Spotlight is an interactive library of recovery resources, featuring articles, podcasts and videos covering a wide range of topics. Including best practice approaches, examples of innovation, inspiring recovery stories and relevant research.

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Latest on Spotlight

For the first time I am excited for what my future holds

Sharing stories is a powerful element of recovery and peer to peer support. In this blog, Steven talks about his own journey and his hopes for the future. This is Steven’s story. I’ve had an ongoing battle with drug use for over 20 years which led me down a dark path. I was in a … Continued

Delight for Penumbra as Milestone team lift prestigious award

Penumbra Milestone in Edinburgh has been awarded a prestigious health award during the Mental Health and Wellbeing Awards. Milestone won the award for most innovative mental health service with judges describing the team as “going the extra mile with excellent outcomes”. Penumbra Milestone is an alcohol-free 10-bed step-down residential facility which provides short-term care for … Continued

Author donates book sales to Penumbra

We were thrilled when author and friend of Penumbra, Alan Ormiston, contacted us to say that he’s written a book of poetry with proceeds from its sale going to help our work in supporting 1800 adults and young people each week. Read more about Alan’s motivation for his book. The poems are about mental health, … Continued

Supporting people in crisis through our #HoldTheHope appeal

Coronavirus has impacted on our ability to fundraise in all the usual ways, so Spotlight got the chance to chat to the delightful Penumbra Fundraising Manager, Sheena, about why our #HoldTheHope campaign and our exciting new text giving service. Here’s what Sheena had to say. 2020 has been a challenging year for everyone and for … Continued

Join our positive movement for change in mental health

Our trustees play an important strategic role in developing the organisational goals that help shape our direction of travel as one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities, and we’re currently looking for new people to join our team of board members. This year is especially exciting for us as we embark on the development of … Continued

Making a difference through volunteering

Penumbra are recruiting new board members to join our Trustee team so Spotlight caught up with former board member, Graeme Reekie, to learn how his life was changed by volunteering. If you’re inspired by Graeme’s experiences and want to make a difference in mental health, click here to find out more and apply to become … Continued

United To Prevent Suicide: join our movement for change

Many of us have been affected by suicide in some way – whether it’s ourselves, a loved one, or someone we know. Suicide is of concern to all of us. It is a leading cause of death among young people and men are three times more likely to take their own lives compared to women. … Continued

What’s normal anyway?

What’s normal anyway? Spotlight recently got the chance to talk to Angel who spoke about how living with anxiety from the age of ten, had her questioning what normal was and why she’s hopeful about the future. Here’s what Angel had to say. I’ve struggled and battled with anxiety for a long time. I remember … Continued

Strength for Tomorrow: a new trauma informed service for Aberdeen

One of the great things about the third sector is its ability to collaborate with partners to develop meaningful services through knowledge, expertise and compassion. In Aberdeen, Penumbra colleagues recently teamed up with Cyrenians to offer innovative support to survivors of childhood abuse. ‘Strength for Tomorrow’ is a new service which will support adults who … Continued

I feel I can inspire real hope when people don’t think it exists

Around 20% of Penumbra colleagues are employed in peer roles, using insight from lived experience to support people on their recovery journeys. In this powerful blog, Peer Worker Lucy talks to Spotlight about her own life journey and how she came to work in mental health support. I came to be in the role of … Continued

Being a Human of Scotland: the power of storytelling

Outside of my blog, I have been a featured writer/contributor for some organisations involved in mental health, and overall health and social care. One of which is the Humans of Scotland series for Alliance Scotland. After writing an opinion piece on Pro-Ana content for Alliance, I was contacted to be part of this series to talk about my … Continued

From survival to starting the healing process

In this blog, Penumbra Peer Worker, Marie, talks about her own mental health journey, what helped her in her recovery, and how lived experience is helping her role in peer support. I’ve spent a lot of time during lockdown thinking about all of the things I’d like to move forward with in my life, but … Continued

We all have a role to play in suicide prevention

As part of Penumbra’s work around suicide prevention, we’re pleased to be a member of the Scottish Government’s National Suicide Prevention Leadership Group (Read the Group’s recent statement in response to coronavirus here). Spotlight had the pleasure of talking to one member of the Group’s Lived Experience Panel to talk about the role of lived … Continued

