Mental Health and Substance Use Leadership Development Programme

An opportunity for leaders across Tayside to come together and focus on developing ways to create an enabling system to allow change to happen.


Why are we running this programme?

The Programme has developed out of the Mental Health and Substance Use Pathfinder in Tayside. The Pathfinder is looking at how to improve outcomes for people with mental health and substance use support needs.

While engaging with leaders and staff, we have heard that there is an appetite for something that can help system leaders bring together various strands of work, develop a whole system perspective on ‘where we want to get to’ and find ways of making practical system change.

Looking across the Listen, Learn Change work, the Dundee Drugs Commission and the implementation of the MAT Standards, there are some cross cutting themes related to leadership, whole system collaboration, recovery approaches, the role of the third sector and engagement with people and families. The Leadership Development Programme will focus on building a whole system understanding of these issues and support you to take constructive steps forward in your ongoing work to address them.

It will look at how you, as leaders can:

  • Enable flexible and responsive services
  • Build capacity within existing staff resource
  • Distribute leadership across the system
  • Shift towards a recovery oriented system
  • Better integrate services to provide holistic support
  • Underpin activity with culture change

This programme will:

  • Be a collaborative space to work in a whole system way with leaders from different sectors
  • Offer peer support through connections with leaders across Tayside
  • Provide you with guidance and tools to think through whole system change
  • Be grounded in real issues and challenges that you face


What will the course cover?

Five sessions will take place over the next 15 months, with the first one being on the 15th June 2022. These five sessions will form the core of Programme, however, there will be opportunities to develop additional, more focussed sessions (supported by us) in order to help drive change locally. 

Session One: Introduction - 15 June 2022

An opportunity to meet other leaders from across different sectors, this introductory session will give you a chance to work with others to think about the findings from the Pathfinder programme so far. We will be introducing the Good Practice Framework for Strategic Planning as a way of thinking about your current strengths and ongoing activity, as well as identifying opportunities for development.

Session Two: Developing Enabling Leadership - 21 September 2022

Looking at your role as leaders within a complex system, this session will help you find ways you can take a proactive role in supporting staff at all levels to take a proactive role in decision making and change. We will introduce a mapping tool and work through an example relevant to you, to see where there are opportunities for you to empower staff across your system.

Session Three: Commissioning Differently - 7 December 2022

Bringing together challenges and discussions from different areas, this session will explore how different commissioning models can be used to improve outcomes and support culture change. We will be hearing examples of how different areas have approached commissioning in a way that supports whole system collaboration and helps address very complex issues.

Session Four: Supporting Change - 8 March 2023

Reflecting on what we have discussed so far, this session will look at how you can translate the ideas and ambitions into action. This session will provide you with some key change management tools and a space to discuss how you might support change within your system.

Session Five: Creating a system for recovery - 7 June 2023

Hearing from people with lived experience and the recovery community, this session will support you to think about service mapping and understanding in relation to the recovery journey. We will look at gap analysis and asset mapping to provide you with the tools to develop plans around linking system vision with system change – using the different ideas and perspectives from across all the sessions.


What will I get from it?

The Leadership Development Programme will provide you with the opportunity to:

  • Network with other system leaders
  • Openly discuss and explore challenges and issues
  • Link in with our lived and living experience and staff co-design groups
  • Hear about and explore new ideas

Throughout the Programme, you will receive:

  • Interactive workshops tailored to local context
  • Input from and collaboration opportunities with staff and lived experience co-design groups
  • Support from strategic planning experts across the Improvement Hub
  • Guest speakers from across the UK
  • Project and facilitation support for additional working groups
  • A curated tool-kit of resources to support strategy and change

We are also in the process of accrediting the Programme to contribute to your CPD


How does this link in with all the other work across Tayside?

We are well aware that there is a lot of work happening across Tayside right now. This involves different workstreams, governance recommendations – specifically the Listen, Learn, Change work, the reports of the Dundee Drugs Commission and the implementation of the Medically Assisted Treatment (MAT) Standards.

For example, the Listen, Learn, Change action plan highlights cross-cutting themes for focus that align with the things that will be addressed as part of this Leadership Development Programme, including:

    • Strategic service design
    • Clarity of governance and leadership responsibility
    • Engaging with people
    • Learning culture

Similarly, the recent Dundee Drugs Commission update highlighted the need to continue looking at:

    • Culture change within leadership
    • Longer term collaboration between services
    • Shifting capacity and pathways to incorporate a wider range of services – including the third and independent sector
    • Involvement of people with lived experience and their families

The MAT Standards implementation work has a focus on:

    • Access
    • Involvement
    • Recovery focused, holistic support
    • Joined up mental health and substance use support

The Leadership Development Programme has been developed in a way that will support the workstreams in place around each of these.  The aim is to provide various different tools and approaches that can equip leaders with the resources and networks to enhance the various pieces of work taking place.


Will it address local priorities if it is a Tayside-wide group?


The idea of having a Tayside-wide Programme is to provide you with the opportunity to share ideas around some challenges common across the region. There is also the opportunity to develop Tayside-wide support networks and have ‘critical friend’ relationships throughout the Programme.

However, in addition to this, we want to make the Leadership Development Programme practical and so the sessions will be tailored to suit the priorities of all three areas in Tayside. This way, some of the higher level ideas/concepts can be centred on live examples relevant to you.

There is also capacity to support any additional work that may develop locally as a part of this. For example, if there is a piece of work you are undertaking that would benefit from anything introduced on the course, we can contribute to something more focused.