Welcome to our September newsletter. This month you can read about our second Gathering Peer Voices which will be taking place in September; information on peer spaces and support for carers;  an exciting job opportunity; a new workshop developed by people with lived experience of mental health issues; and of course information on peer spaces and support that you can access online and in person.

Gathering Peer Voices
Change the Conversation, Change the Culture

Thursday 30 September 10am-1pm

We’d like to invite you to our second Gathering Peer Voices. This event is open to Edinburgh's Peer Workers, Peer Volunteers and all people interested in mental health, recovery and lived experience, who would like to learn about and contribute their views on how we can strengthen peer practice in Edinburgh. It will primarily take place over Zoom. There will be also be options to join parts of the morning using Teams, as we realise that some of our NHS and Council colleagues are unable to access Zoom at work. There will also be limited spaces for people to join us in person at Redhall Gardens.

We will be using the Thrive theme change the conversation, change the culture as our focus for the day. We will have opportunities to learn about and reflect upon changes to peer spaces and services that have happened as a result of the pandemic; changes to peer spaces and services that have happened as a result of Thrive; how peer spaces and services are responding to reopening of public spaces; what we want to keep and what we want to leave behind as we move forward.
Please email if you have any questions.

Book a space here
Peer Mentoring at VOCAL 

VOCAL’s Peer Mentoring Service is available to carers living in Edinburgh who would like to speak to another carer for support.
We often learn from the experiences of our friends and family. However, many carers don’t know someone in a similar caring role or situation. Peer mentoring matches a carer with another carer. Through the mentoring relationship, the carer may gain information and support which will help them to reflect on their own situation and possibly make decisions about next steps.
VOCAL’s peer mentors have varied caring roles, including addictions, parent carers, dementia, MS and cancer. They also have experience with common caring situations, such as the transition into a care home, dealing with difficult behaviour and keeping well.
Meetings are available via telephone, video call or in person, and they can last anywhere between 15 minutes to one hour depending on what works best for you. 
If you would like to hear more please contact Claudine at VOCAL on 0131 622 6666 or
Job Opportunity
Support and Development Worker - Groups, Workshops and Peer Spaces - Health in Mind

Working closely with local Communities and Welcome Teams across Edinburgh, this person will identify the need for new peer spaces, groups and workshops and develop in line with need. This is in addition to supporting and developing the existing services and supporting peer volunteers.

If you have experience of working with groups, supporting people to improve their mental health and wellbeing or personal experience of self-managing your own mental health difficulties, Health in Mind would love to hear from you!

Click here to find out more
A Human Experience: Living with Mental Health Issues
Tuesday 14 September 2-4.30pm
A free, interactive online workshop by a group of people with lived experience of mental health issues.
CAPS Independent Advocacy invite you to hear what the group have to say about living with mental health issues and to join in the conversation. The workshops are open to anyone living, working or studying in the NHS Lothian area.
Contact Anne to find out about getting a place.
Feedback from previous workshops
“There’s a humanity that comes through, a common humanity” 
“Good conversations that will lead me to reflect” 
“I found the mix of information/resource sharing and talking about people's lived experience really useful and refreshing.” 
Peer Community Book Club - The Midnight Library by Matt Haig
Tuesday 7 September  (Zoom)

Our next book will be The Midnight Library by Matt Haig. Join us having read the book, ready to share your thoughts and opinions. We’re meeting at lunch time so feel free to also bring a sandwich.

Click here to book a space

Peer Spaces and Support for Carers

Edinburgh Carers Council

Providing advocacy and peer support for carers in Edinburgh. Contact Rachael 0131 322 8480 for more information.

Peer Mentoring Service - VOCAL
Available to carers living in Edinburgh who would like to speak to another carer for support. Please contact Claudine at VOCAL on 0131 622 6666 or for more information.

Support for Carers - Health in Mind
Courses and peer spaces for carers. These safe spaces allow carers the time to explore and discover ways of keeping well and to be able to connect to a wider community of carers. Please contact Paulina for more information. 

Stafford Centre (Support in Mind)
CARA (Carers and Relatives Alliance) is a peer support group for carers and families of those experiencing mental illness. Please contact Lorraine 07951066234 for more information.

Peer Forum
Wednesday 8 September 3-4.30pm
Our next Peer Forum is taking place on Wednesday 8 September 3-4.30pm
over Zoom. The peer forum is a protected space for people working or volunteering in a role that uses their lived experience, to come together, share their experiences and work to address issues that are important to them, in their peer roles. If you would like to attend or find out more please contact
Edinburgh Community Voices
Online Meeting - Wednesday 1st September 2-3.30pm
In Person Meeting - Tuesday 21st September 1.30-3pm 

Edinburgh Community Voices is a group for anyone with lived experience to discuss mental health and services in Edinburgh and in person meetings are starting again.  
The face to face meetings will be running on the third Tuesday of the month.  The first meeting will be on Tuesday 21st September from 1.30-3pm, at 525 Ferry Road, Edinburgh, EH5 2FF. Numbers will be limited so please book a space if you would like to attend. Edinburgh Community Voices will also meet online on 1 September from 2 - 3.30pm.  If you would like to take part in either meeting, or are interested and have any questions, please email Becky -
Accessibility and Languages

You can keep up to date with Peer Community on our page on iThrive Edinburgh.

iThrive is your online space for mental health and wellbeing information in Edinburgh and the site uses the accessibility software
ReciteMe.  Each month, we will highlight one of ReciteMe's features

iThrive Edinburgh uses the accessibility software 
ReciteMe.  Each month, we'll highlight one of ReciteMe's features you can use to access information on iThrive.

