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

We could not be prouder of all our Penumbra colleagues

As the year draws to a close, we are thrilled to be able to share really fabulous feedback. Every year we ask the partners we work with across Scotland to tell us about their experience of engaging with Penumbra teams in our services. These partners can range from senior government, NHS and local authority officials … Continued

Simon’s festive Facebook fundraiser for Penumbra

Having had a particularly bad time with mental health the past couple of years I feel it’s only right to try and raise some money for a charity that works to help those in need. Having worked with Penumbra this autumn past as part of AlbaCon they are absolutely a charity I want to support and they … Continued

Help us #StayHopeful for people in crisis this Christmas

Christmas should be a magical time for everyone. But we know for many people that isn’t the reality. This winter, we would love it if you could support our #StayHopeful campaign for those in crisis. As the world continues its fight against coronavirus, our Penumbra teams are still seeing the challenges being faced by many … Continued

Blair’s New Year dook for Penumbra

So, I’ve decided to speak up and challenge the stigma surrounding mental health to make change not only for myself but hopefully for others. I’ve spent a number of years running and hiding but now feel somewhat liberated by reaching out for help. This year I finally hit rock bottom in many different ways and … Continued

There comes a point in your life when you reach a turning point

There comes a point in your life when you reach a turning point, where you have to either give in to addiction or survive. At first I drank to fit in, for courage, to be social. But rapidly that changed. It was slow at first, but it was insidious. You start doing things you’d never … Continued

We must communicate powerfully that we are committed to being alongside young people to fight for their future

Never has there been a generation of young people who have had to contend with messages that the very survivability of humans as a species could be at risk. COP26 of course starts on Sunday and with it the opportunity to step back from the brink of the climate disaster.  YouthLink Scotland are leading the … Continued

I actually do like who I am now, and I deserve to be happy, although it’s okay if that process inevitably takes time.

I wanted to send you a little update to let you know how I’ve been doing lately. The last few weeks have had their fair share of challenges, but I have to say I’ve aced every single one of them with flying colours so far. This has actually included some fairly major obstacles, like having … Continued

Penumbra welcomes announcement on a Self-Harm Strategy for Scotland

The Scottish Government has announced its commitment to a national self-harm strategy for Scotland. Stephen Finlayson comments for Penumbra on this news. This is a welcome announcement from the Scottish Government on plans for Scotland to become the first country in the world with a dedicated strategy to supporting people who experience self-harm. Currently the … Continued

I try to manage my voices the best way I can, by keeping busy

My support worker has supported me to share my recovery journey and how far I have come, to try and give hope to other people whose mental health may not be so good. When I became very ill with my mental health, I lived in Cameron Cottage for quite a long time, I think almost … Continued

These boots are made for talking

Although we initially organised the walk as a fundraiser, we’ve realised it’s actually become a really important thing to do in terms of opening up conversations with people around mental health. The last 18 months have been tough for everyone so coming together as a team to connect and raise awareness of issues around mental … Continued

Nigel has been a great leader and leaves a legacy we hope we can build on

Stephen: Nigel’s unrelenting commitment to the de-stigmatisation and de-medicalisation of mental health support has impacted the way mental health is discussed and addressed. During his 30 year tenure, Penumbra has grown from a small number of staff running supported accommodation services in Edinburgh to around 500 staff providing services to 23 of Scotland’s Integrated Joint … Continued

Sharon’s Forth Bridge fundraiser

Sharon Webster is a Penumbra Recovery Worker from our Fife team. She wanted to do something to highlight the work we do across Scotland, so she’s only gone and organised a fundraising walk across the iconic Forth Road Bridge. This epic team are a mix of colleagues and people who access our Dunfermline service. If … Continued

Volunteers just keep on inspiring

Our ‘Inspiring Edinburgh Award’ is now hanging in the hallway of the Edinburgh Crisis Centre along with our two previous awards.  Nicky our garden volunteer collected it from City Chambers on Wednesday night. I want to say a massive thank you to all our volunteers who have all brought so much to our centre. Obviously … Continued

Nicole’s story

Hiya!  I’m glad you are taking an interest in mental health recovery. I was diagnosed bi-polar type 1 in 2001, during another hospital admission.  Life has been very hard on occasions and caused me to attempt suicide a couple of times in the past.  Nowadays, I’m glad I wasn’t successful in my attempts, and I’ve … Continued

How many bulbs does it take to start a fundraiser?

