intimately aware of the particular quirks of our own body; its strengths, wonders and limitations. And yet for too many of us, our bodies are sources of shame and distress. From an early age we are bombarded with images that define what an ‘ideal body’ looks like. The Mental Health Foundation wants to ignite a national conversation about how we can be kinder to our bodies as a guard against the individual, family and cultural influences that can lead to a worrying and sometime debilitating sense of dissatisfaction with our bodies. What we do know is that self-acceptance and self-esteem are crucial to good mental health. Comparing ourselves to others, either online or real life, can undermine these things giving rise to feelings of inadequacy.

The good news is that we can tackle body image through what children learn in school, by the way we talk about our bodies and policy change at a government level.

More info body image can be found at

Looking for training?

The Health Promotion Team run a number of training courses including:

  • Scotland’s Mental Health First Aid
  • Mentally Healthy Workplace training for managers
  • Eat well, be active, feel good
  • Building self-esteem for young people

Courses start from September 2019 at venues across Fife. Visit for more information.

What do you think about the health and social care priorities for Fife?

Priority 3 – Working with communities, partners and our workforce to transform, integrate and improve our services

We need to all work together to deliver and continually improve on the services we deliver for Fifers. We are building on the successes developed through engagement with our workforce, communities and partners but there is still more we can do.

Is this something we should progress?

Let us know what you think.

How to get involved:

These are available in different formats – call 01592 583136 if this is required.

Your views are important, please get involved.

Do you agree with the health and social care priorities in Fife?

Priority 2 – Promoting health and well being

Mental health is a key area across all communities in Fife and like the rest of the UK, demand for these services is increasing. We want to ensure that Fifers get the right help at the right time to help with recovery free from discrimination and stigma.

Do you agree?

Let us know what you think.

How to get involved:

These are available in different formats – call 01592 583136 if this is required.

Your views are important, please get involved.

Are we getting the health and social care priorities right for Fife?

Priority 1 – Working with local people and communities to address inequalities and improve health and wellbeing outcomes across Fife

We want people to feel fully informed to help make their own choices about how they live their lives and what outcomes they want to achieve. By focussing on preventing a crisis happening can have a positive impact on improving health and reducing inequalities and can reduce demand for health and social care services.

Is this an area you think we should be progressing?

Let us know what you think.

How to get involved:

These are available in different formats – call 01592 583136 if this is required.

Your views are important, please get involved.