Change Mental Health and SSEN Distribution partner to build personal resilience
National mental health charity Change Mental Health and the electricity distribution company Scottish and Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) have announced a £10,000 partnership to create resilient communities in rural areas across the north of Scotland.
The partnership, which was formally announced earlier this month at the Black Isle Show in Muir of Ord, will see Change Mental Health’s trained mental health professionals work with 250 service users across Argyll and Bute, the Highlands and Perth and Kinross to encourage people to sign up to SSEN Distribution’s Priority Services Register (PSR) – the free service which offers help and support to those who need it most on the rare occasions there is a power cut.
The teams will also offer in-person support and advice on the completion of a Personal Resilience Plan – working with customers to make preparations which can be helpful in a situation where, for example during a storm, their power supply goes off for any length of time.
With customers sometimes reluctant to seek help, it is hoped that this new partnership will assist with overcoming barriers such as stigmatisation and self-identification of vulnerability – all of which shall help those with poor mental health receive priority support from SSEN Distribution and help live their lives to the fullest.
Jim Hume, Director of Public Affairs and Communications at Change Mental Health, said:
“At Change Mental Health, we are keen to help people with poor mental health in a broad and holistic manner and this partnership with SSEN will help those we support to be prioritised in the event of power cuts. We are grateful to SSEN for their support in enabling this important work and for their focus on helping those who are most in need.”
Lyndsey Stainton, SSEN Distribution’s Head of Stakeholder Engagement, said:
“Just as we invest in our network infrastructure to make it as robust and resilient as possible, it’s also crucial that we recognise the importance of developing personal resilience across our communities – that’s why this new £10,000 partnership with Change Mental Health is so important.
“Our north of Scotland distribution region takes in some of the country’s most remote and rural areas and our free Priority Services Register already provides help and support to those who need it most. Working in tandem with Change Mental Health, we hope to be able to help even more of our customers live their lives to the fullest.”
About Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks
Scottish & Southern Electricity Networks (SSEN) is the electricity Distribution Network Operator (DNO) responsible for delivering power to over 3.8 million homes and businesses across the diverse and unique geographies of the north of Scotland and central southern England.
SSEN employ more than 3,700 people, including skilled engineers, customer service teams and future energy experts, many of whom live and work in the communities they serve. Our teams keep customers and communities connected whilst developing the flexible electricity network vital to achieving net zero.