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NEWS - Recovery Colleges in Yorkshire

Recovery Colleges take an educational approach to supporting people with their mental health and wellbeing – Laura Reid looks at the impact in Yorkshire.

I am thrilled to share an exert from The Yorkshire Post celebrating recovery colleges and how they play a vital role in the community. The full extract is link please find some of the highlights below and general information: An open and honest discussion Ken speaking earnestly about how he “would have gone under” without the support of mental health services in South and West Yorkshire. All the Yorkshire recovery colleges play vital roles which are supported through NHS Foundation trusts, each one taking an educational, rather than clinical approach to mental health and wellbeing. The colleges offer a range of courses from helping people learn and understand mental health issues to providing opportunities to build confidence, learn new skills for life and work and socialise with others in a safe environment. A safe place to go for people experiencing isolation, self harming, suicidal thoughts, addiction and many more symptoms that cause mental health issues. Many attendees choose to volunteer as a way to give something back through their journey of recovery as they can see the value and passionate about making a difference – these are people with lived experiences. Wellness Recovery Action Planning (WRAP) This course helps people identify “when things don’t seem quite right” and strategies that can help them cope. People who deliver the courses have lived experiences and understand mental health issues. A fellow volunteer Ruth attended WRAP and feels she can cope better and is a very powerful course and something she is passionate about supporting. Recovery Colleges Overview Read how leaders of various recovery colleges support wellbeing in the community and value people’s experiences. The first Centre started in 2010 and by 2017 more than 75 recovery colleges have been established across the country including Australia, Canada, Hong Kong and Scandinavia. In Yorkshire Barnsley recovery college was opened in 2013, with Wakefield, Kirklees and Calderdale colleges all under the South West Yorkshire Partnership NHS Foundation Trust, opening a year later. The Leeds Recovery College officially started its courses in September last year. One women who has attended several courses says an important message “It is not just about recovering from mental health conditions” … “when I signed up, I didn’t consider myself mentally unwell. It’s about wellbeing. Its good to get away from the view that you can only come here if you are mentally unwell because its not the case…. Helps people become more resilient” Feedback from Debbie to the recovery colleges the path to recovery Following on from the article please read my own journey through support at the recovery colleges. I would like to congratulate all the recovery colleges for their teams of dedicated people who are passionate about making a difference and helping others with their journey towards mental wellness. Attending a WRAP course last year helped to save my life and I am eternally grateful to the Leeds Recovery College and a very special lady who as a volunteer introduced me to the course when I was at my lowest. Leeds Recovery College WRAP Feedback (My journey to recovery)WRAP has been an amazing experience and I feel blessed for having this opportunity. I feel it has saved my life.“Thank you for being there your presence in the room made me feel safe.  In understanding, recognising struggles, for taking the time to listen, and your support.” “The facilitation of the course has been superb easy to understand, group participation, sharing your lived experiences, the relaxing techniques, useful handouts, resilience building with lots of fun games and many laughs too.To feel understood and listened to is so valuable. Meeting others and sharing experiences is amazing. “You never let me forget that I am more than my bad days, more than my depression on providing a healthy escapism, you gave me hours, even days where I felt normal.” “I’ve learnt it’s okay to do things in my own time. I’ll get to where I want to go. I’ve learnt to do what works for me. To be aware of my emotions, check in on myself, know my triggers. I put my mental health first and I’m so thankful I finally do.” “I will be ok 🙂” Best wishes I will be forever grateful for this experience. Debbie Crouch Dedicated to Simon and his wonderful volunteers at the Leeds Recovery College website : This was the beginning and I have also attended amazing courses at Barnsley - The exchange recovery college too website

Posted 26th March 2020 Copyright © 2020, Creative Wellness Journey

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