Moray: placing recovery at the heart of policy & practice

24th January 2017

In this article SRN’s Robert Stevenson, presents the key themes of the recently launched ‘Good Mental Health for All in Moray 2016 -2026’. He also explores the impact of the Making Recovery Real partnership on this recovery focused ten year joint strategy.

A shared vision for Good Mental Health for All in Moray

Moray Joint Integration Board has recently launched an ambitious new mental health strategy that places recovery focused principles at the heart of policy and practice.

The new strategy – Good Mental Health for All in Moray (2016-2026) outlines a 10 year vision to enable people to achieve the best possible mental health and wellbeing. It proposes to do this by promoting choice and control, developing resilient communities and responsive services that will lead to a mentally healthy, happy and stigma free Moray. The strategy takes a holistic approach to supporting good mental health and wellbeing. It recognises that everyone has a contribution to make to ensuring that the vision is realised in practice:

Commenting on the new strategy, Pam Gowans, Chief Officer for Integrated Services in Moray said:

The strategy provides a valuable opportunity to refocus our attention on mental health and wellbeing by providing opportunities for better promotion, prevention, protection and early intervention while creating more responsive and effective recovery focused services for those experiencing mental health problems


She also emphasised the need for collaboration and co-production to deliver the strategy’s vision:

The strategy is very much based on people with lived experience of mental health, their family members, carers, communities and people involved in delivering health and social care services all working together to contribute to a mentally healthy Moray

Five key themes

Good Mental Health for all in Moray is underpinned by five key cross cutting themes. One of these five themes is to adopt:


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


The other four themes also support a recovery based approach:

  • A whole systems integrated approach, bringing together health and social models
  • A life-course approach that takes account of the differential experiences and conditions throughout life
  • An upstream approach that is focused on protection, promotion, prevention and early intervention
  • A human rights based approach which ensures that human rights are at the centre of policies and practices that impact on people with mental health problems

Making Recovery Real: embedding recovery into policy and practice

The strategy recognises that “implementing and embedding a recovery and strengths based perspective into policy and practice will involve significant reorientation of mental health services and practices”.

The work being undertaken by the Making Recovery Real partnership will have a major contribution to make to achieve this transformation. In particular, the strategy acknowledges the impact that Making Recovery Real is having in influencing organisational culture and ways of working.

Making Recovery Real will feed into a new mental health joint partnership group, set up to provide leadership and strategic direction in the delivery of the new strategy. It will also help inform an integrated Action Plan.

SRN Director, Frank Reilly welcomed the new strategy and the recognition that has been given to the importance of the Making Recovery Real in Moray initiative:

SRN has been working with partners in Moray for over 18 months now and it is heartening to see that a commitment to recovery focused working is a central theme of this new joint mental health strategy. Over the next year we will continue to work with partners and local people to ensure that the commitments made in the strategy can be translated into practice on the ground


A number of the key actions are already planned. These will include:

  • Using the Scottish Recovery Indicator (SRI 2) framework across all mental health services in Moray to review current practice against the 10 recovery indicators. This will identify current strengths and areas where there is potential to make services more recovery focused.
  • The establishment of a new Mental Health and Wellness Centre. This new service will act as a single access point for a range of adult services designed to promote positive mental health and support recovery from mental ill health. The new service will open in April 2017 and is being delivered by a partnership between Penumbra and Community Renewal. The service will include both Peer Workers and Link Workers to help support people manage their mental health and personal recovery.
  • The community led Moray Wellbeing Hub which now has a network of over 70 Change Champions who have all committed to using their own lived experience to help others experiencing distress or mental health problems. The Wellbeing Hub has recently become formally established as a social enterprise and is planning a range of exciting activities to help empower people to better understand and self-manage their own mental health and wellbeing.
  • Supporting the development of 15 Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) Facilitators recently trained by SRN.

Steve McCluskey, Strategic Manager for Health Improvement with Moray Health and Social Care Partnership said:

Working with SRN as part of the Making Recovery Real Initiative has been a very positive experience. It has helped inform our new joint strategy, brought all of the key partners together, strengthened our relationships with the community and provided the catalyst for putting in place the key actions that will be required to achieve our aim of promoting and sustaining good mental health and wellbeing in Moray


For more information about Making Recovery Real in Moray contact

For more information about the Good Mental Health for All in Moray strategy contact