Large mental health charity hit by ‘sophisticated and criminal’ cyber attack

23 Mar 2022 News

Police are investigating a cybersecurity attack that has disrupted communications at the Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH). 

Disruption started on Friday 18 March when the charity announced staff were struggling to access email and that some phone lines were affected. 

In an update this week, SAMH said it had been the victim of a criminal cyberattack. 

Billy Watson, chief executive at SAMH said: “We are devastated by this attack. It is difficult to understand why anyone would deliberately try to disrupt the work of an organisation that is relied on by people at their most vulnerable.  

“Our priority is to continue to do everything we can to deliver our vital services. My thanks to our staff team who, under difficult circumstances, are finding ways to keep our support services running to ensure those they support experience as little disruption as possible. 

“We are working closely with various agencies including Police Scotland - this is an active investigation.   

“We will continue to take the best expert advice to assist us in effectively dealing with this situation.”

SAMH is a large mental health charity in Scotland and works with adults and young people providing mental health social care support, services in primary care, schools and further education, as well as providing a general information service. 

For the financial year to March 2021, SAMH had an income of £18m. 

For more news, interviews, opinion and analysis about charities and the voluntary sector, sign up to receive the Civil Society News daily bulletin here.


More on