As part of our work on Isolation Plus Astrosat were able to discuss the mental health impact of COVID-19. We reached out to Support in Mind Scotland to help us identify the challenges faced in rural areas across Scotland, and work on datasets which could help them in their work to tackle rising mental health issues.
As part of this relationship, (and since we are interested in using satellite data to help tackle mental health issues in communities) as a member of the Rural Mental Health Forum (https://ruralwellbeing.org/), we were invited to present at a webinar to explain the work that we do, and to talk about our role in tackling mental health issues. The questions was, “Is there Space in Rural Mental Health?”
Of course the answer is “yes” – as we often say, “Every Earth problem has a space solution”, even when we talk about mental health issues.
During the webinar we presented the wide range of activities and projects Astrosat has been working on over the past few years, with a specific focus on Isolation Plus.
We presented datasets developed by Astrosat which could be linked to mental health issues, such as transport anxiety, lack of access to green space access, poverty levels and social isolation. We also asked the audience about their thoughts on how space could help to prevent suicides, and we explored some of these concepts.
Talking to the experts allowed us to gain better insights and further develop our understanding of mental health whilst also appreciating the terrible consequences of doing nothing.
One thing is clear – Astrosat remains committed in utilising our expertise and tools in helping to tackle rising mental health issues, particularly as we recover from the current global pandemic.