An innovative project based in Kirkcaldy which provides work experience opportunities in horticulture for people with mental health problems will be visited by members of the Health and Sport Committee of the Scottish Parliament on Monday 2 June.
MSPs will see the project, called Evergreen, in action and how it enables trainee gardeners to gain experience, skills and training in horticultural. The project is run by SAMH – the Scottish Association for Mental Health – and is structured around the needs of the individual allowing participants to develop at their own pace.
MSPs will also hear about SAMH’s wider work in relation to supporting mental health and will also see SAMH’s pantry in action – which provides practical training in the catering industry.
The Committee is visiting this project as part of pre-scrutiny of a Mental Health Bill that is expected to be introduced later on this year.
Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Duncan McNeil MSP said:
“It is extremely important for members of the Committee to get out of the Parliament and into communities across Scotland. This helps inform our work when we come to look at legislation which will affect people who are supported through this project and groups like SAMH.”
Deputy Convener of the Health and Sport Committee Bob Doris MSP said:
“The Committee is delighted to visit this innovative project in Kirkcaldy that is supporting people with mental health problems.
“To be out and about in different parts of the country allows the Committee to see on the ground how the policy we discuss in the Parliament has an impact on them.”
David Ross, Senior Instructor at Evergreen Training and Employment Service
“We’re delighted to welcome members of the Committee to SAMH’s Evergreen service. At Evergreen we offer practical work experience in horticulture and garden maintenance to enable participants with mental health problems to gain skills and training structured around their needs and help them back into employment. We welcome the opportunity to give insight in to the sorts of issues people experiencing mental health problems are faced with every day.”
The Health and Sport Committee will also be taking evidence on the issue of mental health at its meeting on 3 June from a number of witnesses including SAMH.