#HeidsTogether: an exciting new resource for young people

The third sector is no stranger to creative collaborations and partnerships. The last fortnight has seen the launch of an exciting new resource called ‘HeidsTogether’. #HeidsTogether is a collection of free, online resources for youth workers to help reduce the impact of coronavirus on the health and wellbeing of young people. Developed in response to … Continued

Quality and innovation in social care

The third sector is a significant provider of social care services across Scotland, delivering around a third of all services. Here at Penumbra, we support 1800 adults and young people each week through our non-medical approach to mental health recovery through a range of services including crisis and suicide prevention support, 121 keyworking and groupwork, … Continued

Exciting new developments for the Penumbra Dundee team

Across Scotland our teams have continued to provide services throughout lockdown, with expansions in some areas. Our Dundee team have some exciting new developments building on the success of our existing NOVA and Carers’ Support Services. In this article, Support Manager, Emma Wilson, talks to Spotlight about the new services and how the team are … Continued

Self-harm and the challenges of lockdown

The constant change, uncertainty and isolation of lockdown has presented additional challenges for people living with mental ill health. I wanted to explore this more closely by looking at the much misunderstood issue of self-harm, and was lucky enough to catch up with Natalie and Emma who are our Recovery Practitioners in our Fife Self-Harm … Continued

Supporting people to grow through peer support

Camillus has recently been joined Penumbra as a Peer Worker. In this guest blog, he tells us what draws him to this new vocation and what peer support means to him. I do believe that recovery is real. From personal experience, with the help of family and friends and the input from various services, and … Continued

Kristopher’s life changing cycle for Penumbra

There are all sorts of reasons why people take part in fundraising activities for charity. In this article, Spotlight hears from one young supporter about his own mental health journey and the motivation behind his life changing cycle for Penumbra. This is Kristopher’s journey. My name is Kristopher, I’m 20 years old, and born and … Continued

Distress response to coronavirus goes live

In response to the coronavirus, the Scottish Government has extended the Distress Brief Intervention programme. Penumbra is one of the third sector partners in that initiative and our Head of Innovation and Improvement, Stephen Finlayson, sees this as exciting opportunity to further develop DBI, which has widely been recognised as innovative and pioneering. Here, Stephen … Continued

Building confidence and rebuilding trust in recovery

Michaela is 22 and accesses Penumbra support services. She wanted to share her inspiring story with Spotlight and we’re so glad she has. Here’s Michaela’s story. I was really young when my parents found out I was diagnosed with epilepsy; I was about 18 months old. I have had treatment for it and now I … Continued

Enabling hope and recovery through digital connections

Dave Alldred is based in the Penumbra Western Isles service and he’s awesome. He’s a brilliant writer and super passionate about the value of peer support. In this article, Dave talks about harnessing the power of technology to keep connected during the coronavirus pandemic. Check out what he has to say below. Staying connected to … Continued

Penumbra welcomes DBI extension

Penumbra is pleased to be one of the third sector partners as part of the additional measures to help people look after their mental health and wellbeing during coronavirus which were announced this week. The charity is already a partner in Aberdeen, Inverness and Moray DBI. Early support like this is such an important part … Continued

Teamwork and collaboration in recovery

Bev is a Penumbra Recovery Worker and she submitted an article to Spotlight as a way of sharing her observations on how coronavirus has given her the opportunity to reflect on what her job and her team mean to her. But the teamwork she’s talking about isn’t just between her own colleagues, it’s also about … Continued

Staying connected during coronavirus

In this article, Penumbra Recovery Practitioner, Dan, reflects on the challenges of supporting people during isolation measures and the importance of staying connected. With the temporary cessation of face-to-face support, my colleagues and I are working from home for the time being. We’re using technology wherever possible to make video calls to the people we … Continued

Eating disorders, safe foods and panic buying

Adrienne is a Penumbra Recovery Worker. Here, she shares her personal insight on how panic-buying risks disrupting recovery from an eating disorder. For the past few weeks, shelves in supermarkets have been clearing with restocks disappearing within minutes. For someone living with an eating disorder or in recovery, this results in potential shortages of safe … Continued

Life is short and scary, but we have to keep moving forward

I have lived with mental ill health most of my life and at times l have really struggled. Back in 2017 my whole world crumbled around me as my mental health became really bad to the point where I just didn’t want to be here, l had lost my job and was in a lot … Continued

