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Health and Wellbeing

The health of Scotland’s population may be improving but much more still needs to be done. Rural areas of Scotland have a vital role to play in improving our diet and promoting wellbeing through enjoyment of the environment.

A healthy Scotland does not mean looking after only human health and wellbeing but also protecting the health and quality of our livestock, fish and crops.

Follow the links below to read about our work on the topic of Health and Wellbeing.

Latest Health and Wellbeing Work

Promoting positive welfare in dairy cattle and sheep (2019)

Two research briefings on promoting postive welfare in dairy cattle and sheep. Both briefings use social research combined with what science suggests contributes to positve welfare in dairy cattle and sheep.

Can we assess happiness in animals? (2019)

Research briefing by Professor Alistair Lawrence. Following on from his previous briefing on positive animal welfare, this briefing focusses on how to asses good life in animals, including farmed species.

Positive farm animal welfare: Something in it for everyone (2018)

Research briefing by Professor Alistair Lawrence on the implications of postive animal welfare. Positive farm animal welfare is in sympathy with public opinion, and is supported by science. This briefing introduces the potential benefits of postive animal welfare to farmers, retailers, consumers and wider society.

Assessing the disease biosecurity of backyard poultry keepers (2017)

SRUC’s Epidemiology Research Unit at Inverness conducted a survey at the end of 2016/beginning of 2017, which targeted keepers of between 1 and 50 birds of any species in Scotland. The aim of the survey was to explore poultry-keepers’ attitudes to the management and welfare of their birds and to establish the utilisation of eggs and /or meat produced. This research briefing summarises the main findings.

Disease control implementation by small to medium egg producers in Scotland (2017)

SRUC’s Epidemiology Research Unit at Inverness conducted a survey at the beginning of 2017 which targeted small and medium sized commercial egg producers in Scotland. The aim of the survey was to improve our understanding of egg producers in Scotland and their needs. This research briefing summarises the main findings of the survey

National Rural Mental Health Survey Scotland (2017)

In 2016, SRUC’s Rural Policy Centre and the national mental health charity Support in Mind Scotland joined forces to produce the first rural Scotland-wide survey focused on people’s experiences of living with mental ill health. Hundreds of people responded, telling us the challenges they face with their mental health issues, their ideas for improvements in mental health services and their key messages for policy makers which would lead to improvements in their mental wellbeing. The findings from our research have already had an impact on the Scottish Government’s new 10-year Mental Health Strategy and have underpinned the formation of the new National Rural Mental Health Forum. Find out more in this ground-breaking report, produced in partnership with Support in Mind Scotland

Mental health and rural Scotland: Key issues and messages for policy and research (2017)

Mental well-being in rural areas has become an area of increasing concern for researchers and policymakers in recent years. Following the 7th March meeting of the Cross Party Group in the Scottish Parliament on Rural Policy, this briefing contains the key outputs from the presentation and discussions that followed to inform research and policy on rural mental health issues going forward

Dr Jane Atterton

Rural Policy Centre Manager and Policy Researcher

Address: Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC), Peter Wilson Building, Kings Buildings, West Mains Road, Edinburgh EH9 3JG.

Telephone: 0131 535 4256

Fax: 0131 535 4345

E-mail: jane.atterton@sruc.ac.uk