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Recovery College expands its service

Courses to help those on the road to recovery from mental health issues are being opened up to a wider audience to give more people the chance to access them.

The Recovery College, which is run by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust (NSFT), has been running successful webinars since the COVID-19 pandemic, but was keen to engage service users and the wider community with a similar set-up to its class-based courses.

Staff will be using Zoom and adapt existing courses and launch new sessions online, which will be for up to 12 participants.

“The webinars have been really well received,” said Breanne Cook, recovery project manager. “They have also given people the chance to get used to an online service where they can be anonymous before we launch the more interactive Zoom sessions.”

She said participants would be able to join small discussion groups, share online information and take part in tasks, just as if they were in a classroom.

Breanne added: “We are keen to open these courses to other people in the community who may be experiencing mental health challenges but do not meet the threshold to come under NSFT care. We want to get the word out to anyone who might benefit from Recovery College, through GPs and third sector organisations.”

She praised the Recovery College team, which she said had turned the class-based sessions around in a short time. “At the start of lockdown many of the team were redeployed to help out on the wards and in the community and have only been back together a short time. It’s great to have them back and we are excited about expanding what we can offer.

“The courses have all been co-produced with peer tutors to help reduce the content to a couple of hours as most courses were a full day.”

For some people, the online offer might encourage more people to take part. Breanne said: “When we are in a classroom people can find it difficult to push that door open and come in. These sessions will be a good way for people to re-engage.”

Courses on the timetable will include How to Tell Your Story, Moving On, Wellness Planning and Safety Planning. A full programme is on the NSFT website.

Anyone interested in joining one of the courses, can contact the Recovery College team by clicking on this link. The timetable will be updated monthly. Find out more on the NSFT website.

Recovery College also has a new social media presence on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.