HOPE and challenging the status quo

One of the brilliant things about the third sector is its desire to challenge the status quo. It devises creative ways – often times collaboratively – to make society a better place. It’s one argument that our creativity and innovation is borne out of having to box clever within tight budgets. I think it’s about … Continued

Penumbra gets bags of help from Tesco shoppers

Staff at Penumbra are celebrating with news of their success in this year’s Tesco Bags of Help grant competition. Tesco customers across three regions gave Penumbra their blue tokens winning the charity a total of £50,000. The Centenary grant will help mental health charity Penumbra develop a new project looking at the mental health and … Continued

Dan Mushens on embracing change and moving forward

Anyone who works in the health and social care sector will likely concur that the concept of change is ever present and reflection, reviewing, innovating and goal-setting are constant themes. As an organisation, Penumbra started 2020 with the launch of new cloud based IT systems which will revolutionise not only our humans resources and business … Continued

Collaboration and Change – Making Recovery Real in Dundee

The momentum around the success of Making Recovery Real continues to grow. Christine Muir, from the Scottish Recovery Network, tells us more about this new approach to developing mental health support and encourages you to get involved! What is Making Recovery Real? Piloted in Dundee and Moray, Making Recovery Real brings people with lived experience … Continued

Moray Wellness Centre launches campaign to encourage men of Moray to #MENtionIt

Moray Mental Health and Wellness Centre in Elgin has launched its #MENtionIt campaign as a way of encouraging men to talk about their mental health and wellbeing. The campaign will shine a spotlight on the issues around men’s mental health and wellbeing, and will run until the end of March. Staff at the centre are … Continued

Lottery Success for Fife Self-Harm Team

Leading mental health charity, Penumbra, is pleased to announce its success in the latest round of awards from the National Lottery with its Self-Harm Service in Fife being selected for an award through the National Lottery’s Community Fund. Penumbra’s Self-Harm Project in Fife was opened in 2005 to provide a non-judgemental, friendly and user-led support … Continued

Top marks for Edinburgh Supported Living Service

Leading mental health charity, Penumbra, is celebrating this week after receiving top marks from the Care Inspectorate for its Edinburgh Supported Living Service (SLS). The Care inspectorate reported noted that Penumbra’s Edinburgh SLS “excelled in the support they provided enabling people to experience positive outcomes that enhanced their wellbeing” and awarded the service the highest … Continued

How support helped build Craig’s confidence

My name is Craig and I’ve suffered from Mental Health difficulties for 20 years. I  had a limb removed and extensive surgery some years ago and struggled to adapt to this life changing experience. I didn’t think I’d ever be able to live independently but with Penumbra’s help I’ve rebuilt my skills and feel very … Continued

Praise for building meaningful lives at Sighthill

Following time spent at the Royal Edinburgh Hospital, people are being helped to build meaningful lives at home thanks to sixteen refurbished apartments in Sighthill. Originally a sheltered housing complex, a building in the Calders has been transformed by the City of Edinburgh Council to provide high-quality places to stay. The Edinburgh Health and Social … Continued

I was given a 5% chance of survival after a suicide attempt

*Jonathan is a Penumbra Peer Worker. A few years ago, he came very close to dying from suicide. Jonathan’s passion for peer support and the value of lived experience in supporting people is contagious. Jonathan is brilliant and he wanted to share his experience to show people that recovery is possible. This is Jonathan’s story. … Continued

Angus McKay and the power of peer

Angus is a Peer Volunteer with our Western Isles NOVA project. In this article, he talks about his journey of recovery and how he’s now supporting others through his own lived experience. This is Angus’s story. I would like to share a little bit about my time with Penumbra. It all started with me being … Continued

Glowsticks and Brexit: the things you don’t expect to feature in a recovery story

Lisa’s 21. She’s bright, articulate and funny. And she loves an inspirational quote. Since the age of 17, she’s been living in homeless and temporary accommodation. She recently moved into her own place and since July, she’s been working with her Penumbra Recovery Worker, Sharon, through our supported living service.  Lisa’s mental health and wellbeing … Continued

Even some of my family didn’t think that I would make it to shore

This morning I got up and ate my breakfast en route to the lab to start another day as a PhD student at University of Glasgow, studying how a special subset of immune cells (gd T cells) can predict the development and outcome of colorectal cancer. I worked on a report ahead of a project … Continued