Mental health innovation in Scotland championed at European mental health conferences


Staff from the mental health charity Penumbra will highlight the organisation’s innovative work at two major European conferences this week – the European Conference on Mental Health (ECMH), and the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation (ENMESH).


The sixth European Conference on Mental Health is taking place 4-6 October 2017 in Berlin, Germany. The event will see professionals, experts and mental health service users come together to discuss the rights and involvement of people living with mental ill health in society, as well as the psychosocial understanding of mental health.

Penumbra Chief Executive and Chair of Mental Health Europe, Nigel Henderson, is to give a keynote speech at the event on the three Rs of mental health – Rights, Recovery and Relationships.

Staff from Penumbra Milestone – a step down unit for people with Alcohol Related Brain Damage (ARBD) – are also attending the conference to present papers on Clinical and Cost Effective Recovery in an ARBD Unit (Dr Michael Kehoe), and an analysis of the Service Model of Rehabilitation and Recovery for people with ARBD (Dr Stephen Smith, Clinical Psychologist and Lesley Forbes, Service Manager).

Based in the Oxgangs area of Edinburgh, Milestone offers residential places to people living within NHS Lothian catchment. It was developed to improve outcomes for people with a diagnosis of alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) across a range of domains, including cognitive and social functioning and personal recovery. It also aims to reduce the number of visits to Accident & Emergency units and reduce inpatient stays for people with ARBD. Penumbra works in partnership with NHS Lothian, Community Health Partnerships, and Waverley Care to deliver the service.

Commenting, Lesley Forbes, the Service Manager at Mielstone said:

“This is a great opportunity for health and social care integration in Scotland to be highlighted on the European stage. Crucially, it will also raise awareness of ARBD, an illness which is hugely misunderstood.”


ENMESH – the European Network for Mental Health Service Evaluation – is a network of researchers established in 1991 with support from the World Health Organisation. Every two years EMNESH organise a conference to promote mental health research and bring together experts from across Europe.

This year’s conference in Groningen, the Netherlands, will focus on understanding the context in which mental health difficulties emerge, personalised care, new approaches, and challenges for community mental health.

Research Officer Bridey Rudd will deliver a presentation on the implementation of a recovery framework within the organisation – I.ROC wellbeing. She will evaluate the extent to which Penumbra’s culture has evolved, drawing on data and focus groups, and analysing changes over time.

I.ROC wellbeing is an innovative approach to mental health and wellbeing. It provides a powerful set of mental health assessment tools for organisations, for practitioners and for the people that use their services. I.ROC was developed by Penumbra and it is currently used by organisations across the UK and worldwide.

The conference is taking place 5-7 October 2017 at the University Medical Centre, Groningen, the Netherlands.

More information

For more information please contact Robin Murphy on or call 0131 475 2569.

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