Rachel's toolkit to a healthy life

My name is Rachel, I’m 18 and currently in my first year at university studying to become a mental health nurse. I first started using Penumbra in September 2022 at the age of 17. I had never really heard of Penumbra before my CAMHS worker at the time recommended I self-refer for a bit of extra support, especially since my time under them was coming to an end but more so since I was due to start University later that month. At first, I was apprehensive about contacting Penumbra but once I did, I heard back within a few days and subsequently started seeing someone a couple of weeks later.

To this day I continue to receive weekly 1-hour long online support sessions, focussing on anything I am struggling with that week or just in general. The support sessions are a great way for me to get anything that is bothering me off my mind whilst feeling supported and listened to without in any way feeling judged.

Penumbra continues to have a positive effect on my life and how I view the future. They have helped me gain more confidence, believe in myself that little bit more and overall helped me gain more of a sense of control over my thoughts and feelings. Ever since I started receiving support from Penumbra, I have felt happier, as if my goals are more achievable than I first thought. Penumbra has also helped me to realise that everyone goes through bad days but it’s the way we cope which makes all the difference, if one coping strategy doesn’t work then there are always other ones I can try. Just because that one strategy didn’t work doesn’t mean another one wouldn’t either.

Penumbra’s additional support and the support received through CAMHS has enabled me to think more positively towards the future, allowing me to realise that the days when I am struggling are normal and will eventually pass.

Penumbra has made me realise that for every negative I may be feeling there are always more positives in my mind and my life.

They have helped me gain more confidence and believe in myself that little bit more. 



I wanted to do the Kiltwalk for Penumbra as a way to say thank you and to give back to the charity after everything they have helped me with. Also it is good to highlight some of the smaller less well known charities, that don’t normally get a lot of publicity or support.

By doing the Kiltwalk it enables me as well as the rest of my team to give our bit to ensure support like this can continue for so many people across Scotland, people like myself, the ones who need that bit extra support to show them they can have a positive and meaningful life.

As well as this as mental health nursing students we all believe that support from charities such as Penumbra is vitally important in ensuring young people or individuals from across Scotland know there is support out there, people willing to listen and support them on their journey to learning to cope with what ever struggle they are facing enabling them to gain the confidence and ‘tool kit’ to have a happy, healthy life.

Image shows kiltwalk team member Rachel S
Image shows kiltwalk team member Shannon
Image shows kiltwalk team member Aimi
image shows kiltwalk team captain rachel a. Rachel is the author of this blog

Thank you, Rachel, for sharing your story with us. And huge thanks to your Kiltwalk team – Shannon, Rachel S and Aimi.

Visit Rachel’s fundraiser here: Every Mind Matters fundraising for Penumbra on JustGiving

To find out how to support us, visit: penumbra.org.uk/fundraising

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