Recovery College East Video
I think the most amazing thing about the Recovery
College is that it embraces ideas around co-production – this idea that everybody’s experience is
valid, whether it’s lived experience of mental health challenges or professional expertise,
it’s valued equally, so for us that’s incredibly exciting.
It gives you more confidence. Your mind works well and we enjoy it. The relationship we
develop lasts. We brought our unique experiences and we learned, we discussed how and tried
to get help with our recovery. It just makes it very easy to relate and you
feel comfortable being yourself and being honest about your experiences. There’s nothing
to be ashamed of and it’s surprising how many people feel the same. And it makes me feel
very much not alone and that’s a lovely thing in itself.
What we like about the model is it’s a genuine alternative to standard service delivery so
it really is an opportunity for people to define their own aspirations and the kind
of life they want to lead and then to sit down in a safe and welcoming environment and
start to build their own skills and knowledge that will help them to do what they want to.
And I think where people can actually self direct their own development and learn together,
rather than have some professional come in and tell them how to do it. It’s excellent.
I couldn’t believe the difference it made to me being in an environment where you could
be open about how you felt. It was just like nothing else I have ever come across – to
sit and chat about our stories with people, I just got so much out of it and so much confidence.
It felt like a privilege to be part of that, it really did.
It’s all about involving people in designing things and experiencing things that are more
about they things they want to know about rather than what someone else has told them
what would be good for them. And it also stops people who feel they need to access services
as feeling different because they’re in a room, learning in a learning environment,
learning about their mental health and learning about how to cope with their mental health
alongside somebody who is perhaps delivering a service who is also on an equal footing
in that room learning about mental health and learning how people live with their mental
health. I think the richness of that is really good for the experiences of people in improving
their wellbeing. So it’s really useful for the SUN Network and the Recovery College to
work very closely because we have the same values and principles and there’s a lot of
crossover and shared learning we can offer each other.
For both of us it’s been quite a positive experience and part of something that’s newly
developing in the Trust that’s a different way of looking at recovery. It offers a really
different experience because we are working alongside peers, carers and staff together,
all on an equal footing and it feels very collaborative and quite exciting. It’s quite
a new experience I guess. I think for the students, as a tutor what
I notice is that collaborative environment is really nurturing and it allows the students
to really grow and move through their recovery journey.
Whether you work within this college, or whether you are tutoring or come as a student, often
people will say they will feel a sense of connection to others and they feel maybe that
tiny spark of hope that things could be slightly different. And there’s an opportunity. They
feel it’s the start of something for some people. Being part of that is phenomenal,
really. You can’t put it into words.