Mental Health Minister visits Making Recovery Real in Moray

29th November 2017

Maureen Watt, Minister for Mental Health in the Scottish Government, joined over 50 people from across Moray at a Conversation Café held in Elgin on Friday 3rd November. SRN Network Officer Robert Stevenson tells us more.

The Conversation Café was hosted by the Making Recovery Real in Moray initiative which was first launched in June 2015. The initiative is a partnership involving nine organisations* who believe that people, with the right support, can and do recover from mental health problems. It has provided opportunities to bring together people with lived experience with those providing services and support to discuss what can help make mental health recovery a reality for everyone in communities across Moray.

The event provided an opportunity for the Mental Health Minister to meet with the Making Recovery Real partners and discuss how they are supporting people to maintain good mental health and recover from mental health challenges. It also allowed her to experience first-hand some of the collaborative approaches that have been used to engage people in discussions about planning future mental health priorities in Moray.

After a networking lunch with participants the Minister opened the Conversation Café event with a few comments. She said:

I appreciate having this opportunity to see the work of the Making Recovery Real project in Moray first hand and to meet so many of the project’s partners. Our long term mental health strategy recognises the importance of enabling people to manage their own mental health and projects such as this will help us to deliver the positive change we all wish to see. 


The Minister then had an opportunity to join other participants in a series of roundtable discussions about the themes described in the CHIME** framework for supporting mental health recovery. The CHIME concept has five main themes: Connectedness, Hope and optimism, Identity, Meaning and Purpose and Empowerment that research evidence has shown describe some of the key things that are known to support recovery from mental health problems.

During these discussions participants were able to discuss with the Minister what helped them maintain good mental health and supported their recovery journey. It also gave the Minister an opportunity to talk about the Scottish Government’s plans for promoting good metal health for everyone.

Many of the participants in the Conversation Café had been involved with the Making Recovery Real initiative since it was first launched, however, others had become involved more recently and for some this was their first event. Reflecting on their experience, one of these participants said:

I found the event very interesting and enlightening.  During the group breakouts I found the input and thoughts of others really inspiring and found others could really relate to some of the issues and problems I have faced and that others are or have been dealing with the same or similar problems

Attending this event has given me a renewed energy to not only help to “fix” myself but it has shown me some new areas and tools that I can use to try and help others.


The Making Recovery Real partners in Moray will be using the feedback from the Conversation Café to inform the development of a new Action Plan that will take forward the work that has been undertaken over the last few years into 2018 and beyond.

SRN has also commissioned a review of the two Making Recovery Real initiatives in Moray and Dundee. The learning from this review will be shared widely and will help inform our future work across Scotland.

Check out more photographs from the day by clicking on the image below:

Photography by Ewan Mathers.

Mental Health Minister visit


* The Making Recovery Real in Moray partners are the Scottish Recovery Network(SRN), Moray Council, NHS Grampian, tsiMoray, Penumbra, SAMH, Quarriers, Community Renewal, Moray Wellbeing Hub.

**Leamy, M., Bird, V.J., Le Boutillier, C., Williams, J. & Slade, M. (2011) A conceptual framework for personal recovery in mental health: systematic review and narrative synthesis. British Journal of Psychiatry, 199:445-452