Making Recovery Real: an update on progress

24th November 2015

SRN’s Louise Christie brings us an update and shares her reflections on what’s happening with our latest initiative.

Making recovery real logoYou may remember that earlier this year SRN launched an exciting new initiative, Making Recovery Real (MRR). We agreed to work in collaboration with two new partnerships in Dundee and Moray. The aim of MRR is for partnerships to find ways of working together strategically to develop a change programme that can deliver more recovery focused policies and practice.

In the six months since then both areas have been busy developing their ideas and thinking; connecting with others in the area to ensure that the programme of change is informed by all perspectives, including those of people with lived experience of mental health problems.

lc_mrr_nov15_quote1While it is still early days, we thought that it would be good to update you on progress made and to share some of our early reflections of the benefits and challenges of working together in this way.

Making Recovery Real in Dundee

In Dundee the partnership consists of eleven organisations [Note 1] including the council, NHS and a range of voluntary organisations, service providers, lived experience led organisations and the local third sector interface. While the organisations and people involved mostly knew each other, MRR provided the catalyst for an agreement to work together and focus on recovery.

There has been a high level of enthusiasm amongst the partners and a lot of time and commitment given to developing their plans.

At first the Dundee partners focused on what they wanted to achieve and how they wanted to work together. While it is tempting to move quickly into activity, the partners felt that they needed time to develop their ideas and the relationships that would be needed to bring about sustainable change.

Already there’s been stronger relationships built across the partners involved and I’ve found it really beneficial getting to know people better within the MRR workshops and outwith.” Emma Wilson, Penumbra 


The next stage in Dundee is a launch event in Discovery Point on 25th November 2015, bringing together the MRR partners, people with lived experience of mental health problems, practitioners, influencers and decision makers. The day will inform them about Making Recovery Real, gather participants’ views and input and identify those who want to be involved. From there, the partners will develop a plan of action and get started on making Dundee a ‘City of Recovery’.

When we came together for the first time in March this year we hoped that this partnership could feed into the integration agenda. The publication of the Dundee Health and Social Care Vision and Priorities last week, much of which chimes with an asset-based, co-productive recovery approach with the person at the heart of everything shows that it is starting to happen even before we have formally launched.” Tom Garnett, DAMH

Making Recovery Real in Moray

mrrmoray_featureimageIn Moray the core MRR partners [Note 2] decided that they wanted to launch the initiative by hosting a World Café styled event. Over 50 people took part, including representatives of a wide range of local organisations and individuals with lived experience of mental health problems. This has formed the foundation for building a network of organisations and individuals who are committed to working together to achieve the MRR objectives.

In welcoming people to the launch event, Pam Gowans, Chief Officer, Integrated Health and Social Care Services in Moray said that the MRR initiative would help inform the integration process and ensure that recovery was at the heart of new ways of working across health and social care services.

Other speakers also welcomed the programme of change:

The Making Recovery Real programme in Moray will enable us to build upon and strengthen our recovery focused work. It is about giving people greater choice and control and supporting them to build a life “beyond illness” as part of their recovery journey.” Jane Mackie, Head of Community Care, Moray Council

Being involved with recovery and seeing it grow in understanding and acceptance has had a massive impact on me personally. I believe that Making Recovery Real in Moray offers the opportunity to ensure that everyone, regardless of their circumstances, can look forward to enjoying a full, satisfying and meaningful life.” Heidi Tweedie, Recovery and Wellbeing Champion

Participants at the Moray launch event identified five broad themes that they felt were priorities for action in taking MRR forward in the area. These include practical actions like increasing peer support and setting up a recovery hub, but the overarching issue identified was a need to increase access and choice for people looking for support to help improve their mental health and wellbeing.

The Making Recovery Real Partnership in Moray is now planning to develop a strategy and action plan to deliver the objectives. This will include working with a wide range of organisations and individuals, building on the enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated at the launch event. The appetite for this was demonstrated by the feedback received from people who took part.



1. The Making Recovery Real partners in Dundee are SRN, Dundee City Council, NHS Tayside, Dundee Association for Mental Health (DAMH), Dundee Voluntary Action (DVA), Hearing Voices Network Dundee, Penumbra, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), The Richmond Fellowship Scotland (TRFS), Dundee Independent Advocacy Support (DIAS) and Art Angel.

2. The Making Recovery Real in Moray core partners are SRN, Moray Council, NHS Grampian, Scottish Association for Mental Health (SAMH), Heidi Tweedie, Recovery and Wellbeing Champion and Moray Anchor Projects.