Why are styling tools important? 
The styling tool can help people with disabilities to access iThrive Edinburgh. These tools can support you if you have: 
  • dyslexia 
  • visual impairments 
  • autism 
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
  • epilepsy
  • hyperlexia 
Learn more about how ReciteMe can support you here.

You can try out this feature by clicking the 'Accessibility and Languages' button located in the top right-hand corner of the website. 
Recovery Conversation Café toolkit

Scottish Recovery Network are really pleased to share their new Recovery Conversation Café toolkit. 
The Recovery Conversation Café toolkit provides a different approach to engagement and consultation. The approach creates a welcoming environment where people are active participants, listening to each other and building on ideas. This free toolkit supports you to plan and facilitate your own recovery conversation cafés. It helps you to find out what is important to the people you engage with and enables the services and organisations you work with do the same.

To order your free hard copy toolkit(s) email or call 0300 323 9956. You can also download all the elements of the toolkit.
Peer Community Courses, Workshops and Meetings

Click here to go to our iThrive page for the most up to date information
When Who What
8 September
Current peer practitioners in Edinburgh (paid or voluntary) Peer Forum
A space to discuss ideas and challenges that you are experiencing with your fellow peers.

Please contact

6 September
Representatives of Edinburgh based peer practitioners/ peer spaces Peer Community Steering Group

Please contact
7 September

Everyone Peer Community Book Club
The Midnight Library - Matt Haig

Click here for more information and to book a space
Thursday 30 September
Peer Workers, Peer Volunteers and all people interested in mental health, recovery & lived experience, who would like to learn about and contribute their views on how we can strengthen peer practice in Edinburgh Gathering Peer Voices – Change the Conversation, Change the Culture

Click here for more information and to book a space
Next course in the Autumn
Dates TBC
Peer practitioners (paid or voluntary)

People who would like to explore using their own experience of recovery in an intentional way to accompany other people through their journey.
5 Session Peer Work Course
Find out more about the course 

Please email to register interest for the next course which will take place this summer.

Following the course attendees will have the opportunity to complete a Professional Development Award in Mental Health Peer Support at SCQF level 7. You can find out more on our 
iThrive webpage.
Tell us what you would like to see offered
We really want to be able to offer the opportunities that you want. Whether that's speakers you'd like us to invite, opportunities for specific conversations, topics we can learn about together or books we can discuss in our book club - please tell us! You can do this by coming along to the Steering Group or Peer Forum (see below for how to do this), by emailing or... clicking here to fill in a very short form
Drop-in Peer Spaces
The groups below are open to both current and new group members.
The groups below are a combination of online and in person.

If you look after a peer space in Edinburgh and would like your group to be added below, please contact
When Description  Contact 
Peer to peer support for any man over 18.

Anxiety and Depression Peer Support Group 
Health in Mind
Online and In Person
For people experiencing anxiety, depression or low mood.   
Click here to see dates and venues of online and in person groups - 
The Listening Space for Carers
Health in Mind
A group peer space for people who care for a  family member, friend or neighbour and live in Edinburgh 07435274586
Monthly (1st)
CARA (Carers and Relatives Alliance)
Support in Mind
Online (in person from October)
Peer Support group for carers and families of those experiencing mental illness
Lorraine Keith
The Listening Space 
Health in Mind
For people who would like to speak 1:1 to a peer volunteer. 1:1 space is followed by an optional group peer space.  
All ages
Lothian Bipolar Self Help Group 
Bipolar Scotland/Lothian Bipolar Group
Online and In Person
A group of people who want to provide information, peer support and self-management guidance to individuals affected by bipolar. or Facebook.

Peer Support Group for Carers
Edinburgh Carers Council
In Person

This group is open for family members, friends and relatives of people with mental health difficulties.
0131 322 8480
Side by Side: The Power of Peer Support

If you haven't already seen our film that we are incredibly proud of please make sure you do! This film may be a useful aid for people who are or may be referred to a peer work service,  for other mental health professionals who perhaps have not worked with peers workers in their team or organisations before or for GPs and other workers who link people into sources of help and support. 

You can watch the full film, the shorter version or the individual stories of VivekMaggiLauraPaulAlexis and Sineaid. We hope you enjoy and use them!
The Peer Community is a part of Thrive Edinburgh and organised by The Peer Partnership, a partnership between Health in Mind and CAPS Independent Advocacy.
How would you rate this month's Peer Community newsletter?

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Health in Mind is a charity registered in Scotland, number SC004128, and a company limited by guarantee, registered in Scotland, number SC124090. The registered office is at 40 Shandwick Place, Edinburgh EH2 4RT.

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