COVID-19 – Responding to mental health and isolation in the pandemic

As part of its response to the current COVID-19 pandemic, Scottish Drugs Forum is hosting a series of free webinars.

The SDF webinars will address crucial aspects of the support of people with drug problems and the delivery of effective services that provide treatment and support, reduce harm and protect people from COVID-19.

The fourth SDF COVID-19 webinar will be held on Thursday the 7th of May at 13.00 – 14.00.

The focus on the webinar will be on mental health among people who use substances during the pandemic.

The current COVID-19 situation presents unique challenges for people who use alcohol and other drugs and who experience poor mental health.  They are a particular risk group with very specific needs and are perhaps most at risk of loneliness and isolation. Difficult feelings can make it easy for substance use to escalate or for people to relapse.  Alcohol and other drug use can make it difficult to manage mental health or can make existing conditions worse.  For some people they may feel more cravings to use drugs and alcohol or to consume in larger quantities and for others they may feel their mental health is made worse when they take alcohol and other drugs.

This webinar seeks to provide an opportunity to discuss the current challenges of supporting people who use substances and who may experience poor mental health during this time and bring together best practice on responding to clients faced with loneliness and isolation. This is an opportunity to hear from a range of speakers from around Scotland and ask questions to the panel.


  • Jennifer Lang- Service Manager Turning Point Scotland North Ayrshire Prevention, Early intervention And Recovery (P.E.A.R.) Service
  • John McCormack- Recovery and training consultancy
  • Ellie Frankish – Specialist Occupational Therapist, NHS Lothian – Substance Misuse Service

Chaired by Katy MacLeod and Austin Smith- Scottish Drugs Forum

Key themes:

  • Challenges in managing poor mental health, loneliness and isolation in the current pandemic
  • Trends and patterns of substance use among people who experience poor mental health
  • Self care and mutual aid
  • Barriers and challenges in providing support
  • Innovative practice in the current pandemic

Pre-registration is required and numbers are limited so please register early.

Please click here to register

We will be using GoToWebinar, so please check your have the capability to access the tool once registered.

You will receive invitations to future webinars.

If you have any comment or ideas for future webinars please get in touch.

You can view videos of previous SDF COVID-19 webinars on the SDF Youtube channel.