The Scottish government’s Digital inclusion for mental health and housing programme will fund 13 new digital pioneer projects that aim to improve access to online support across Scotland.
The programme consists of two funds, the digital pioneer mental health fund and digital pioneer housing fund, backed by a total of £2m. The programme is led by the Digital Health and Care directorate and will be delivered in collaboration with the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations and Connecting Scotland. It is set to run for two years and is intended to help build a shared understanding how digital inclusion can be improved going forward.
The initial phase of the programme shares £600,000 between 13 successful bidders to test, develop and implement projects focusing on its two key areas: mental health and housing. Each project will help people to access existing online services to support their health and wellbeing in one or both of the two focus areas. They are expected to help over 1,500 people by building the skills and confidence needed to access digital services, as well as providing devices to allow better access.
The organisations set to receive funding include Aberdeen Foyer, which will be given over £54,000 to support 22 staff and volunteers assist 75 young people at risk of homelessness access support and reduce isolation. Another organisation, Link Living, will receive over £50,000 to help improve digital skills for 130 young people and people with moderate-to-severe mental health conditions.
Over £51,000 will go to the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH) enduring digital accessibility project, which currently works with people in supported living settings to improve digital skills and confidence. The funding will support 25 staff and allow SAMH to expand and formalise this project across Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow. It will also enhance access to their care management system to improve individual care plan engagement for staff and 100 people benefiting from the project.
Michael Matheson, the cabinet secretary for NHS recovery, health and social care, said: ‘Supporting people to feel more digitally confident so they can access the services they need online is absolutely vital and it is one of our long-standing commitments. This programme will see models tested that will help so many people gain the skills they need to improve their own health.’
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