Hello – I’m Dave, one of the organisers of Tabletop Scotland, an in-person board game and roleplaying game (RPG) convention held at the Dewars Centre in Perth. The rest of the team are Bulb, Oliver, Simon, Mark and Kirsten. In 2019, the last time we were able to host the event due to the pandemic, … Continued

Cementing our place as the leading mental health peer work organisation in Scotland: our ambitious two year strategy

As pioneers in the mental health peer work movement in Scotland, we know that lived experience of mental ill health and recovery offers a unique and hopeful perspective on supporting people who access our services. [You can also read this article on the TFN news site] That’s why we’ve just launched a two year strategy … Continued

Amy’s epic spinathon for Penumbra

This year I wanted to do something to raise money for charity and to challenge myself physically. Therefore on the 25th of July I’m going to be doing a 10 hour spinathon in order to raise money for penumbra. I will be cycling from 08.30am and stopping at 18.30pm. I think we can all say … Continued

Shaped by lived experience. Inspired by hope and recovery

At Penumbra, we have services in Glasgow and Edinburgh where we support people in recovery from Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD.) We recognised that there was a gap in self-management and recovery information for people with ARBD and have recently launched a toolkit to help people with ARBD move into recovery. [You can also read … Continued

Broken, a poem by Grant Pearson

When I am broken and in need I feel the ground is swallowing me My hands are hanging so sorrowfully Penumbra come shine a light on me In the morning scared and blue When I’m hungry thirsty too Send a raindrop down the sea Penumbra come shine a light on me Shine your light Shine … Continued

David’s epic fundraiser is halfway through the year – but why’s he doing it?

It’s hard to pin down exactly why I chose to fundraise for Penumbra. Knowing the importance of good mental health, having lived through extremely tough experiences of a number of close family members, and being aware of the male suicide rate in Scotland and particularly the North East where I live as well as being … Continued

My life had been chaotic before when I was in and out of prison, and homeless

I started off on the streets where I was begging for money and food after being thrown out of my house I had at the time. I was sentenced to prison, and then I ended up in hospital. I spent 6 weeks in hospital before I was housed in Penumbra supported accommodation. I felt really … Continued

I feel like I’ve got a handle on my life, but my journey to get here has been up and down

I always like a laugh. I’m a happy go lucky guy. When I had my knee replacement operation just before lockdown, I remember joking with the nurse who was taking my stitches out. I don’t even mind having the scar from it because having the operation has meant I’m able to go out walking which … Continued

Innovations team launches ‘first of its kind’ wellbeing toolkit for ARBD

The Innovations team here at Penumbra have just launched a unique self-management toolkit for people living with ARBD (alcohol related brain damage). The team at Penumbra developed the toolkit in tandem with colleagues and residents in its two ARBD services located in Edinburgh’s Milestone and Glasgow’s Supported Living service, and features recovery stories from people … Continued

My covid story is one of isolation, but also of hope

My covid story is one of isolation, but also of hope. Before the pandemic, I spent a lot of time with my grandchildren and kept busy with gardening, house-hold chores and time with loved ones. Then it all changed. For 7 months I was at home and felt really isolated. My anxiety around the virus … Continued

Daily time spent outdoors is absolutely vital in ensuring that my mental wellbeing remains as well as possible

Daily time spent outdoors is absolutely vital in ensuring that my mental wellbeing remains as well as possible. This has never been more important than in the last year, when we have all experienced a year like no other; it has proved to be very challenging, and at times unsettling and scary, and has taken … Continued

