Continuing the recovery conversation in Moray

29th June 2016

This month over 80 people came together, at a Recovery Café event in Elgin, to reflect and build on work from one year of the Making Recovery Real in Moray initiative.

In this project update SRN’s Robert Stevenson tells us more about the event and some of the work of the initiative to date.

A strategic focus on recovery


Recovery is one of the key themes identified in a new joint mental health strategy for Moray – Good Mental Health for All. The draft strategy, which is being submitted to the new Health and Social Care Partnership later this year, will adopt:

A strengths based perspective which is focused on recovery, assets, improving quality of life, ambition and hope and not wholly on deficits and problems of individuals and communities.


The strategy also recognises that:

..implementing and embedding a recovery and strengths based perspective into policy and practice involves significant reorientation of mental health services and practices. 


The Making Recovery Real initiative is seen as being key to delivering the changes required to ensure that recovery is a key focus of mental health policy and practice.

Making Recovery Real in Moray

mrrmoray_400x240Making Recovery Real in Moray is being developed by SRN in collaboration with a range of local partners* to deliver a sustained programme of change designed to improve mental health recovery in the region.

The overall aims of the project are:

  • Shift the power from services to people by giving people greater choice and control
  • Embed the principles and values of recovery in policy and practice
  • Develop a more strategic approach to recovery policy and practice that is planned, joined-up and co-ordinated

Continuing the conversation

Throughout the past year a range of events have allowed people to come together and identify what would help support mental health recovery in their area. Participants at these events have included: individuals with lived experience of poor mental health, community groups, health and social care services and third sector organisations.

On the 8th of June a Recovery Café event provided the opportunity for participants to further explore four key recovery themes. This was done through small group discussions and engagement in a range of practical workshops. One Recovery Café participant commented:

I thought the event was very welcoming and informative. I particularly welcomed the opportunity to discuss issues in small groups with a mixture of professionals and people with their own experience of mental health problems. It was a great way to share learning about mental health recovery.


The four workshop themes were:

Storytelling and personal narratives (Write to Recovery)

W2R_cropped_imageSRN’s John McCormack was joined by local storyteller Michael Williams to facilitate workshops on the power of owning your story. The workshops were very popular and plans are now being developed to establish local storytelling groups.

Peer support

Facilitated by Suzanne Stokes and Gavin Burtwell from Penumbra, this workshop explored how peer support can help recovery. It also provided the opportunity for people to feed into the development of Penumbra’s new peer support service which is launching in Moray this August. A workshop participant commented:

It was great to hear other people share their stories about what supports them in their recovery. It made me realise how valuable peer support can be in helping people. We need more opportunities like this to network and share experiences.


Information and signposting

Here participants were asked to discuss the development of an online resource that will provide a gateway to information relating to mental health, wellbeing and recovery. Informed by this workshop the resource will be co-produced by a project team including individuals with lived experience of mental health problems.

Recovery focused services

This workshop focused on the role services can play in supporting recovery. Participants talked about their own experiences of using services and how they felt services could best support recovery. Feedback from this session will help inform future delivery of services.

What’s next

Making Recovery Real in Moray is committed to holding at least three Recovery Café events a year as well as a number of smaller pop up events. The next event will be held in October or November 2016.

For more information about how you can get involved contact  or


Joyful Noise Singers launch new song!

Joyful_NoiseOne of the highlights of the day was a performance by local choir the Joyful Noise Singers who launched their first ever DVD featuring new song ‘Light at the End of the Tunnel’.





*Making Recovery Real in Moray is a SRN initiative working in partnership with: Moray Council, NHS Grampian, Penumbra, tsi Moray, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Quarriers, Moray Anchor Projects and local recovery and wellbeing champion Heidi Tweedie.