Awareness campaign adds to open day success

2 - nicole and mark pic

Dan Mushens reflects on a busy spell for Penumbra's alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) services 

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12th September 2019 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

The last few years have seen our alcohol related brain damage (ARBD) services establish a firm fixture in our diaries – our biannual open days which are held each summer and Christmas time. Last year’s events were both a roaring success so we had to put a lot of thought into how to build upon them.

This year we got more ambitious so we planned a week long ARBD awareness campaign to coincide with the summer event. Our social media channels were showcasing the inspirational recovery stories of the people we support as well as highlighting facts and figures about addiction, mental health and more specifically ARBD.

In addition to our usual blog posts which are published online regularly throughout the year, we also liaised with a journalist from a national newspaper which led to the publication of a superb double page feature.

The article focused on how the people we support are increasingly using assistive technology to aid their recoveries. This is an area we have been passionate about for some time and regularly support people to research and source devices such as smart speakers, tablets and digital memory clocks.  A case study of a supported person who is a big convert to the benefits of assistive tech was also included.

Dan Mushens

Dan Mushens

Service manager Alison Garrow was then invited to take part in a national television broadcast on BBC Scotland to discuss the subject of ARBD. Feedback was exceptional and many people were surprised to hear Alison talk about younger people, females and the middle classes being affected by the illness. This really contributed towards breaking down social stigmas around addiction that still exist. 

My committed colleagues Mark and Nicole also went out to the streets of Glasgow city centre circulating flyers to raise awareness of this often under reported condition including the contributing factors within addiction like for example a lack of good nutritional intake, and more generally how ARBD can impact on people’s lives.

They also took the chance to offer the surplus of donated food and hot drinks from our open day to rough sleepers in the area; an opportunity to connect with this vulnerable and socially isolated group, and a reminder that there are so many complex issues around addiction and people’s circumstances.

The actual open day itself was another success with friends, family, neighbours, colleagues, MSPs and other wonderful people too numerous to mention contributing to what was a day filled with fun, warmth and compassion.

We can’t take any credit for the glorious sunshine that was on offer, but the staff team as a whole certainly deserve recognition for their meticulous preparations that started months in advance.

Dan Mushens is a recovery practitioner for Scottish mental health charity Penumbra based in their ARBD services in Glasgow