It’s like taking your brain on a little holiday: how creativity has helped Kerr’s mental wellbeing

I’m always in awe of people who have an artistic flair. I’m also fascinated by the therapeutic value and often times intensely personal experiences behind someone’s creativity. In this blog, we hear from Penumbra Recovery Worker, Kerr Mounie, who talks about how tapping into his creativity has helped him manage his mental wellbeing. The reason … Continued

Reflections on a “gruelling” twelve months of lockdown

As we mark the twelve month milestone on lockdown, it seems an opportune time to share this brilliant staff blog from Penumbra Support Manager, Fiona Semple. I don’t think that my reflections on the past year will be unique and I’m sure they will sound familiar to many. In March last year it became clear … Continued

Thanks for the journey; it’s been a huge privilege

Earlier this year I made a big decision. I announced my retirement from Penumbra. I have had the great honour of working for Penumbra for 30 years and of being Chief Executive for 22 of those years. I will be leaving at the end of September and our Board are currently advertising for my successor. … Continued

A Zoom With a View: peer support with Gavin and Pauline

20% of Penumbra colleagues are employed in peer roles so in this episode of A Zoom With a View, Fiona catches up with Pauline Forbes and Gavin Burtwell from our Moray service to talk about the importance of lived experience in mental health recovery. Watch the chat on YouTube. Catch up on previous episodes A … Continued

Penumbra joins forces with key organisations on joint manifesto for Scottish Parliament elections 2021

Policy advocacy is a big part of Penumbra’s work in being a part of the public conversation around mental health and with the Scottish Parliament elections just around the corner, we’ve partnered up with some key players in Scotland’s mental health sector to form the Scottish Mental Health Partnership. Ahead of polling day, read our … Continued

How my mum’s recovery story inspired me in my journey with my own mental health

We all know mums are superheroes, but mine is such a special woman. She saves lives, just like my favourite DC superhero Wonder Woman does. She’s a recovery practitioner peer for the DBI Covid Response Team and works for an organisation called Penumbra, based in Glasgow. She’s the most resilient, brave, patient, kind and selfless … Continued

Mental health issues don’t always go away but it doesn’t mean that people can’t live meaningful lives

We love catching up with our Penumbra colleagues and in this blog we hear from Recovery Worker, Torquil, who talks about his role, how he keeps well and his hopes for the future. As a Recovery Worker in the community, every day is usually quite unique but it revolves around visiting people who access our … Continued

Do we still need the anti-stigma movement? (spoiler: YES!)

Campaigning for change is a tricky business. I say that because most regular campaigns have a neat timeline with a distinct end point and tangible goals. Achieving a cultural shift on the other hand takes time. It requires passion, persistence, and patience (alliteration not intended). The wins are often tiny steps towards a bigger end … Continued

Check out our new series, A Zoom With a View. Episode 1: Edinburgh Crisis Centre

We’ve just launched our new series, A Zoom With A View, and in this first episode we catch up with Nick Bell from the Edinburgh Crisis Centre. Catch it on youtube HERE or click the image. With huge thanks to Nick for joining us. You can find Nick’s team on Facebook. Come zoom with me! Tell … Continued

What should we be doing to get a good night’s sleep and why is sleep so important to our wellbeing?

With increasingly busy lives it’s estimated that we now sleep around 90 minutes less each night than we did in the 1920s. I was startled to read this recently on the Mental Health Foundation’s website. Our ancestors were no slouches, often working long hours on the land, at sea and in heavy industry, to name … Continued

I hope who ever reads this knows there’s always hope. Never give up. Keep going

Here at Penumbra we’re strong believers in the power of sharing recovery stories. it’s not only a helpful part of the recovery process for the person sharing, but it also inspires hope for other people that recovery is possible. In this blog, Gemma’s journey touches on a number of life events that many people will … Continued

Writing it down helps me to process the reason in my mind and work towards a solution to enable me to move on

