Picture of Nigel Henderson

Nigel Henderson

Chief Executive

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 setting out ambitious plans to cement our place as the leading mental health peer work organisation in Scotland, and embedding lived experience of mental ill health and recovery across our services.

At the moment, 20% of Penumbra staff members are currently employed in mental health peer support roles using insight from their lived experience of mental ill health and recovery to support people accessing services. Our strategy sets out plans to increase this to 30% by 2023 and embed lived experience across services.

We’re also aiming to increase our support reach. Currently, we 2500 adults and young people at any one time, and over 6000 people accessed services in 2020/21. Our planned growth would see over 7500 adults and young people accessing our frontline support services by 2023.

Our ‘right support at the right time’ mantra is echoed throughout our vision, and importantly it also reflects the importance of valuing the social care workforce.

Our 5 key strategic aims are:

  1. To make a positive difference to people’s recovery and mental wellbeing
  2. To be innovative and creative in all that we do
  3. To value, support and involve our people
  4. To continuously learn and improve our practice and processes
  5. To be thought and practice leaders in recovery and mental wellbeing

We believe our strategy offers a bold and hopeful vision for mental health recovery.

The visibility of mental health and wellbeing in the media and increased public awareness of the importance of prioritising our mental health and wellbeing during the last 18 months presents significant new opportunities to work with partners to develop person led service provision and policy. It’s also given the public an understanding of the important space social care workers occupy.

Our workforce are our greatest strength. Together they deliver exceptional support, and we want to continue to develop new roles and opportunities to enable their careers to grow and thrive.

A focus on recovery, lived experience of mental health recovery, and innovation will continue to inform all that we do as we continue to reach more people through the right support at the right time. Our HOPE® framework for mental wellbeing remains the foundation of our approach and is actively underpinned by our values of courage, compassion, curiosity and collaboration.

We believe our strategy offers a bold and hopeful vision for mental health recovery.

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We will do the right thing. Standing up for people, their rights, wellbeing and recovery


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