Shetland’s MSP spoke on Friday to stakeholders and members of the public working to improve mental health services in rural communities across Scotland.
Attending a hustings run by the National Rural Mental Health Forum, Ms Wishart discussed the particular vulnerabilities felt in rural communities and the need to ensure that support is available readily and locally.
Ms Wishart spoke about her engagement with constituents, which has underlined that mental health is a key concern for many in Shetland.
Commenting following the event, Ms Wishart said:
"In rural places and islands like Shetland, where communities are more spread out, loneliness and isolation can take hold more easily. The pandemic restrictions only made us more vulnerable. Urgent investment in services and workforce planning is needed to ensure that problems are addressed and people get the help they need when they need it.
“Frontline staff work around the clock, and I know the community is immensely grateful for the work they do. But there simply aren’t enough of them to cope with demand. There have never been enough of them.
“Scottish Liberal Democrats have already secured a number of commitments to boost our mental health services but as the Scottish Parliament declared only a few weeks ago, we are in the midst of a mental health crisis.
“We now need to train more staff, move services closer to people and work to end the long unsustainable waiting times for those seeking mental health support.”