Birchwood Highland exists to improve the quality of life of people with mental health issues and/or other complex needs by promoting Independence, Inclusion & Recovery.

In accordance with this statement we aim to achieve seven strategic outcomes:

  • Increased capacity to live independently
  • Improved ability to manage personal finances effectively
  • Empowerment through self-confidence and self-worth to achieve personal goals
  • Increased integration into the community reducing feelings of isolation
  • Increased readiness for work, education and volunteering.
  • Improved self-management of symptoms reducing hospital admissions.
  • Improved health, wellbeing and contribution to society through the adoption of positive lifestyles.

Birchwood Highland is a progressive Charity Limited by Guarantee founded in 1987 and has since maintained a position at the leading edge of mental health recovery.

We work with people over the age of 16 who are experiencing mental ill-health and/or other support needs that impact on their ability to live a meaningful and fulfilling life.

We have a 23 bed Recovery Centre in Inverness in which we provide support to service users in 12 self-contained apartments and 11 single rooms under a contract with the NHS Highland Health and Social Care Partnership. The Recovery Centre can also provide an SDS or self-funded respite service.  The Recovery Centre is the only facility of this kind in Scotland and was opened by Shona Robison MSP in March 2008.

In the community, we have office bases from which we provide Housing support and care at home services in the Inverness, Easter Ross, and Lochaber areas and are also supporting individuals in the more remote areas of Sutherland and Caithness. We are able to tailor support around individuals using Self directed support packages.


Head Office
59 Tomnahurich Street
Tel: (01463) 236 507

Monday – Friday

9.00 a.m – 5.00 p.m



branching out - woodland

Branching Out is an innovative development for adults who use mental health services in Scotland. For each client, the service consists of around three hours of activities per week in a woodland setting, over 12 weeks.

Activities are adapted to suit the client group, site and time of year, and generally include:

  • Physical activity e.g. health walks and tai chi.
  • Conservation activities e.g. rhododendron clearance and bird box construction.
  • Bushcraft, e.g. fire lighting and shelter building.
  • Environmental art e.g. photography and willow sculptures.

On completion of the course there's an awards ceremony where clients receive certificates of completion, tool handling and achievement (e.g. The John Muir Award where applicable), and are signposted on to community-based leisure, volunteer and training opportunities.

The programme is currently available in nine NHS board areas: Greater Glasgow and Clyde, Lothian, Forth Valley, Lanarkshire, Ayrshire and Arran, Borders, Tayside, Fife and Highland.



​Tel: 0750 494 6239


Connecting Carers and New Craigs Hospital have set up a new group called care4carers.  The group is for carers who are caring for someone with a diagnosed mental health condition within NHS Highland.

Location - New Craigs Hospital, in the OT resource Room

Every 2nd Tuesday of the month  1.30 - 3.30pm


hug - help for mental health

Our main aim is to improve the way in which we, as users of mental health services, are treated by campaigning to improve the rights, services and treatment of people with mental health problems, and to challenge stigma and discrimination.

Launched in 1996, HUG now has around 350 members and thirteen local branches across the Highlands


HUG believes that people with direct experience of mental health problems have an expertise that cannot be found elsewhere. Collective advocacy can harness this expertise and use it to influence the ways in which services are developed and run, to educate professionals and the public, and to also empower and influence individual members’ lives.


HUG’s work is split into two complimentary projects which work together to meet our aims;

  • Speaking Out (collective advocacy)
  • Communications Project (anti-stigma work).

Speaking Out focuses on consulting our members on a variety of subjects and campaign locally, nationally and internationally about these issues to influence change.

We do this through regular meetings in the thirteen HUG branches in the Highlands, as well as meeting with individual members who may be unable to attend groups.

As part of this work we produce reports that are widely read by professionals and policy makers as well as our members.

The Communications Project aims to reduce stigma and raise awareness and understanding about our lives and experiences.



​Tel: 01463 719 361



Penumbra is one of Scotland’s largest mental health charities. We support around 1600 adults and young people every week and employ 400 staff across Scotland.

Founded in 1985, we work to promote mental health and wellbeing for all, prevent mental ill health for people who are ‘at risk’, and to support people with mental health problems.


We provide a wide range of services which offer hope and practical steps towards recovery, and we campaign to increase public knowledge about mental health and to influence national and local government policy.


​Tel: 01224 642854



In Scotland we opened our first branch in Edinburgh in 1959.  Since then we have grown to 19 branches supported by over 1,000 volunteers across the country, stretching from Shetland to the Borders.

We work across Scotland in partnership with a range of organisations to help us deliver our vision that fewer people die by suicide.


​Tel: 01479 116 123


Living with bipolar.  Don't be alone - join Highland Bipolar Group for support and information in a friendly, relaxed environment - occasional guest speakers!  No referral needed - our group is for anyone affected by Bipolar Disorder plus friends, family and carers - all welcome

Meetings - 1st Thursday of each month (7pm - 9pm) at Ar n-Aite, 86 Church Street, Inverness IV1 1EP (formerly Dunbar Centre)

contact -

phone - 0141 560 2050