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Blog: Shaking the apple tree

Facilitator David P Scott tells us how using Scottish Recovery Network’s ‘A Guide to Recovery Story Sharing’ is helping participants explore ideas for a new podcast series focused on their lived experience.

Shift the Power

Angus Creative Minds (opens in Facebook) is an independent social enterprise based in Forfar. We provide facilities and resources to enable people to explore creativity for the benefit of their health and wellbeing.

The Mental Health Podcast Group began in August 2020 and is funded through the Corra Foundation’s Shift the Power Programme. The group aims to create positive change by sharing lived experience of mental health. The podcast episodes are being collectively planned, recorded, and published.

First Steps

It was decided early on that A Guide to Sharing Recovery Stories by the Scottish Recovery Network would form the basis of our first sessions. Talking about personal experience is a daunting prospect especially in an unfamiliar place with people you don’t know. It was therefore important for us to create an open, positive and safe group environment. The guide provided an introduction to the concept of sharing stories as well as important topics like consent and establishing group boundaries. But how to start the conversation?

Shaking the Apple Tree

All of us in the group have lived experience of mental health. Each week, in order to inspire conversation and get us thinking about our experience, we completed an activity from Chapter 9 in the guide. The exercises were challenging but in a good way. Some featured questions we had never asked ourselves before. Some had questions we just couldn’t answer at this stage of our recovery.

Although it was difficult, we found so much to talk about, and before we knew it, subjects for the first few podcast episodes started to come together. Working through activities such as Letter to My Younger Self, My Life… My Song or My Recovery Journey was like shaking an apple tree at harvest time, we found ourselves with an abundance of conversation.

The Next Episode

Our discussions covered a lot of ground and before long we found ourselves with several episodes of ideas. We plan to start recording episodes talking about coping strategies including birdwatching, gaming, painting, rowing, and songwriting amongst others. Our next episode will look at depictions of mental health in the arts.

It’s been a very fulfilling journey so far and A Guide to Sharing Recovery Stories by the Scottish Recovery Network has proved an invaluable resource. It has helped establish and develop our group, given us guidance, inspiration and the confidence to share our experience for the benefit of all.

Watch this space for the launch of the podcasts!


Get in touch

For more information about the Angus Creative Minds, Mental Health Podcast group contact David at 

Angus Creative Minds have lots of creative projects happening. You can find out more on their Facebook page or get in touch via contact details on their website.