Shetland: islands with recovery at heart

19th June 2019

Recovery was at the heart of Shetland’s programme for Mental Health Awareness Week. SRN Assistant Director Louise Christie was invited along to take part.

Drop-in event at Lerwick Town Hall.

As a national organisation we could see ourselves as taking the recovery message to people but that would ignore the wide range of activity already happening in communities across Scotland.

SRN works with people to support the development of recovery approaches that are sustainable and suited to local needs. We then share learning at a national level to support other communities on their recovery journey.

In May I visited Shetland at the invitation of local organisations to join them in their programme of activities for Mental Health Awareness Week. They wanted to make sure that recovery was at the heart of the week. It was great to be a part of that. Over three days:

  • I was involved in three community drop-in events in Lerwick and Brae
  • Met with the Shetland Mental Health Forum
  • Delivered a workshop on recovery conversations and story sharing for Shetland Link-Up
  • Met with a wide range of local organisations, practitioners and decision-makers.

It’s always great to be able to spend time in an area and meet lots of people from local organisations and the community. We always discover lots of interesting recovery work that we may not have found out about. In Shetland everyone I met was interested in or actively working to promote and support recovery.

At the Lerwick Community Drop-in, local organisation Mind Your Head launched a new short film ‘How we think and feel about our bodies (opens in facebook) in line with the theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week. This is all part of their work to get the Shetland community talking about mental health and wellbeing.

The reaction to SRN’s resources and materials at the community events, workshops and meetings was really positive. We have already had an order for our new Recovery Conversation Cards and the Peer2Peer manual is now available to borrow from Lerwick Library as part of their reading for wellbeing initiative!

MOntage of photographs from visit to Shetland.

Shetland Link-up enjoyed their evening of wellbeing conversations and recovery story sharing. So much so that the participants are planning to use the story sharing materials in the future with others who attend their weekly drop-in sessions.

It was great to meet so many people and organisations, hear about their work and be involved in events which brought them together. Shetland may be some distance from many of us but they are very much part of our recovery and wellbeing community.

– Louise


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