Next steps – after the 2015 Event

We want to say to everyone involved in Rights for Life a massive thank you. Whether you were one of the people participating in the venue or one of the many contributors and speakers, or whether you were dropping in and out online we hugely appreciate your contribution.

Of course any event is just that – an event – a point in time. Our task now as a group is to move forward and transfer the knowledge and learning into real and tangible action. Actions which can have the potential to genuinely improve people’s lives, challenge stigma discrimination and enhance recovery. Actions which show that we speak with one voice when we say Rights for Life are not a luxury but a necessity.

With a new mental health strategy pending and Scottish Parliament elections next year the opportunities to start our work of influencing and change are obvious. We will now start a process of dialogue and engagement to progress our work and to keep building on the momentum generated around the event.

To that end the steering group for Rights for Life met yesterday and agreed an initial process for the next few months with the aim of producing a statement of rights or an agenda for change with an action plan for agreement and use by early 2016.

We aim to consult with people in a variety of ways both on the draft statement and on other potential actions we may plan to ensure our agenda is supported and acted on by as many people as possible.

Over the next few months we will generate an early draft of the statement/agenda from the debates and discussions that were held at the Rights for Life conference in June 2015. During October 2015 we will circulate that draft to people who said they were interested in staying involved in the process. In November we will make it available more widely for consideration and comment on the Rights for Life website.

As we knew from the start Rights for Life was one step on the journey of change in Scotland. We have many more steps to take and, based on your enthusiasm at the conference, we know you will all be keen to take part.

If you are interested in being actively involved as we progress our actions from Rights to Life then please email us at 

Judith Robertson, Programme Director, See Me

Simon Bradstreet, Director, Scottish Recovery Network

Wendy McAuslan, Development Coordinator, Voices Of eXperience