What we do
One of SRN’s aims is to see greater awareness and expectation of mental health recovery across Scotland. We use a strategic approach to communications to help us achieve this.
Many videos have been taken at our national events, such as the launch of Write to Recovery.
Each month we produce an email bulletin – the SRN eUpdate – with the latest news about SRN and recovery. Sign up here.
- Booklets and guides about recovery and peoples’ experiences
- Leaflets and posters
- Learning resources
- Research reports and policy papers
SRN is well known for our regional and national events, which we have been running since our launch at the Glasgow Lighthouse in December 2004 and first national conference in 2005. There are many event resources available on this site.
We use events to help bring people together to share experiences, learn and develop new ideas about recovery and related issues. Many of our events are open to the public, and we use this site and the eUpdate to advertise any forthcoming opportunities.
At SRN we believe that sharing recovery learning and approaches is an essential element towards achieving our vision of ‘A Scotland where recovery is real for everyone in every community’.
Our Learning and Development programme provides targeted learning opportunities. These are designed to enhance recovery knowledge and skills that benefit people affected by mental health problems.
We seek to influence practice and involve people affected by mental health problems and carers in the design and delivery of such learning opportunities.
Our work in this area has included:
- Creating learning tools and resources, including the Realising Recovery materials and the PDA award in partnership with SQA on Mental Health Peer Support
- Input to universities and mental health education, including the development of modules for university programmes
- Long term partnership with NHS Education for Scotland, including being a partner in Personal Outcomes Approach to Dementia
- Presentations to professional bodies, e.g. representing nursing, psychiatry and psychology
- Recovery Learning and Champions Networks
Contact us to discuss learning and development opportunities.
Developing peer support
SRN believes wholeheartedly that peer support should be an integral part of recovery focused services. Peer working is a powerful way to support and develop recovery focused practice.
We have initiated and supported the development of peer working roles across the mental health sector. From our collaborations and learning we have developed a growing evidence base and resources to support the emerging peer working role.
Peer Workers are people who have personal experience of mental health problems who are trained and employed to work in a formalised role in support of others in recovery. They are willing and able to share their personal experiences on an equal level that validates, supports, empowers and brings hope to the individuals they partner with.
Recovery focused services involve people and use all available expertise – including lived experience – to ensure that the help and support available best meet the needs of people to lead their own recovery and develop a fulfilling and satisfying life. Peer working is a complement to both informal peer support and services provided by a range of different organisations and agencies.
Experts by experience
We use the term ‘Expert by Experience’ to highlight the importance of different types of expertise within mental health services. We believe that each person is an expert in their own experience.
Experiential expertise draws on what people have learned through their own recovery process. They can then use that experience in a way that is both supporting and empowering to others. It has a value and complements the knowledge based expertise of practitioners.
Guidelines and values framework
The Experts by Experience Implementation Guidelines are an invaluable resource for those planning the development of peer worker roles. They draw on Scottish and international experience of developing peer worker roles.
We have also developed a values framework for peer working to help increase understanding of the peer worker role and ensure that it maintains the peer support ethos.
Peer support qualification
As part of our commitment to ensure a well trained and credible peer workforce, we developed an accredited award with the Scottish Qualifications Authority. The PDA Mental Health Peer Support is delivered by SQA approved Learning Centres. We are keen to work with other organisations and learning centres to increase access to this qualification.
European peer support
SRN are one of six partners in a European project, Peer2peer, in which we have worked to integrate the PDA Mental Health Peer Support with another innovative approach, psychodrama and video therapy. The result of this international collaboration is the free Peer2Peer Vocational Training Course.
Peer support policy and research
Peer support has been a theme incorporated into recent national policy in Scotland. We were commissioned by the Scottish Government in 2012 to produce a short review of work to date in Scotland on peer support working as a basis for learning lessons and extending the use of the model more widely. We have also carried out extensive research into peer support, most recently looking at the factors that help and hinder organisations from developing peer worker roles.
How we can help you
SRN welcome the opportunity to work with areas and organisations to develop and look at how to sustain peer working across the mental health sector. This can include:
- Awareness raising sessions
- Support to develop and implement peer working roles
- Project planning
- Team preparation sessions
- Evaluation consultation
- Membership of the Peer Learning Network
SRN has a strong tradition of conducting and supporting research designed to help increase our understanding of recovery. We also develop research to evaluate our own activities as well as some developed out with SRN. We are committed to applying learning from research, wherever it’s been carried out, so that it can make a real difference in people’s lives.
Our research increasingly involves developing partnerships with Universities and other organisations to create new and impactful work. We particularly value research which seeks to better understand lived experiences of mental health and recovery as well as research which has practical application. We encourage the involvement of people affected by mental health issues in the design and delivery of research.
Find out more about research projects that have either been led or commissioned by SRN, or relate directly to our work.
We are always interested in developing new research projects. Contact us if you want to discuss research.
Self-management has always been a key part of the recovery approach in Scotland. SRN’s 2005 Narrative Research project clearly identified the importance of a person taking responsibility for their own wellbeing, as a vital part of building/re-building their identity and gaining hope, confidence and thereby self-esteem and self-efficacy on their own recovery journey.
There are many self-management tools and approaches. An example of a self-management tool is Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP). WRAP is used in many countries around the world to help individuals take more control over their own wellbeing and recovery. It emphasises that people are the experts in their own experience and is based on the premise that there are no limits to recovery. Find out more.
A partnership approach to self-management
Self-management is an important piece of the recovery ‘jigsaw’. As the ‘jigsaw’ metaphor implies, SRN’s work involves partnership with key organisations and individuals particularly to encourage more local ‘buy in’ for self-management approaches.
Everyone has a story. Writing it down can help you in many different ways.
Write to Recovery is an SRN website designed to help people affected by mental health problems on their journey of recovery. It invites you to write your stories and experiences – and gives tools to inspire you.
You can share your work with others through the site. There is good evidence that this type of story sharing process can be helpful for wellbeing and recovery.
We are currently developing guidance on how to facilitate group sessions of Write to Recovery. The guidance will enable the tool to be used in diverse ways, for example social groups where people can be helped to share experiences, learn from each other and gain confidence.
SRN has a long and rich tradition of helping people write and share their personal narratives, helping to increase and disseminate knowledge and understanding about mental health recovery.