Realising Potential Together by Elaine Hunter

This blog was originally posted on the Alzheimer Scotland site Let’s Talk about Dementia on 19th March 2015.

imageMarch 2015 saw the launch of an allied health professional policy document called “Driving Improvement: Implementing Realising Potential an Action plan for Allied Health Professionals in Mental Health” (Scottish Government 2014). The policy document reflects on the progress that has been made through the implementation of Realising Potential (Scottish Government 2010) and considers how future AHP practice should be shaped. However the policy document was always about harnessing allied health professionals creativity and energy and did not “ask AHPs to do extra. It asks AHPs to do differently”. (Scottish Government 2012). I am delighted to showcase the launch in this week’s blog and share a bit more about what and who the allied health professionals are.

“Making the Invisible Visible” through Social Media

Realising Potential encouraged multidisciplinary and multi-sectoral team-working and helped people to understand the added value AHPs bring to mental health and dementia services. A number of us tweet and on the day we used the hash tag #RealisingPotential2015 where we had some great conversations and interest in our work. Thanks to everyone who joined us.


“Tree of Celebration”

Like all great work, “none of us are smarter than all of us”. On the day we launched our “tree of achievement”. For the next year we will take the banner around Scotland inviting colleagues to add a leaf and share what they are proud of.


“Journey to Work”

During the launch we were reminded of the many ways AHPs are helping adults of working age to gain the confidence and skills to return to the work environment – or indeed to take up employment for the first time. We heard from Robert Reid how important that was when he read his poem.

thank you for all you did for me
i connected well enough to now be a support worker
i fought you all because i was terrified to be happy
when you have lived in darkness you do not recognise light
deep is the only up you know
with the help of some truly amazing people i am healing
i have had two of my poems published
i have had two exhibitions of my poems
i am going to publish an E-Book soon
i still doubt
i taught myself that when you sing it is impossible to be unhappy
i am growing
i am smiling
i am writing
i am happy
i am poet!!
thank you

Dementia Friendly Communities: ‘It’s just so AHP’

We heard and celebrated the partnership approach that has led the way in dementia friendly communities in Scotland and heard from Sarah (@sarahahpmh) on the work in Highland to use technology to connect arts and health for therapeutic interventions in remote and rural communities. You can find out more by linking to this website.

Smile Please

On the day we had over 40 AHPs in attendance from all over Scotland, sharing their posters, their awards and their work. These are just some of the great photos.

 image image   imageimageimage image image image

Where Next & What now

“…..the Realising Potential story is far from over. We have so much more to do and so much more to give”

We heard these words on the day and will continue to look forward and build on the momentum created to ensure the benefits gained of working together as a collective group of AHPs does not diminish or disappear. We were encouraged to inform people of who the allied health professionals are and what we can do with the aim to develop a shared understanding of the positive impact allied health professionals can have on the challenges facing services today.

If you were to add a leaf on our tree of achievement what would you answer when asked?
“What are you proud of? What has made a difference? What do you want to shout about?

Elaine Hunter is the National AHP Consultant with Alzheimer Scotland.  You can follow her on Twitter @elaineahpmh

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