Annex B: Background to the creation of the SRN
When the National Programme for Improving Mental Health and Wellbeing was established in 2001, "recovery" was one of its main priorities. However, recovery was then a relatively new concept in Scotland.
To allow the concept to be explored, the (then) Scottish Executive sponsored an "Open Space" event which was held in Dundee in November 2002. The purpose of the event was to discuss the question: "Would recovery work in Scotland?" The event was attended by over a hundred people, including service users, carers and mental health professionals from a range of sectors. A report of the event concluded that there was a great deal of enthusiasm for creating a recovery movement in Scotland, and it was felt that a "network" would be the best mechanism for taking this forward. 46
The "network" concept was favoured because it was seen to provide a way for people to exchange ideas and experiences with people in other parts of the country. At this point, the Scottish Development Centre for Mental Health began to develop a mailing list (and email list) of people with an interest in recovery in Scotland.
The Open Space event was followed by a Recovery Workshop in Edinburgh in 2003 which explored how recovery could be taken forward in Scotland. A subset of the group involved in this workshop subsequently met to develop a formal proposal to the then Scottish Executive for two-year funding for what began to be referred to as "a Scottish Recovery Network." 47 This proposal included a set of aims and objectives for the Network, and an action plan, which included developing a proposal for further funding beyond 2006. It was agreed at this stage that the voluntary sector mental health agency, Penumbra, would act as the host of the network and that any staff hired to carry out Network business would be Penumbra employees. 48
The Scottish Recovery Network was officially launched in December 2004 as one of the main initiatives under the National Programme and the Scottish Executive gave the Network £200,000 / year for its first two years. (See timeline on the following page.)
Key milestones in the period preceding the launch of the SRN