Employment and Mental Health Short Life Working Group


This group was formed in May 2021 and concluded its work in August 2022.

On 8 October 2020 we published ‘Mental Health – Transition and Recovery’, which outlines our response to the mental health impacts of COVID-19. The plan sets out over 100 actions to support good mental health and wellbeing as we look towards recovery from the pandemic. It addresses the challenges that the pandemic has had, and will continue to have, on the population’s mental health.

Evidence and research demonstrates that meaningful, fair work can provide important benefits for people’s mental health and wellbeing. We also know that creating workplaces which support and promote good mental health benefits both individuals and employers.

The primary purpose of this group is to engage and collaborate with key stakeholders to inform and better understand how to make meaningful and enduring improvements to mental health within the workplace. This will include, but is not limited to, raising awareness, tacking stigma and promoting access to wellbeing support which is available to all employees.

The work of this group will support the delivery of three key actions from the Mental Health Transition and Recovery Plan, which are:

  • 2.3 – Mentally Healthy Workplaces: we are working with employer groups and trade unions to promote healthy workplaces, building on local and national services to promote the discussion and support of mental health, along with addressing stigma and discrimination
  • 2.4 – Fair Working Practices: encouraging and rewarding employers to adopt fair working practices by attaching fair work criteria to grants, contracts and other public sector funding, working to create more diverse and inclusive workplaces which support positive mental health
  • 2.5 – Home Working: building on guidance to employers, we will work with employers, disabled people’s organisations and trade unions to mitigate the potentially negative impact of home working on mental health

The group will utilise the expertise of members to shape and inform implementation plans for the above actions. It will help identify outputs and next steps for creating value and long-term tangible improvements to mental health policy within the workplace. For our purposes, ‘workplace’ is location-neutral and includes home working.

The group will meet virtually every four weeks and meeting minutes will be published on this page.


  • Angela Davidson, Chair, Scottish Government (SG), Directorate for Mental Health
  • Anne Armstrong, SG, Mental Health Nursing Advisor
  • Annette Bell, Public Health Scotland
  • Alistair Gregory, Scottish Enterprise
  • Boswell Mhonda. SG, Directorate for Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • Catherine Totten, SG, Professional Advisor
  • Chris O’Sullivan – Mental Health Foundation
  • Dan Curran, SG, Directorate for Mental Health
  • Graham Bush, SG, Directorate for Population Health
  • Gregor Scotland, Confederation of British Industry
  • Joanne Farrow, SG, Directorate for Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • Julie Anderson, SG, Directorate for Mental Health
  • Kevin Wilson-Smith, Public Health Scotland
  • Linda Somerville, Scottish Trade Unions Congress
  • Louise Wright, COSLA
  • Lynne McCaughey, This Is Me Scotland
  • Morag Williamson, SG, Directorate for Mental Health
  • Oxana Macgregor-Gunn, SAMH
  • Patty Lozano-Casal, See Me
  • Ruaridh Hayes, SG, Directorate for Fair Work, Employability and Skills
  • Ruth McElroy, Federation of Small Businesses
  • Sam Jennings, Skills Development Scotland
  • Sarah Jones, Health and Safety Executive
  • Shari McDaid, Mental Health Foundation
  • Shirley Windsor, Public Health Scotland
  • Suzanne Hutchison, SG, Directorate for Mental Health
  • Suzanne Roos, NHS Scotland
  • Stewart Reid, SG, Directorate for Mental Health
  • Wendy McDougall, NHS


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