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Festival of Politics 2022
11 to 13 August
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Sunday, October 24, 2021

Prioritise Mental Health

Time: 6pm to 7pm

How do we put mental health at the heart of our recovery from the pandemic?


Event information

The COVID-19 pandemic has demonstrated how central our mental health is to our lives. People have experienced loss, disadvantage, discrimination and redundancy. We have an opportunity to put mental health at the heart of decisions on how we recover and move forward – from personal decisions to policy decisions by local and national governments. But who will take the lead and how fundamental will this prioritisation be?

This event is brought to you in partnership with Mental Health Foundation. It is chaired by Gillian Martin MSP, Health, Social Care and Sport Committee.

This panel has BSL interpretation

 Mental Health Foundation Logo


Mark Rowland

Mark was appointed as the Mental Health Foundation's Chief Executive in October 2018. Prior to that, he was the Foundation's Director of Communications and Fundraising. He has an MBA from the Open University. He is focused on building a vibrant organisation and delivering the Foundation’s new strategy, centred on prevention in mental health, with the aim of ensuring that people across the UK can live mentally healthier lives. Mark is a Non-Executive Director of Mental Health at Work, sits on the Government’s National Suicide Prevention Strategy Advisory Group, is Vice Chair of the Coronavirus Mental Health Response Fund and is a trustee of Partners Relief and Development. He also brings lived experience of being bereaved by suicide to his role.

Shruti Jain

Shruti is Chairwoman of Saheliya, a specialist mental health and well-being support organisation for women and girls (12+) with experience of racism, other discrimination, and of gendered abuse in Edinburgh, the Lothians, and Greater Glasgow, as well as other parts of Scotland.

She is passionate about dismantling the structural inequalities that exists for marginalised and vulnerable communities that extends through healthcare, housing, education, employment, immigration and access to justice.

Shruti works in public health as the Organisational Lead for Inclusion Health at Public Health Scotland.

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