The Humber Recovery and Wellbeing College uses a peer-led and student-voiced educational model to facilitate recovery-orientated courses and workshops to promote the central tenants of meaningful mental health recovery; Hope, Opportunity and Control.
We run like any other college, except we provide peer-led education as a route to meaningful mental health recovery. We work alongside and support students, volunteers, community organisations and healthcare professionals to co-design, co-produce and co-facilitate an educational programme that respond to self-defined needs of a collective student body.
People with lived experience of a given situation or impairment really understand what helps, or hinders, recovery.
This kind of underrepresented knowledge is just as valuable as scientific understanding.
The Recovery Colleges facilitates conversations between Experts by Experience and Experts by Training (not that they’re two distinct things!) and supports them to harness these two types of knowledge to coproduce innovative and useful educational opportunities for others.
Our courses and workshops are free to access and available to anybody who feels that the course would be of benefit to them, regardless of if they consider themselves to have lived experience of mental health challenges.
Students may include previous or existing service users, carers, health and social care staff, other organisations and members of the public.
Students also have the opportunity to share their skills, knowledge and expertise as part of the Recovery College in an official capacity as a Humber NHS Volunteer, where they receive training and can pursue additional development opportunities.
Mental health is a journey in which there is no cure or end goal, but the Recovery College believes that people can understand how to better navigate and manage troubling thoughts, emotions and circumstance by learning from others who have gone through similar.
Students are supported to draw upon their own strengths and resources in a safe, non-judgemental learning environment, and encouraged to learn the tools they need to step towards a better, self-defined quality of life.
Personal lived experience, strengths-based peer learning, grassroots coproduction and shared decision-making is at the centre of what we do.
Recovery Colleges also work towards challenging patronising, outdated and discriminatory medical perspectives on mental health recovery through championing the voices of those with lived experience, and spearhead the campaign for progressive, meaningful change within local healthcare organisations.
An example would be actively promoting the disuse of disempowering language and outdated clinical practices, like ‘patient’ and ‘referrals’, as these further reinforce power imbalances.
All of this helps towards unpicking the harmful institutional/social ‘us and them’ attitudes and stigmas that continue to surround mental health.
If you’d like to get involved with co-production please feel free to get in touch here - we’d love to hear from you!