A new study focussing on how NHS mental health Recovery Colleges can help to support people with dementia is being launched by Norfolk and Suffolk NHS Foundation Trust’s (NSFT) research department. The study is called DiSCOVERY and is funded by the National Institute for Health Research.
Recovery Colleges offer educational courses for people who use mental health services, their families and staff. We want to understand more about what attending Recovery College courses is like for people with dementia, their families and staff. And whether people living with dementia find designing and delivering courses helps them.
Juniper West, NSFT’s Research Lead for Older People’s Services co-leading the project explains, “Receiving a diagnosis of dementia is life-changing for the person and their family and friends. Stigma can make adjusting to the diagnosis frightening and isolating. Where people live, the type of dementia they have, or lack of opportunities to meet peers, can all affect the quality of support post-diagnosis.”
The People, Participation and Inclusion (PPI) group will be central to all the research activities in the study. Members will include both people with dementia who have experience of working with staff to produce a Recovery College dementia course, and people with dementia who have attended a course from across the UK.
The findings from the study will be used to produce guidance, learning and organise resources for UK Recovery Colleges. These can then be adapted to suit local dementia courses. We will involve people with dementia, their families and staff in creating these resources.
If you work in the recovery college or memory services – please fill in our survey. We want to understand how mental health Recovery Colleges might be supporting people living with dementia in your area - please follow this link for the survey .
To find out more – and to read case studies - here is the DiSCOVERY webpage.