This year we championed the message ‘My Wellbeing, My Life’ for the first fully digital Self Management Week.
In 2020 the disruption presented by COVID-19 created an opportunity to re-calibrate and reinforce messaging about self management as it became more relevant than ever for people; extending beyond those who identified as having a long term condition, disabled people and unpaid carers as an approach that can benefit everyone’s wellbeing.
This year, a short-life working group of members from the Self Management Network Scotland developed themes and activities for Self Management Week. Considering the impact of COVID-19 and how it has required everyone to consider their health management in a different way, the group chose the theme ‘My Wellbeing, My Life’.
During Self Management Week 2020 – our first fully digital week – we organised a range of events with 21 different speakers and delivery partners, covering many self management themes, including:
- Self management during COVID-19
- The role people’s stories can play in influencing change in service design and delivery
- Creative words for wellbeing
- Peer support during challenging times
- Art and cooking for wellbeing
With the tag ‘Everyone has a self management story’, Self Management Week strengthened the narrative that everyone has health and self management can play an important role in supporting everyone’s health and wellbeing.
The 2020 Self Management Awards were also held for the first time in an online ceremony. Winners were announced from seven categories including partnership awards, Digital Innovator Self Management Award in partnership with Discover Digital and the Employability Self Management Award in partnership with SUSE. New to the 2020 was the Self Management in the Community Award, celebrating the response of community members, groups and organisations to support people to live well.
With the pandemic presenting challenges to people’s capacity to self manage, we launched ‘Managing Wellbeing at Home’, a signposting page populated by Self Management Network Scotland members with resources to support people’s self management during lockdown. The team also led on ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’, an imprint of ALLIANCE Live; sharing content focussed on holistic areas to support wellbeing including nutrition, arts therapy, creative writing, and green health, and featuring a range of ALLIANCE and Self Management Network Scotland members.
This year the Self Management Network Scotland reached 850 members across all of Scotland’s 32 local authority areas. We continued our strong partnership working with regional networks in the Grampian and Highland areas, as well as supporting the launch and development of the Edinburgh Self Management Network, established in 2020. The team have continued to provide national updates and ongoing support at the regional self management network and forum meetings to foster collaboration and shared learning.
Progress on the Co-Creating Libraries for Health and Wellbeing project was paused between March and August 2020 due to library closures and the redeployment of NHS staff. Work resumed in September, with an agreement to end all three pilots by the start of 2021 and begin evaluation. We successfully engaged with a group of young people in each of the three pilot areas (Midlothian, North Ayrshire and South Lanarkshire) and worked with them on using the library space and resources to support their mental health. Each of the three areas approached this differently and reached a different stage of delivery. We are confident this will make for an interesting and useful final report to be ready mid-2021.
Reports of other ALLIANCE programme activities during 2020 can be found in our News section.