Here at Penumbra we often talk about the practical use and impact of journaling in exploring your emotions, so we’re delighted to share this blog from Christine who accesses one of our services. Sometimes life gets in the way and if we’re busy we actually forget what we have done or how we felt after … Continued

Victoria’s recovery story built on her faith, love of music, and her own muscle power

Spotlight was delighted to hear from Victoria who accesses one of Penumbra’s supported living services. In Victoria’s own words, she describes how, over time, she’s built her own unique recovery journey through a number of interests and hobbies. I was born in 1961 and grew up in the north east of Scotland. My father was … Continued

I was moved and inspired by seeing the calming effect of creativity on people I have supported

Dave Alldred is a Peer Recovery Practitioner in our Western Isles NOVA service. He’s great and he’s sharing his thoughts on the impact of creativity on wellbeing. At times, people tell me they’re not creative, but I like to think we all are. I have never seen myself as someone who can paint or draw. … Continued

The impact of our work and being part of something special

Debbie is a Penumbra Service Manager and she’s also part of the #PenumbraTakeover team. In this blog, she tells us about the impact of her work. So when I was asked to do this I thought ‘wow, how difficult to talk about me and what I do!’ then I thought stop being ridiculous Debbie how … Continued

Going the extra mile. Holding the hope. Making a difference

As the Services and Innovation Director with Penumbra I’m always inspired by the work our amazing staff do. As I sit in meetings I know I miss the day-to-day contact with the people we support; they have always educated and inspired me. This year, especially when being with others has been particularly difficult, it reminds … Continued

Dundee team off to a good start with the new self-harm service

We recently launched a new self-harm service in Dundee. It’s being funded by Inspiring Scotland as part of a Scotland wide initiative that brings together, and supports organisations to provide, a range of support services across communities. People can self-refer to the service and can also be referred by other agencies. Three months after it … Continued

Community comes together in #HoldTheHope fundraiser for Penumbra

Spotlight recently heard how Penumbra had joined forces with the team at Guardswell Farm for a luxury Christmas raffle organised by Inchture local, Becky Gunn. We caught up with Assistant Area Manager, Kenny Thom, to hear a bit more about it. “At any given time, 1 in 20 of us is experiencing thoughts of suicide. It … Continued

Mark lands his dream job with Penumbra

Mark Chamberlain, 50, from Arbroath lives with bipolar and was made redundant from his job as a research scientist back in 2017. Since then, he struggled with his self-esteem and self-confidence. After getting help from Remploy, he secured his “dream job” as a Penumbra Peer Practitioner.   I lost my job back in 2017 through … Continued

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 which he wrote for the Scottish Recovery Network, 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 … 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 find solutions to systems that just aren’t working. It’s true that much of this innovation is borne out of having to box clever within tight budgets. But I … 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

Mental ill health should never be the end of the line

Over the past 10 years my life has gone from having everything to having nothing, and back to having everything plus more. A few years ago, I was given a 5% chance of survival after a suicide attempt and my family were told to say their goodbyes. Amazingly, a few days later I pulled through … 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

Ashley’s mental health began to suffer after losing work. This is his recovery journey.

  I’d lost work after 26 years and was unraveling with mental health issues I first encountered Penumbra in the Autumn of 2017. I’d lost work after 26 years and was unraveling with mental health issues. I suffered depression, anxiety and OCD, had attempted suicide and regularly self harmed. I was referred to the self … Continued

Tesco shortlists Penumbra in #BagsOfHelp centenary grants

We’re so excited that Penumbra has been shortlisted as one of the participating charities in Tesco’s Bags of Help Centenary Grants. What happens next? From now until the end of December, you’ll be given one voting token per purchase when you shop in Tesco stores across areas 3, 4 and 5 (as shown below). The … Continued

Penumbra’s Caroline Ploetnar looks at mental wellbeing in the workplace

The modern workplace can be a stressful environment. It can be hard to be open about your wellbeing at work, and it can be difficult to recognise signs that your mental health is beginning to suffer. Everyone has mental health, and everyone experiences highs and lows as a normal part of life. There is a … Continued

Penumbra Podcast – Body Image

Abbie Henderson speaks to Robin Murphy about young people’s mental health, and specifically negative body image. Abbie has developed a new programme for Penumbra called My Body My Way. You can find out more about My Body My Way and download the free resources via the I.ROC website.   To read more please visit Spotlight, or sign … Continued

Penumbra Podcast – Peer Work

Christopher from Plan2Change in Edinburgh joins Robin to discuss Peer Work in the Penumbra Podcast. During the discussion they cover topics such as experiencing mental health issues, recovery, and being a peer worker.     To read more please visit Spotlight, or sign up to our monthly newsletter. Keep up with the latest from Penumbra, … Continued

fit150 – Glasgow Supported Living Service Team Challenge

  As a team we were a little upset by the fact that the main lift broke down and was going to take 6 – 8 weeks to be repaired. Would you believe we are on the 6th floor in a Glasgow City Centre office? There are two entrances to our building one with 72 … Continued

fit150 – My Daily Commute

Penumbra’s Head of Development, Sarah Campbell, shares how she fits her fit150 into her daily commute to work. I know that fresh air and exercise is good for me and my cycle home is part of a plan to keep my mind and body well but last night as I battered against the wind and … Continued

Continued Rise in Student Mental Health Issues

Sophie Janus explores what lies behind the recent rise in student mental ill-health There has been a recent focus from the UK government into the issue of mental health difficulties amongst university students. Analysis from the Institute of public policy research suggests that the number of first year students disclosing mental health issues was almost … Continued

I·ROC and Jami: The Journey

Jami is a mental health charity that provides community-based services to the Jewish community across London. Support is delivered from four locality hubs, a social enterprise warehouse and Headroom Café, a coffee shop bringing mental health to the high street. “Jami launched a recovery strategy, a key element of this was to train all staff … Continued

I drank so much I had to learn how to walk again

Glaswegian, George Robb talks to Dan Mushens about working in a prison, developing PTSD as a result of witnessing multiple suicides, and how the effects of alcoholism meant he had to learn how to walk again. “Growing up in the Southside of Glasgow during the seventies and eighties was a great time and I’ve got … Continued

Wellbeing at Work

The following is a personal experience from our Finance Administrator, Charisse, on how her colleagues and workplace supported her wellbeing and mental health.  I have been supported with my own and my family members mental and physical health over the 10 years I have worked for Penumbra. I started working with Penumbra on 01/09/08 as … Continued

My experience with Trichotillomania

Trichotillomania is a hair-pulling disorder often associated with anxiety or stress. The following is a personal experience that has been shared anonymously.  It’s only over recent months that I’ve come to recognise the reality of my hair-pulling episodes. I didn’t even know it had a name until trichotillomania (TTM) was discussed on a local radio … Continued

Contribute to Spotlight #WhatsYourStory?

Our Spotlight newsletter goes out every month and features articles about mental health and wellbeing. They cover a wide range of mental health issues including anxiety, depression, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD) and Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD), while also exploring related topics such as how physical exercise can improve mental health and wellbeing in the … Continued

The positive impact of exercise on mental wellbeing

Joel, Peer Worker at the Moray Mental Health & Wellness Centre, shares how exercise has helped him on his journey to recovery. My journey to recovery has had several key factors, though it would have never started if it were not for my focus on physical exercise. Before I took up long-distance running, I have … Continued

Stretches & Exercises at your desk

Whether at work, school or college, some of us sit for long periods of time without getting up and moving. So, this week we compiled a few different stretches and exercises we can do at our desk.   Stretches at your desk Look around Turn your head to the right and look over your shoulder. … Continued

Food for your mind

At times when we feel anxious, stressed or a bit low and tired, we tend to eat food high in fats, sugars and calories. We are likely to do this to stock up on fast acting energy which our body feels it needs. This usually helps for a short length of time before our body … Continued